President Barack Obama on Friday said he won't push for gay marriage if given a second term.

During a live interview with MTV inside the White House, the president insisted the issue should be settled by the states.

“First of all, I've been very clear about my belief that same-sex couples have to be treated before the eyes of the law the same way as heterosexual couples,” Obama said. “I think that's the right thing to do.”

“But what I've also said is, historically, marriages have been defined at the state level. And there's a conversation going on … there's some states that are still having the debate. And I think for us to try to legislate federally into this is probably the wrong way to go.”

Obama added that he expects the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which prohibits federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

He added that, if re-elected he would “keep on pushing as hard as I can [on gay rights], but what's really going to change this is the fact that young people, their attitudes … are going to reflect the future instead of the past.”

The interview comes a day after Obama endorsed three state referendums which would either legalize or uphold marriage laws in Maine, Maryland and Washington state.