Former Secretary of State Colin Powell supports same-sex marriage — and he doesn’t necessarily believe the issue should be left up to states.
“I have no problems with it,” Powell, who served under George W. Bush, says in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that airs in full at 5 p.m. Wednesday. “I don’t see any reason not to say that [same-sex couples] should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, saying, “For me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married and I continue to believe that this is an issue that is going to be worked out at a local level.”
“In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that’s called marriage,” Powell said Tuesday, “and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president’s decision.”
Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was implemented in 1993. The retired four-star general said Wednesday that he thought of DADT as a compromise that improved the status quo at the time.
“It was the Congress that imposed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ it was certainly my position, my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred,” Powell told Blitzer.
In February 2010, Powell announced that he supported the repeal of DADT.
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” said Powell at the time.