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Vice President Joe Biden sees growing acceptance of gay marriage

Joe Biden compares the nation's evolving views on gay marriage to the military's acceptance of gays and lesbians serving openly.

December 25, 2010|By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

Vice President Joe Biden, increasingly visible as a key presidential advisor on domestic issues, predicted Friday that the country was moving toward a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Biden compared the nation's changing views on gay marriage to changes in the military's acceptance of gays and lesbians serving openly.

"I think the country is evolving, and I think there is an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage," Biden said. Same-sex marriages are legal in five states and the District of Columbia.

Biden described attending meetings where President Obama sat down with military leaders to explain that the administration was going to push for repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Under the 1993 law, gays and lesbians had to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal from the military.

Those meetings with top brass helped prepare the military for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," said Biden, who added that he saw "the same thing across the country in regard to the issue of marriage."

The law was repealed in the recently concluded congressional session and was signed this week by Obama. The military is now examining how to implement the policy.

Biden said he agreed with the president, who said at a news conference Wednesday that his position on same-sex marriage was evolving.

"At this point … my base line is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. And I think — and I think that's the right thing to do," Obama said.

"But I recognize that, from their perspective, it is not enough. And I think this is something that we're going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward," he said.

michael.muskal@latimes.com

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