Vice President Joe Biden (above) endorsed same-sex marriage on Meet the Press Sunday morning, becoming the highest ranking American official to back marriage for gay and lesbian people. Biden has backed equal rights for the LGBT community throughout his career, but this is the first time he has publicly acknowledged his support of full marriage rights. “His comments signify a split within the Obama administration,” writes Igor Volsky for ThinkProgress, “and may pave the way for President Obama — who says he supports civil unions and is still evolving on the matter — to also embrace equality.”

Biden told host David Gregory that he is “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women.” However, he also added that “the President sets the policy” and did not say if he would support marriage in a second term.

When Gregory asked Biden if his views had evolved, Biden responded with “The good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.”

Gregory followed up by asking, “You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?” Biden responded, “Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that. […] I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that is different and now they’re beginning to understand.”



Media: Video: YouTube; Biden: Facebook