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Obama raises money off gay-marriage decision

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Fresh off completing his “evolution” on gay marriage, President Obama used his newfound stance to help raise funds late Wednesday.

His campaign sent out an email appeal for money touting his new “direct answer” to the question of gay marriage, asking supporters, “if you can, please donate today.”

After years of straddling the issue, saying he didn’t entirely agree with gay marriage supporters or opponents, Mr. Obama on Wednesday gave an interview where he said he’d finally settled his mind and embraced gay marriage.

“I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry,” he said in his email to supporters, explaining that he came to that view after watching his daughters and knowing they have friends who are being raised by same-sex couples.

“So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry,” Mr. Obama said — though he also said he does not believe the federal government should try to meddle with states that want to enact their own laws preserving the traditional definition of marriage.

Mr. Obama has a big-dollar fundraiser scheduled Thursday at the home of actor George Clooney, and some political analysts said the president’s move on gay marriage eases what might otherwise have been a bit of a rough patch for him.

“It does a lot financially,” said former Rep. Tom Davis, who is now chairman of the Republican Main Street Partnership. “He’s going to Clooney’s thing tonight. You don’t want to go in there with everybody mumbling about it. If you’re going to do it, it’s good timing for it.”

But Mr. Davis said the president’s move also crystallizes some of the difficulties Mr. Obama will have reaching states like North Carolina, where voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment enshrining traditional marriage.

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