US President Barack Obama says he is “still working” on his personal view of gay marriage.

A year ago, he said his views on the issue were “evolving”.

The president, speaking to ABC News yesterday, said he supports civil unions but did not say speak out for marriage equality.

According to Associated Press, he said he had “no doubt” that the gay families he knows are “thriving” and this is influencing his views.

When asked whether his views on gay marriage could change before next year’s election, he said: “I’m still working on it.”

In 1996, during a bid to become an Illinois senator, Obama told a newspaper: “I favour legalising same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

At the weekend, the president criticised Republican presidential candidates who stayed silent when a gay soldier was booed at a debate.

Speaking at a Human Rights Campaign convention, he said: “We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since.

“You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”