Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Jay Carney | News

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."

CarneyIt 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."

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  1. You can bet that if slavery still existed or anything that meant black people had less rights Obama would MAKE that a Federal issue. Gay marriage is no different.

    I voted for him and I am a Democrat but they can't pretend to support us with one hand but deny our rights with the other. They are just using us for our votes and our money.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jan 23, 2013 12:39:52 AM

  2. So many of these questions could have been answered if some of you had simply paid attention in your basic American Government class. You can not have taken the course that long ago. If all else fails, order a copy of "McGruders American Government American Government from Amazon. It will provide you with invaluable information for political arguments. It is the text you should have read when you were wasting your high school years smoking dope and chasing girls and sleeping your way through class while nursing that week-end hangover during your Monday morning class.

    Posted by: ***** | Jan 23, 2013 4:36:40 AM

  3. Derrik said, What type of action taken by the executive branch alone would force the states to accept marriage equality for Gay folks?

    Derrik, the job of the executive branch of the government is to enforce federal law. They get those federal laws from one of two places. Federal law is passed by the House of Representatives and then by The Senate of the United States and transmitted to the President as the Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Branch who has the power to either sign the legislation into law or prevent it from becoming law by his use of his veto power. The other place that the Chief Executive get his laws for enforcing or not enforcing is from the rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States when they have declared a law to be either constitutional or unconstitutional. If the law is unconstitutional, the Court informs the executive branch and orders the executive branch to no longer consider the law to be a part of the US Codes.
    Without specific instructions from the Congress and his signature on a law, there is nothing that the President can do about marriage equality.
    To get down to brass tacks, without specific instructions from the Supreme Court of the United States, based upon some constitutional principle or from the Congress of the United States, there is nothing that the Chief Executive can do except express his personal opinion on the subject.

    Posted by: ***** | Jan 23, 2013 5:04:44 AM

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