President Obama on Wednesday endorsed same-sex marriages, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to take that position following days of speculation about his “evolving” stance on the issue.

The president used a hastily called TV interview to make his position clear.

“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 told ABC News.

The president, who was previously opposed to the unions, explained that he’s gone through an “evolution.” Obama said he initially thought civil unions would suffice as a vehicle to give same-sex couples the rights commensurate with those of heterosexual couples. “I’d hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” he said.

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