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Obama clarifies position on same-sex marriage equality

Although Minnesota is among the growing number of states that now allows same-sex marriages, this new form of legalized relationship has not yet been adopted by more than a dozen states. On the other hand, changes in social attitudes and public approval of same-sex unions have changed dramatically in just a few short years, especially among younger Americans. The road toward full marriage equality has been bumpy, however.

Following the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, a wave of states codified bans against same-sex marriage. Several state and federal appellate courts responded by striking down bans against same-sex marriage in several states.

One federal appellate court, however, ruled last November in favor of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee after a lower court struck down their bans, allowing their laws to stand as written. The Supreme Court may make a final definitive ruling on the issue by the end of its current term in June.

In his recent book, David Axelrod, former political adviser to President Barack Obama, claims that the President has always supported gay marriage but had to claim otherwise for political reasons until 2012 when he expressed open support for legalizing marriage between same-sex partners.

In a recent interview, President Obama suggested that Axelrod may have confused the President's personal feelings with his public stand on the issue. He explained that he has always believed that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to enjoy the same legal rights that all heterosexual couples enjoy and that had had long been frustrated that the religious sensitivities of many Americans were trumping the human rights of a minority of Americans.

Source: CNN, "Obama: Axelrod 'mixing up' gay marriage stance," Jeremy Diamond and Eric Bradner, Feb. 11, 2015

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