Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8 | Supreme Court

President Obama Speaks Out About Why He is Opposing Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court: VIDEO


At a news conference this afternoon, President Obama was asked about his administration's amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging it to strike down Proposition 8.

The specific question presented before the Court right now is whether Prop 8 and the California law is unconstitutional and what we’ve done is we’ve put forward a basic principle which applies to all equal protection cases. Whenever a particular group is being discriminated against, the court asks the question, what is the rational for this. And it better be a good reason. And if you don’t have a good reason, we’re going to strike it down.


And be sure to check out our legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman's ANALYSIS of the brief HERE.

(via think progress)

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  1. You can bet that if the case involved discrimination against Blacks, Obama would have argued for (marriage) equality everywhere in the US as a fundamental constitutional right. Bigot Obama does not get that "separate but equal" is still unequal. The right to marry in California but not the other 40 or so states is not equality. Plus, Obama failed to argue that Gays are a suspect class, which they clearly are. While I do not give credit to the Republicans at all (who have been as bigoted as Obama and the Democrats on Gay rights) it is telling that former Republican Solicitor General Ted Olson went the whole 9 yards in arguing for Gay marriage equality. Obama insults every Gay American with his half-ass support, and every Straight American who subscribes to MLK, Jr.'s notion of equality.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Mar 1, 2013 1:32:05 PM

  2. I am incredibly proud to call Obama my president. Thank you for your support, and for helping the rest of our country to recognize the importance of equality for gay people.

    PS. don't feed the trolls.

    Posted by: Chip | Mar 1, 2013 1:37:30 PM

  3. Right with Chip. I'm so glad Obama was reelected. Without him, we wouldn't be gaining the momentum we have been.

    Posted by: Mikey | Mar 1, 2013 1:45:32 PM

  4. Jesus Christ! Will you give it a rest James. You been singing that some tired song for months now and it's time to change the tune already.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 1, 2013 1:45:54 PM

  5. Who did voted for in 2012 , James ?
    Maybe James should run for the presidency and have things the way James wants it.

    Posted by: Andre | Mar 1, 2013 1:57:06 PM

  6. What he says at 3:56 is extremely encouraging and dissolves any doubt I had about the argument in his brief.

    Posted by: Kyle | Mar 1, 2013 2:04:21 PM

  7. To be proud of a president who doesn't fully support equality for Gays is to support inequality for Gays.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Mar 1, 2013 2:08:21 PM

  8. "The Court may decide that if it doesn't apply in this case it probably can't apply in any case--there's no good reason for it. That's--If I were on the Court, that would probably be the view I put forward. But I'm not a judge, I'm the President."

    Posted by: Kyle | Mar 1, 2013 2:09:23 PM

  9. The thing is Obama says one thing and DOES another. What he is saying during this presser is different from what was WRITTEN on the brief.

    The equal protection clause cannot only apply to eight states, that is just stupid and downright nonsense. Obama is trying to have it both ways by satisfying the gay base and the democratic party who say that this is a "states right" issue. Not it is NOT.

    I understand there people who do not understand what Obama has just done, that is because these people are blinded by pure ideology and partisanship and are not aware of the LEGAL FACTS presented by 9th circuit, Judge Walker and Ted Olson and Obama is giving all of that legal precedent the finger.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Mar 1, 2013 2:15:37 PM

  10. "To be proud of a president who doesn't fully support equality for Gays is to support inequality for Gays."—James E. Pietrangelo, II

    And yet I bet you didn't vote for Al Sharpton back in 2004 when he was a presidential candidate who had voiced full support for marriage equality, did you, James?

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 1, 2013 2:15:56 PM

  11. trying to bring attention to conservative support, other article stated the cato brief was exciting on race and did not mention this article and associated brief.

    Posted by: Susan | Mar 1, 2013 2:23:52 PM

  12. Andre says: 'Maybe James should run for the presidency and have things the way James wants it.'
    Well, maybe Obama should do what HE promised to his gay base. What about giving green cards to bi-national couples? Nope, Napolitano caved to Beohner. What about the ENDA executive order that HE promised since 2008 for federal contractors? Or is that no longer important to the Obama gay worshipers? If not, then what else are these gays willing to sacrifice at Obama's altar on our behalf?

    There is nothing wrong with challenging someone who claims to be on our side but still has not done anything tangible to prove his leadership in this regard.

