<VIDEO> WASHINGTON (AP) - No longer sitting on the fence, President Barack Obama is declaring his unequivocal support for gay marriage.
The historic announcement, the first by any sitting U.S. president, is expected to give the polarizing social issue a more prominent role in the 2012 race for the White House.
Republican nominee apparent Mitt Romney was quick to disagree with the president. Romney, campaigning in Oklahoma, said he believes that "marriage is between a man and a woman."
Obama revealed his decision in an ABC News interview, which took place three days after Vice President Joe Biden said he was completely comfortable with the idea of gays marrying. It also occurred a day after voters in North Carolina, a potential fall battleground, approved a state constitutional amendment opposing same-sex unions.
Democratic supporters claim Obama's decision could energize huge swaths of the party, including young people.