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TheStreet Open House

President Obama Backs Gay Marriage

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama expressed support for same-sex marriage on Wednesday.

The announcement came in an interview with ABC News as the president said he thought about all his friends, family, neighbors and staff who are in committed relationships and raising kids. He also pointed to soldiers in the military.

Obama officially announces support of same-sex marriage

" W hen I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, 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.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sent out an email to announce his party wouldn't change its position.

"While President Obama has played politics on this issue, the Republican Party and our presumptive nominee Mitt Romney have been clear. We support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman and would oppose any attempts to change that," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement.

Romney has explicitly stated that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

"As president, Mitt will ... also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman," Romney's campaign Web site says .

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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