WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden, increasingly visible as a key presidential adviser on domestic issues, predicted on Friday that the country is moving toward a growing acceptance of gay marriage.
Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, Biden compared the nation's changing views on gay marriage to the same changes he has seen with the military's acceptance of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.
"I think the country is evolving, and I think there is an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage," Biden said. Same-sex marriages can be legally performed in five states and in Washington, D.C.
Biden described how he had attended meetings during which President Barack Obama sat down with military leaders to explain that the administration was going to push for repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Under the 1993 law, gays and lesbians had to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal from the military.
Those meetings with military figures helped prepare for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," said Biden, who added that he has seen "the same thing across the country in regard to the issue of marriage."
The law was repealed in the recently concluded congressional session and was signed this week by the president. The military is now examining how to implement the policy.
Biden said he agrees with Obama, who said at a news conference Wednesday that his position on gay marriage is evolving.
"At this point, what I've said is, is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have. And I think — and I think that's the right thing to do," Obama said.
"But I recognize that, from their perspective, it is not enough. And I think this is something that we're going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward," he said.