Governor Andrew Cuomo is reacting to President Obama's announcement that he supports same-sex marriage. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has the latest.
NEW YORK STATE -- Days after his vice president and some cabinet members announced their support for same-sex marriage, President Obama told ABC News that he, too, personally supported marriage rites for gay couples.
“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.
The president’s comments come at a politically tricky time. Voters in North Carolina, a presidential swing state and site of the Democratic National Convention, approved a ban on same-sex marriages on Tuesday. The interview also comes a day after Obama stood side-by-side with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was instrumental in passing gay marriage in New York, at an event in Albany.
“I think the fact that the President of the United States takes this position will cause people around the country well, let me think about this again,” Cuomo said.
There's no doubt Cuomo has benefitted politically from his effort to pass same-sex marriage in New York. But speaking with reporters, he downplayed the political implications.
Cuomo said, “I don't know politically if it helps or hurts. I think this is an issue of conscience.”
Cuomo insisted he didn't speak with Obama about the gay marriage issue. But in the interview, Obama referenced Cuomo's own framing of the matter being a civil one and not religious.
“I think he referenced New York and he referenced the point that New York went out of its way to make it clear that this was a civil discussion and not a religious discussion,” Cuomo said.
Manhattan Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, who is openly gay, said he did speak with Obama on marriage, hoping he nudged the president to his position.
“My husband and I got married and that in our weeding, not a single heterosexual was harmed and since we got married, there's been no harm to any heterosexuals that we're aware of. He laughed at that and said he would remember that,” O’Donnell said.
Despite their support, both Obama and Cuomo say that the legalization of same-sex marriage should be left to individual states.