Pressed After Obama Inaugural Address, White House Maintains That Marriage is Not a Federal Issue
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked today if the Obama administration's position on marriage has shifted following his inaugural remarks yesterday that "our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
It has not, the Washington Blade reports:
NBC News’ Kristen Welker was first to ask whether the remarks — which suggested a national call to support marriage equality — represent a shift in Obama’s way of thinking from his previous position that marriage should be left to the states and not handled at the federal level.
“The President’s position on this has been clear in terms of his personal views,” Carney replied. “He believes that individuals who love each other should not be barred from marriage. He talks about this not about religious sacraments, but civil marriage. And that continues to inform his beliefs. We have taken position on various efforts to restrict the rights of Americans, which he generally thinks is a bad idea.”
Carney indicated that Obama’s believes Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional based on the belief that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in marriage.
“One the reasons why we believe that Section 3 of DOMA is not constitutional is because we should not addressing it in that way,” Carney said.
Carney also said that the White House would not actively move to oppose Proposition 8, which sits before teh Supreme Court:
Well, as you know, the administration is not party to that case and I have nothing more for you on that. We have, as you, know through the Department of Justice taken an active role in DOMA cases, which is why I can tell you the things I told you about that. But on this Section 8 case, we’re not involved.
He later told Politico, "As you know, and I can make it clear, the president’s personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships and want to marry from doing so. The values that the President cares most deeply about are how we treat one another, and respect one another. For him, it just boils down to treating others the way that we would want to be treated ourselves and the President has made it absolutely clear that his views are about civil marriage, as I said, not religious sacraments."