HEADLINE: Did Biden go 'rogue' on gay marriage?
CAPTION: Vice President Biden says he's now "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage. But the White House says he's not out ahead of President Obama, who's said his own position on this issue is still "evolving." (May 7)
   (VO: Obama cheering/waving from Saturday election rally...)
   Has President Obama just been handed a new political headache by the man he shares the ticket with?
   (VO: FILE Biden, then pull back or reveal graphic - maybe use full bident quote in 2 steps "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.")
   In a weekend TV interview, Vice President Biden declared he's "absolutely comfortable" with "men marrying men" and "women marrying" -- and they should have the "same exact rights" as heterosexual couples.
   (VO: To Solmonese)
   Gay rights groups cheered the remark.
   (SOT/Joe Solmonese, president, Human Rights Campaign - :30 from start)
   "Most people heard what he had to say and heart it as his personal support for same sex marriage."
   (VO: To WH Briefing)
   But the White House insisted Biden was NOT staking out new ground.
   (SOT/Jay Carney - 20:50 from "good afternoon")
   "Little bit of an overreaction here. The vice president supports and made clear he supports the president's policies"
   (VO: FILE Obama)
   And it says Obama stands by his assertion of two Decembers ago that his views on gay marriage are "evolving."
   (Standup bridge - last take - 15:23:50)
   The president's been walking a fine line on this issue -- loudly cheering increasing acceptance of gay couples, but studiosly avoiding an outright endorsement of gay marriage that could trigger a stampede of gay-rights opponents to the polls.
   (VO: FILE Arne Duncan)
   Complicating things: Education Secretary Arne Duncan now says flat-out he supports same-sex marriage.
   (VO: FILE pro-gay-rights demos)
   For Obama, gay-rights issues have been problematic -- from the twists and turns of the military's ban on openly gay troops -- to a not-yet-issued order barring discrimination by federal contractors. 
   (VO: More FILE Obama)
   But Obama still wins widespread plaudits -- and campaign donations -- from gay and lesbian voters.
   "And that's because of his unparalleled record in support of LGBT rights. That includes the fight to repeal, successfully, don't-ask-don't tell"
   (VO: FILE Romney)
   And aides say it's light-years better than Mitt Romney's flat-out opposition to same-sex marriage.
   (VO: Back to Solmonese)
   But how much longer can it take to "evolve"?
   (SOT/Solmonese - 3:50 from start)
   "We continue to press, we continue to push and we continue to do everything we can to inspire and compel this president to come out in favor of marriage equality."
   (VO: Back to FILE gay rights marchers)
   Question is: will backers like these continue marching to the polls if he doesn't before November. 
   MS, AP, WH

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