Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends.
Obama has previously said his personal views of gay marriage were evolving, a stance that frustrated gay rights supporters.
Obama revealed his support for gay marriage in an interview.
Here in Lincoln, the news caused to very different reactions.
Al Riskowski Executive Director of the Nebraska Family Council says, "I was surprised, marriage is one of those very, very important issues, it's the fabric of our society and by definition it's discriminatory."
Tyler Richard is President of Outlinc an LGBT organization says, "I'm not surprised at all, the public opinion on this issue has been clearly changing over the course of the past several years."
Richard says as more and more people know someone in the LGBT community, there's been a shift in thinking in society. And the news is welcomed.
He says, "Many who are in loving committed relationships. It is wonderful that our president has said these committed relationships should be recognized."
Riskowski says redefining marriage is wrong.
"What the president is talking about is changing marriage, what North Carolina stated is we want to maintain what has been here in our country, a definition of marriage between a man and a woman."
The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln uses the facts below to express the teaching of the Catholic Church on the matter of same-gender marriage.
"The Catholic Church teaches what has been revealed by Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Scriptures from the time of Christ, and that is that marriage consists in the union of one man and one woman.
This is a teaching that we believe cannot be changed by anyone, including the President of the United States.
A legal arrangement of some kind between two people of the same gender would be contrary to natural law and Divine law, and thus would not be marriage, even if it were declared by law to be so.
Because we do not condone any sexual relations that take place outside of the context of marriage between a man and a woman, formal legalization of any such activity, no matter what the gender or number of the participants, is something that we would oppose and would not recognize."