Joe Biden, the US vice-president, says he thinks gay marriage is “inevitable”.
Speaking on Good Morning America today, he said he agreed with President Obama’s statement that his views on the issue were “evolving”.
Mr Biden told anchor George Stephanopoulos that there was an “inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage”.
“I think the country’s evolving,” he said. “And I think you’re going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so called DOMA [Defence of Marriage Act].”
DOMA prohibits federal government from recognising gay marriage, meaning that even if states allow the practice, gay couples still cannot access federal benefits.
Mr Biden added that attitudes had changed to openly gay soldiers and that consensus was beginning to turn in favour of gay marriage.
He said that gay troops were now “widely accepted” and “the same thing is happening now in regard to the issue of marriage.”
This week, President Obama signed a bill to repeal the ban on out gay troops but said he was still considering the issue of marriage equality.
“This is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with,” he said.
“What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.”
During his election campaign, Obama called the Defence of Marriage Act “abhorrent” but said he did not support marriage equality for gay couples.
Six US states allow gay couples to marry. However, 33 have constitutional bans on the practice.