President-elect Barack Obama said he was in favour of same-sex marriage while he was a candidate for the Illinois State Senate more than a decade ago.

Comments in now-defunct gay publication, Outlines, the candidate gave strong backing to gay and lesbian weddings.

President-elect Obama did not support gay marriage during his campaign for the Presidency, but is in favour of equal rights through civil unions.

In 1996 he said: “I favour legalising same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

In 2000, Outlines merged with Windy City Times, which led with the story today.

Outlines newspaper, as with the new Windy City Times, surveyed candidates for all levels of elected office, and also reported on the results from pro-gay and progressive groups,” WCT said.

“We summarised the results in that 1996 article by Trudy Ring, but did not list exact answers to questions.

“In that article Outlines did note that Obama was a supporter of same-sex marriage; that article was never challenged or corrected by Obama.”

The President-elect said on his transition team website he supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples.

He wants to “repeal the Defence of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognised unions.”

During the campaign then-Senator Obama said:

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

“Now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

When asked whether he would support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as such, Senator Obama said:

“The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern about same-sex marriage.

“I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.”

Barack Obama will become the first African-American President of the United States when he takes the oath of office next week.