From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/07/arne-duncan-endorses-gay-marriage
US education secretary’s endorsement follows Joe Biden’s, but White House says Obama’s official position has not changed
Barack Obama‘s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, has become the latest administration official to declare support for same-sex marriage, going beyond the president’s “evolving” views on the issue.
Asked on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show on Monday whether he thought same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, he said: “Yes I do.”
Duncan’s endorsement comes after the vice-president, Joe Biden, became the highest-ranking government official to back same-sex marriage on Sunday, telling Meet the Press he was “absolutely comfortable” with the issue. Obama has appeared reluctant to take up the issue in an election year but has said his views are “evolving” on the subject.
The comments by Biden and Duncan opened up speculation that the White House is moving towards a new position of support for gay marriage, beyond its already stated backing for civil unions.
But Obama’s main political strategist, David Axelrod, played down the prospect of an imminent shift. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, he insisted that Biden’s comments are consistent with those he expressed during the 2008 campaign.
Obama captured a large proportion of the gay vote during in 2008, but some disillusionment has crept in among campaigners since then. While the Obama administration has scrapped the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, which prevented gays serving openly in the military, it has made no moves on federal recognition for same-sex marriage. Obama also declined recently to sign equal employment rights into law by an executive order.
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