Nevada Senator Harry Reid said he would vote to legalize same-sex marriages.
The Senate Majority Leader told reporters he met with on Thursday in Washington, DC that he would vote in favor of the controversial issue because it’s a view that ‘will carry the future.’
Reid’s comments, which signaled a change in his views after once voting to ban the measure in Nevada, comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s historic announcement this week that he supports gay marriage.
The lawmaker said during the meeting that his personal beliefs are that marriage should be between a man and a woman, the Las Vegas Review-Journal report.
But family members convinced him that society should accept equality in marriage for gay couples.
Reid, however, supported the Nevada constitutional amendment to outlaw such unions and voted for a federal law that said marriage was between a man and a woman.
The senator’s remarks follow Obama’s decision to voice his support for gay marriage in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday.
Obama’s announcement is a political calculation for his reelection campaign, an attempt to draw a sharp line between himself and Republican Mitt Romney, who opposes gay marriage.
Following his announcement, re-election crusade saw a massive spike in donations as gay donors lined up to pour money into his campaign.
BuzzFeed reported that Obama’s campaign collected an astonishing $1million within 90 minutes after the ABC News interview aired.
Obama had long been suspected of holding this view, but was thought to be afraid to make it public because of the political backlash.
The revelation came the same week voters in the key battleground state of North Carolina approved a strict new ban on same-sex marriage. The measure, which prohibits any civil or domestic benefits for gay couples, passed by a landslide with 61 per cent of the vote.
‘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,’ the president said.
Obama claims the change is a personal one only, and that he he still believes the issue of gay marriage should be left up to the states.
Currently, six states allow gay couples to wed and 30 states have constitutional amendments explicitly banning it.
Obama had been under intense pressure to clarify his view toward gay marriage after Vice President Joe Biden publicly supported it on Sunday.
Mr Biden said: ‘I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual – men and women marrying – 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,’ Biden said on Meet the Press.
Obama seems to be making an election-year political gamble by directly challenging Mitt Romney, his Republican opponent in November.
Romney has said he does not support people from the same gender marrying each other.