US VP Biden comfortable with gay marriage

2012-05-06 19:00

Washington - US Vice President Joe Biden, who has said in the past that he opposed gay marriage, softened that stance on Sunday saying in an interview he is now "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage.

Marriage is about love, "whether they're marriage of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals", Biden told NBC television's Meet the Press.

"Look, I'm vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy," said Biden.

"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the social rights, civil rights and liberties."

Biden stopped short of saying that the administration of President Barack Obama would actively press for a change in laws in most US states which only recognize marriage between a man and a woman, but expressed the view that he is more comfortable with such a change.

More and more Americans were coming "to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition: Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love?" he told NBC.

"That's what people are finding out. Is what all marriages at their root are about -- whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals."

The issue has been picking up steam in the United States where just this year legislatures in Maryland and Washington passed statutes allowing marriage between same-sex couples.

In North Carolina, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage will be on the ballot this month. According to a January survey by Public Policy Polling, 56% of voters support the amendment, while 34% oppose it.

There are now tens of thousands of same-sex couples in several US states and the District of Columbia who are legally married where they live.

A Pew Research Centre Survey last month found that 47% of Americans now favour allowing gay and lesbian couple to marry - well up from 39% in 2008 and 31% in 2004. Forty-three percent remain opposed.

- SAPA
Read more on:    joe biden  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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