Biden apologises for same-sex marriage remark

2012-05-11 07:10

Washington – US Vice President Joe Biden has apologised to President Barack Obama for remarks backing gay marriage that forced Obama’s hand to publicly declare his own support for same-sex marriage.

Biden made the apology in the Oval Office on Wednesday, before Obama’s own announcement in a television interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts in which he said he believed same-sex couples should be allowed to wed, the sources said.

It was the first time a sitting president had ever publicly backed same-sex marriage and his remarks quickly reverberated on the presidential campaign trial.

His likely Republican opponent in the November 6 election, Mitt Romney, does not support gay marriage, and it is likely to prove a divisive issue in the campaign, pleasing Obama’s political base but also energising those opposed to gay rights.

Obama made clear that Biden’s comments during a television interview three days earlier had forced him to go public, but also stressed that he did not think it had done any damage.

“Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way? In my own terms without there being a lot of notice to everybody that this is where we were going? Sure,” Obama told ABC.

“But all’s well that ends well.”
 
Biden, who has a reputation for going off-script, unexpectedly said in a television interview that he was comfortable with gay marriage.

That immediately put the spotlight on Obama, who had been awkwardly fending off the question by claiming that his position was “evolving.”

“The president has been the leader on this issue from day one and the Vice President never intended to distract from that,” said Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff.

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