EU official urges leaders to follow Obama on gay marriage
(BRUSSELS) - More European leaders should take inspiration from US President Barack Obama and back gay marriage, the European Union's home affairs commissioner said on Thursday.
Cecilia Malmstroem praised Obama on Twitter after the US leader's "important statement" in favour of same-sex marriage.
Asked by AFP whether EU leaders should follow Obama's example, she wrote on the micro-blogging website: "Definitely, I believe that a couple who is in love should be able to marry all over Europe, no matter if they're straight or gay."
"Obama is showing strong leadership on this issue," she added.
Same-sex marriage is legal in five of the EU's 27 nations: Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands, which was the first country in the world to legalise gay weddings 11 years ago.
Other EU nations offer different forms of civil unions for same-sex couples.
In a US television interview on Wednesday, Obama abandoned his earlier position that he was "evolving" on gay marriage to come out in full support of marriage equality.
The stance is risky ahead of the presidential election in November as the sudden injection of a divisive moral-social question could hit Obama's prospects in battleground states that he needs to win.
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