New York, May 15 : A week after US President Barack Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage, American weekly news magazine Newsweek has heralded him as "the first gay president" in its cover story.
The magazine’s cover features Obama with a rainbow- coloured halo over his head and the headline ’The First Gay President’.
The cover story is by writer Andrew Sullivan who talks about how he was moved to tearswhen Obama endorsed gay marriage in an interview with ABC News.
Mr Sullivan writes that Mr Obama’s life as the son of a black father and white mother has helped him understand the plight of gay men and lesbians.
"I have always sensed that he intuitively understands gays and our predicament because it so mirrors his own. And he knows how the love and sacrifice of marriage can heal, integrate, and rebuild a soul.
"The point of the gay-rights movement, after all, is not about helping people be gay. It is about creating the space for people to be themselves.
"This has been Obama’s life’s work. And he just enlarged the space in this world for so many others, trapped in different cages of identity, yearning to be released and returned to the families they love and the dignity they deserve," Mr Sullivan writes.
He said White House sources told him that after the interview with ABC News, the president felt as if a weight had been lifted off him.
"...Obama had been planning to endorse gay marriage before his re-election for a while. White House sources say that if Obama had been a state senator in New York last year when the Albany legislature legalised gay marriage, he’d have voted in favour," the article reads.
Mr Sullivan said the "news" that Obama supports gay marriage was intended to be made in a separate ABC show ’The View’ but with Vice President Joe Biden voicing his opinion on gay marriage, Mr Obama spoke about what he thinks of gay marriage with TV journalist Robin Roberts on her show.
"In the end, scrambling to catch up with his veep (Joe Biden), he turned to his fellow ESPN fan, Robin Roberts, a Christian African-American from Mississippi, to quell the sudden kerfuffle.
"Even this was calculated: to have this moment occur between two African-Americans would help Obama calm opposition within parts of the black community".
Mr Obama had said in the ABC News interview that his thought process on the issue had evolved after discussions with his friends and families.
He had said his daughters Sasha and Malia had friends whose parents were gay couples and he now "personally" believes gays and lesbians should have the right to marry.
Mr Obama’s views are in direct contrast to those of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who reiterated Saturday that he believes "marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman".