Sen. Barack Obama made his first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday.
Ellen asked Obama about his position on marriage equality.
“You know what I would do is immediately set up a civil union that is equal in federal rights so that all the states, all the rights that are conferred by the states are the same for gays and lesbians, same sex couples as for any other couple,” he said. “In terms of marriage, what I would do is I would say each religious denomination can make their own decision.”
He further explained the semantics involved with the marriage equality debate at a rally in Iowa: “You want the word marriage and I believe that the issue of marriage has become so entangled – the word marriage has become so entangled with religion – that it makes more sense for me as president, with that authority, to talk about the civil rights that are conferred with civil unions. Individual denominations should make the decisions about what to recognize as a marriage.”