Colin Powell says he supports gay marriage
Former secretary of state says he's behind Obama on issue
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell supports gay marriage, he said in an interview with with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.
"I have no problem with it," Powell said in the interview, which aired on "The Situation Room" Wednesday evening. "In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage, and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me it is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president's decision."
Though Gen. Powell is behind the President supporting same-sex marriage, he has declined to endorse him for re-election, saying that Obama did not focus enough on repairing America's lagging economy.
Barack Obama announced that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, a change in his official position on the issue, in early May.
Powell's feelings on the subject seem to have evolved as well: The retired four-star general was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, was put into effect in 1993, according to Politico.
"It was the Congress that imposed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' it was certainly my position, my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred," Powell told Blitzer, saying that the rule was seen as a compromise at the time.
However, Powell supported the repeal of DADT in 2010, saying that “In the almost 17 years since the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” Politico reported.
While Obama maintains that same-sex marriage should be left up to the individual states to decide, Powell acknowledged that marriage could be considered a federal issue as well.
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“I don’t see any reason not to say that [same-sex couples] should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country," the general said, Politico reported. "I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones. And they are as stable a family as my family is. And they raise children. And so I don't see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married."
He also acknowledged religious objections to allowing gays and lesbians to marry, but spoke of the issue as a matter of public policy, CNN reported.
"I respect the fact that many denominations have different points of view with respect to gay marriage and they can hold that in the sanctity in the place of their religion and not bless them or solemnize them," Powell said.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.