Interviews with gay rights advocates and people close to President Obama’s campaign suggest it is no longer a matter of if, but when he publicly voices his support.

But Obama backers are split over whether that will happen before the November elections.

Gay marriage is already a big issue in a handful of states that have it on their ballots in November, including Maine, where Obama was headlining two fundraisers Friday. He was not expected to wade into the issue during his remarks.

The president also headlined fundraisers Friday in Vermont, one of six states, plus the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal. He did not mention the subject during his two appearances there.

Once an opponent of gay marriage, Obama declared in 2010 that his personal views on the subject were “evolving.” He has gone no further in public since then.

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