After years of tiptoeing around the issue, President Barack Obama declared on Wednesday that he is a supporter of same-sex marriage, reports the Huffington Post.
The move is somewhat historic, considering no sitting president has ever publicly backed the issue.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when 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," he said in a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
The interview will air in full on Thursday's edition of "Good Morning America."
On the local level, the announcement comes just one day before a much-anticipated ruling on whether to change the "w/spouse" discount to
The final decision will be made by the Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Board at its 5:30 p.m. meeting on Thursday.
The Nat issue was first broached by when he and his husband, Coty May, were told by Natatorium staff in January that they could not receive the w/spouse discount — which equates to a $260 annual savings — because their Washington D.C.-based marriage wasn't recognized by the Ohio Constitution.
Coty — a U.S. Army veteran who was injured while serving in Iraq — had used the city gym for physical therapy.
Following the exchange with Natatorium staff, the couple posted an online petition that drew 5,400 signatures. to Mayor Don Robart’s office in February to attract local and, subsequently, national attention in an attempt to convince city leaders to change the rules.
Tim Gorbach, the parks board chairman, has encouraged the public to attend Thursday's meeting at the Natatorium and weigh in before the board delivers its final call on the issue.