Looking Back: Obama’s Evolution On Same-Sex Marriage Through the Years

I think it’s important for us to work through these issues because each community is going to be different—each state is going to be different. I think what you’re seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers—and that they’ve got to be treated like every other American. And I think that principle will win out. It’s not going to be perfectly smooth, and it turns out that the President—I’ve discovered since I’ve been in this office—can’t dictate precisely how this process moves.”

—at a White House press conference on the passage of marriage equality in New York State, in June 2011.