Tim Kaine on Tuesday refused to say whether he supports legalizing gay marriage.

Kaine, a former governor of Virginia who is running for the U.S. Senate, skirted around the issue when asked by reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the moderate group Third Way, The Washington Post reported.

“The underlying issue, should committed couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities, and the answer to that is an unequivocal yes,” the Democrat said, then added that he also opposed in 2006 passage of Virginia's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

“I believe in the legal equality of relationships,” Kaine said. “The debate about, you know, is it marriage? Is it civil union? Is it domestic partnership? I just kind of let that one go and say should committed couples be treated the same by law, and I think the answer is yes.”

“Relationship equality is a civil right,” he answered when asked whether marriage is a civil right.

Kaine also dodged a question on whether his position on gay marriage differed from that of president Obama's stated “evolution” on the issue.

“People like to ding the president on that word but the answer is, it's exactly what's happening in society,” he said.