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WASHINGTON — As the debate on whether President Obama supports same-sex marriage or not continues, a White House official released a statement on his current stance on the matter.

“Although the President believes that this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also firmly believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal protection under the law,” the emailed statement said.

The Huffington Post Reports:

Respect for states’ rights with regards to marriage is a position shared by many prominent officials and politicians, including Republicans like Dick Cheney. While it falls far short of a full-throated endorsement of same-sex marriage — a gap that will keep LGBT activists rankled — as it comes just days before Thursday gala, the White House official’s statement offers both an indication of where Obama’s evolution currently stands and a hint as to how the president will handle the inquiries that will be coming his way.

Obama is reportedly looking for politically comfortable ways to take a more open stance on same-sex marriage. Stressing states’ rights, with a basic federal guarantee of benefits for same-sex couples, could be the path he’s looking for.

This comes at a time when the political discourse on same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high, as the state of New York is close to passing a bill that would legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

Many considered Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage vague as Press Secretary Jay Carney has repeatedly said that the president’s position on the issue is “evolving.”

Nevertheless, Obama is expected to host a high-profile fundraiser at an LGBT gala in New York City on Thursday.

Read More At HuffingtonPost.com

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