In His Own Words: Vice President Biden's Evolving View on Gay Marriage

Vice President Biden said his view on gay marriage, much like the president's, is evolving. Biden went as far to say that gay marriage is "inevitable," in an interview that aired Friday on ABC's Good Morning America.

This is contrast to what the vice president has said in the past, where he noted he either didn't know or that he didn't think that gay marriage would happen that soon. Back at a campaign stop in 2007, he even said he didn't see it becoming a reality in the next five years.

The vice president and President Obama have both supported the civil union route rather than gay marriage.

In recent months Obama also has signaled his view might be changing, and on Wednesday at a press conference said it's something he struggles with. Both Biden and Obama supported the repeal of the military's policy of "don't ask don't tell," which the president signed earlier this week. Many on the left, while supportive of the initiatives this administration has done on gay issues, also charge that he hasn't done enough.

Here's a look at some previous statements from Biden on gay marriage, in his own words:

Sen. Biden Is Interviewed on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" talking about California's Proposition 8 10/20/2008

BIDEN: [I'd] clearly vote against Prop. 8.

BIDEN: And, by the way, Barack and I both opposed a similar attempt, nationally, where there was an attempt to talk about a constitutional amendment, which I think is -- I think is regressive; I think it's unfair.

Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin Participate in Vice Presidential Candidates Debate -- 10/2/2008

IFILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage»?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

The bottom line though is, and I'm glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really don't have a difference.

Sen. Biden Delivers Remarks at a Campaign Event (Iowa) 2/2/2007

QUESTION:I have to ask you this because it does affect me and my family directly. But if, in the next five years, if you're president, do you see gay marriage in the future?

BIDEN: I don't. Here's what I do see. I see an absolute guarantee of civil union with the exact same rights. Now, here's the dilemma. Here's the dilemma. The truth of the matter is states have made legal, through licensing, the performance of marriage what religions have essentially consecrated. That's how they view it.

I think to the degree we push -- and my wife is strongly in disagreement with me here -- to the degree we push the word and term marriage is the degree to which we go into a realm that implicates what religions are required to say constitutes marriage.

But I guarantee, in my presidency, will be continuation of my career, that I believe the federal government has an absolute constitutional responsibility to eliminate any and all impediments that make any distinction in the law between a gay couple and a straight couple, period. Period. Visitation, inheritance, custody, all of those issues, without a single, solitary distinction made, that is what I think is an affirmative obligation, a civil right, a civil liberty.


Biden: Asked in 2003 whether gay marriage is inevitable, said: "I'm not sure. I think probably it is." Opposed constitutional amendment against it.

(Sources: CQ, AP)