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    In shift, Obama backs gay marriage

    President Obama declared today that he supports gay marriage, reversing his longstanding public statements of supporting equal rights for gay couples that stopped just short of marriage.

    In explaining his previous stance, Obama told ABC News, “I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gays and lesbians should be treated fairly and equally,” citing the reversal of the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy that barred openly gay servicemen and women from serving in the military, and the federal government no longer defending the Defense Against Marriage Act.

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