MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twin Cities businessman Wheelock Whitney said Wednesday that he is pleased President Barack Obama now supports same-sex marriage, ending months of equivocation on a subject with powerful election-year consequences.

Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends.

READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Tornado Warnings Expire, But Severe Storms Still A Threat

Obama previously said his views of gay marriage were evolving, a stance that frustrated gay rights supporters.

READ MORE: Deputy Opens Fire During Struggle With Suspect Near Litchfield, Sheriff Says

Whitney said he’s proud of the president.

“He’s been talking about it for some time, and it appeared he was moving in that direction,” Whitney said. “I thinks it’s a good move and I’m proud of him.”

MORE NEWS: 72-Year-Old Fargo Woman Killed In Douglas County Crash

Whitney said he hopes the president’s move will help Minnesota defeat the Marriage Amendment in the fall.