President Barack Obama is being hailed as America’s ‘First Gay President’ on the front cover of a major American news magazine.
The cover, which shows the President sporting a rainbow-coloured halo, follows his controversial endorsement of same-sex marriage last week.
On Wednesday he told a US TV channel that “it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married”.
Critics accused President Obama, who is married with children, of backing the change for political reasons and to garner funding from homosexual donors.
The President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage prompted Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine, to ditch its previous cover story in favour of the Obama story.
“Obama’s earned every stripe in this haloed rainbow,” said Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and its online counterpart The Daily Beast.
In the magazine’s accompanying article Andrew Sullivan says that the President’s decision to “come out” in favour of the redefinition of marriage was well calculated.
On Monday when asked what the President thought about the cover, White House press secretary Jay Carney, said: “I don’t know if he’s seen it and I haven’t spoken to him about it.”
President Obama’s controversial endorsement of same-sex marriage comes as the United States prepares for a national election later this year.
The issue is likely to prove highly divisive, with presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposing any change to the existing definition of marriage.
Last week in the US state of North Carolina voters backed a constitutional amendment which protects the traditional definition of marriage. The support for marriage included significant numbers of Democrat voters.
Since 1998, in every state where citizens have had the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage, they have backed the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The news comes amidst concern over the Westminster Government’s attempt to rewrite the definition of marriage in Britain.