"Joe, I do not intend to make big news sitting here with the five of you, as wonderful as you guys are," Obama said.
"I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage," he said.
But I also think you're right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.
And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today.
"The one thing I will say today is I think it's pretty clear where the trend lines are going," he added.
Obama also said his administration has a strategy for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell during the lame-duck session of Congress this fall. And he urged the Log Cabin Republicans -- who brought the lawsuit that lead to DADT being ruled unconstitutional and whom he met with on Tuesday -- to put their energies into getting Republican "yes" votes on repeal.
"You're financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate," he said. "And I said directly to the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday, I said, that can't be that hard. Get me those votes."