Former Secretary of State Colin Powell supports the freedom to marry

In an appearance today on The Situation Room with Wolf Blizter, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he agrees with President Barack Obama's endorsement of marriage for same-sex couples and has no problem with gay and lesbian couples marrying. Powell, who served as Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush, now joins a growing list of elected officials, civic leaders, and celebrities from both sides of the aisle who stand behind the President in supporting the freedom to marry.

Below is a full transcript of Powell's comments on The Situation Room today, courtesy of Think Progress:

BLITZER: You were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs when you installed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the U.S. military that prevented gays from serving openly. I know you changed your attitude over these years, but what about gay marriage? Are you with the President in supporting gay marriage?

POWELL: I have no problem with it, and it was the Congress that imposed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, though it was certainly my position and my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred, as you’ll recall. But as I’ve thought about gay marriage, I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is, and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married. 

Powell's announcement comes on the heels of a poll released earlier today showing record intensity for the freedom to marry, including 59% support among African Americans and 58% support among Independent voters. Today's poll was the tenth consecutive national poll to confirm majority support for ending marriage discrimination.

Freedom to Marry thanks Gen. Powell for joining the majority of Americans who, after talking with their gay friends and neighbhors, believe all families deserve the protections and security that only marriage can provide. 

Watch Blitzer's interview with Gen. Powell here: