New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has broken a long silence on gay marriage and left the door open for making it legal.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press by his press secretary on Thursday, Key said he is "not personally opposed to gay marriage." He previously declined to publicly state a position.

Key added that gay marriage is not currently on the government's agenda. He did not mention President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday that he now supports same-sex marriage.

David Shearer, the leader of New Zealand's opposition Labour Party, also expressed support for gay marriage Thursday in principle, though he said he would have to see legislation before offering support.

Gay couples in New Zealand currently can form civil unions.