By supporting same-sex unions, Obama is giving his backers something to go to the streets to fight for.
President Obama just made history as the first incumbent president of the United States to endorse same sex marriage, during an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.
Admitting that his views had gone through an "evolution," Obama told Roberts:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
The president's comments come just a day after North Carolina overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, shutting down same-sex marriage advocates there.
Obama's comments also followed Vice President Biden's surprise affirmation of gay marriage on the widely watched Sunday politics show, Meet the Press with David Gregory. Biden told the anchor that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay marriage -- which then sent White House mandarins scurrying out to the media and interest groups to walk back Biden's comments, with administration spin-masters suggesting to reporters that the vice president had not actually endorsed gay marriage and had not broken new ground.