President Barack Obama “evolving” from supporting civil unions to marriage for gay and lesbian couples has been named a top Democratic moment of 2012 by MSNBC.

Obama endorsed gay marriage in May, just days after North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

“I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama explained in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. “I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

In an end-of-the-year profile with Time declaring Obama its “person of the year,” the president including his support for gay rights as one of his proudest achievements.

“One of the things that I'm very proud of during my first four years is I think I've helped to solidify this incredibly rapid transformation in people's attitudes around LGBT issues – how we think about gays and lesbians and transgender persons,” Obama said. “A lot of that just has to do with the fact that if you talk to Malia [Obama], the idea of making an anti-gay remark at her school is just unimaginable. They just don't get that.”