OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.--Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney affirmed his belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and declined to comment on President Obama’s announcement earlier in the day that he now supports same-sex marriage.
“I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor and that I expressed many times. I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” Romney told reporters and about 30 supporters at an appearance with Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.
Romney steered clear of expressing an opinion on Obama’s decision to reverse his earlier opposition to gay marriage. Obama told ABC News, in an interview to be aired on World News with Diane Sawyer on Wednesday evening, that he is now convinced that gay marriage should be legal, although states should be allowed to make their own decisions.
“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,” Obama said.
Romney called same-sex marriage a “tender and sensitive topic,” and he acknowledged that not everyone agrees with him. Decisions about hospital-visitation rights and other benefits should be determined by the states, he said. “But my view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman.”
Romney has signed a pledge authored by the National Organization for Marriage in support of a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Earlier on Wednesday, Romney told the CBS affiliate KCNC in Denver: “My position is the same on gay marriage as it’s been well, from the beginning, and that is that marriage is a relation between a man and a woman. That’s the posture that I had as governor and I have that today.”
Asked why he supported domestic partnerships but not civil unions, Romney said, “If a civil union is identical to marriage other than in the name, I don’t support that. But I certainly recognize that hospital-visitation rights and benefits of that nature may well be appropriate. And states are able to make provisions for determination of those kinds of rights as well as, if you will, benefits that might accrue to state workers.”
Obama had come under pressure this week to clarify his position after his vice president over the weekend unexpectedly came out in support of gay marriage. Obama had said in the past that his views on the matter were “evolving,” but then came out in support of same-sex marriage in a taped interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.
Sarah Huisenga contributed contributed to this article.