May 092012
 
President Obama

President Obama, who is under mounting pressure to clarify his thinking on same-sex marriage after top aides publicly embraced it in recent days, will sit down for an interview with ABC News on Wednesday during which he is likely to be pressed on his “evolving” views on the issue, according to people familiar with the matter.

The interview, to be conducted by Robin Roberts, an anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and was secured in the wake of a declaration by Mr. Obama’s vice president, Joseph R. Biden, on Sunday thathe was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriages.

The White House and the president’s re-election campaign declined to comment on Wednesday.

Since Mr. Biden made his comments, Mr. Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, said that he, too, backs same-sex marriage, becoming the third top White House official to do so. His secretary of housing, Shaun Donovan, has previously expressed support for same-sex weddings.

That has put Mr. Obama in an increasingly awkward position, which was highlighted by a series of news conferences with his press secretary, Jay Carney, who has fielded dozens of questions about where the president stands on same-sex marriage since Sunday. Mr. Carney has suggested that Mr. Obama was likely to clarify his position at a news conference or during an interview.

The sudden booking suggests an interest on the part of the White House to get Mr. Obama in front of cameras, albeit in a carefully controlled interview setting, as soon as possible.

ABC secured the interview with Mr. Obama on Tuesday afternoon, according to two people involved in the planning. It will take place at the White House. The interview was so hastily arranged, in fact, that Ms. Roberts was still in New York on Wednesday morning to co-host “Good Morning America”– and was planning on returning to New York right after the interview, because her mother is visiting and the two have dinner plans on Wednesday evening.

It will be a “wide-ranging interview,” an ABC News spokesman said.

During his 2008 campaign for president, Mr. Obama said that he supported civil unions, but not marriage for gay couples. Since then, he has said his stance on the subject is “evolving.”

It is unclear if Mr. Obama’s position on same-sex marriage has changed since he was last asked about it.

Parts of the interview will be released on Wednesday afternoon, and other parts will be shown on “Good Morning America,” the network’s flagship morning show, on Thursday.

MICHAEL BARBARO and BRIAN STELTER

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/obama-likely-to-speak-about-same-sex-marriage-in-interview/

h/t Rex Wockner

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