U.S. vice president Joe Biden says positive consensus on same-sex marriage is 'inevitable'

Friday, December 24, 2010

In an interview on the United States television show Good Morning America today, U.S. vice president Joe Biden said that a positive consensus on same-sex marriage is "inevitable" as the country "evolves."

[There is] inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage. I think the country's evolving.

—Joe Biden

"[There is] inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage. I think the country's evolving. And I think you're going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA," said Biden.

Biden's remarks come just days after U.S. president Barack Obama signed into law, the repeal of Don't ask, don't tell (DADT). The repeal, which was signed by Obama on Thursday, will now allow gay and lesbian service members to serve openly in the country's military, without fear that they will be discharged from service. A report by The Pentagon earlier this month concluded most U.S. service personnel do not believe reform of the rules on gays and lesbians serving in the military would affect morale, unit cohesion or military effectiveness. The report found only 30% believed that changing the law would have a negative effect. DADT, in effect for 17 years, was repealed by the United States Senate on Saturday. The military will cease enforcement of the policy in 60 days time, after the Pentagon has certified to Congress that it, and the military are ready to implement the new law.

"This is a very good day," Obama told a crowd of soldiers and senior military officials on Thursday. "This morning I'm proud to sign a law that will bring an end to 'don't ask, don't tell'. No longer will tens of thousands of Americans be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country that they love." Obama added that the government would "not drag their feet" and they were "committed to implementing this change swiftly and efficiently."

Currently, same-sex marriage is only legal in five of the 50 U.S. states; Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, including the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.). In 2008, same-sex marriage was banned in California after voters approved Proposition 8. It was later overturned by a federal judge in San Francisco who deemed the measure unconstitutional.