Amid rumors that President Obama will clarify his position on same-sex marriage during an interview Wednesday with ABC's Robin Roberts, the White House has announced it has canceled their daily press briefing.
No reason was given for the announcement, but earlier this week White House press secretary Jay Carney endured repeated questions from reporters about Obama's stance. The questions were prompted by a recent statement by Vice President Joe Biden that he is "entirely comfortable" with gay marriage, while the president's most recent statement on the issue, delivered in 2010, was that while he opposes gay marriage, his position is "evolving."
Many gay marriage advocates have been disappointed with Obama's stance, despite his administration's efforts to further gay rights in other areas, notably repealing the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that banned openly gay service members and dropping the federal government's defense of the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
The hot-button social issue is politically difficult for Obama, as he tries to woo independent voters in key swing states. Those states include North Carolina, where voters soundly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage Tuesday. Obama narrowly won the state in 2008 and Democrats have identified it as a potential battleground state in 2012. But many of Obama's supporters—and fundraisers—would like to see him be more supportive on the issue.
The presidential interview is scheduled to air Wednesday on ABC World News, but word of the president's answer will likely leak out ahead of the airing.
Obama's likely GOP rival, Mitt Romney, recently re-affirmed his position against same-sex marriage and supports a federal constitutional ban on the practice.
A recent Gallup poll show the country split on the issue, with 50 percent of voters approving of it, A Pew Research Center Survey pegs support at 47 percent in 2012, up from 35 percent in 2001.
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Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.