    Call me crazy but I don't think James is the real problem here.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Mar 1, 2013 2:24:53 PM

  13. I for one am tired and dismayed with the perpetually disenfranchised gay activists who criticize Obama no matter what move he makes.

    Gay activist on TH: "Not enough! He's a fraud! We want MORE! He's playing a duplicitous game! Everything from this administration is freaking NONSENSE! We're getting steamrolled! Look at me!"

    Posted by: will | Mar 1, 2013 2:25:22 PM

  14. James, the Obama administration is answering the question presented by SCOTUS, pertaining to California's Prop 8 case. Favorably, and honorably, may I add. Absolutely nothing in this to complain about!

    Posted by: SearchCz | Mar 1, 2013 2:26:30 PM

  15. It's all about getting Kennedy (and maybe even Roberts) to sign on. And the brief does a brilliant job of playing to them without scaring them off.

    And please don't feed the ridiculous trolls here.

    It's a great day. And this brief, together with the amazing republican signed brief, I actually believe we're very likely to win the vote at least 5-4.

    Posted by: Dw | Mar 1, 2013 2:31:05 PM

  16. 24play: I love how people like you cannot refute my argument so you switch to some ridiculous ad hominem comment. You can't defend Obama's shameful support for inequality so you try to switch the blame to me by "betting" that I didn't vote for Sharpton who you say did support full equality. The fact remains that Obama, not me, yet again failed to support full equality for Gays.

    As for Sharpton, I would never have voted for a bigot like him. He is as racist against Whites and Jews as David Duke is against Blacks and Jews.

    I don't and won't support anyone who discriminates against anyone. I actually practice MLK, Jr.'s philosophy of equality.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Mar 1, 2013 2:32:32 PM

  17. "...Obama's shameful support for inequality..."

    This is Orwellian. Misinformation, denial of truth, willful manipulation of the past.

    Posted by: will | Mar 1, 2013 2:37:58 PM

  18. Hollingsworth -- Issue: 1) Whether the EP Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and (2) whether petitioners have standing under Article III, § 2 of the Constitution in this case.

    The Justice Department's brief addressed the questions asked.

    Posted by: Belthazar | Mar 1, 2013 2:44:41 PM

  19. @DW
    You are correct, all of this hanging on the shoulders of Kennedy and Roberts. But I disagree with the notion that Obama's silly brief is going to impact these justices. The central argument of the brief was basically awkward and alien to legal and constitutional questions of this case. I think the Cato brief is more interesting being that Kennedy listens to them 99.8% of the time. I think that is more exciting. Kennedy and Roberts don't always listen to the white house.

    You are basically defending Obama against the fact that he as an elected official has made promises to the gay community that he so far hasn't kept. He should have been honest and said "I can't do that" - end of story; and then we vote accordingly at the dem primary. If you step back and actually read the brief and compare it to the facts of the case you would understand the position (based on FACTS not IDEOLOGY) that I have taken.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Mar 1, 2013 2:46:56 PM

  20. There is no QUESTION in my mind that Kennndy will support the striking down of Prop 8. The majority opinion of "Lawrence v. Texas" is HIS. And I think we have Roberts, too.

    The question is not: will they strike down or won't they? The votes are there. It's the narrowness (scope)of the decision. Will it apply to CA only or will it have national implications?

    Posted by: will | Mar 1, 2013 2:55:43 PM

  21. Addressing, whether [Marriage] is a states right issue. For the following reasons, I believe marriage is a State's right issue [10th Amend...powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people]. Further, I believe it is a stretch to use the "Necessary and Proper Clause" to grant the Federal Government power over defining Marriage, which has historically rested with States.

    States (banning marriage equality), I believe it comes down to an EP [14th] argument. States may have the right to define 'marriage', but EP prevents disparate treatment and impact in that definition. IMO, EP will also get you pass other States "Public Policy Doctrine", as to the application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

    Posted by: Belthazar | Mar 1, 2013 2:56:13 PM

  22. James and Jose probably didn't vote. Such enactors of positive change, these trolls.

    Posted by: MateoM | Mar 1, 2013 2:57:57 PM

  23. Will: If some Republican president or high official had said in the 1950s and 60s that Blacks should be fully equal only in all "northern states" but not in "southern states," or if some Republican made that argument today, you'd be (rightfully) calling that person racist and supportive of inequality and against equality faster than a New York minute. Yet, you have the gall now to say that Obama's argument--that Gays should have marriage equality only in some states (i.e. California) but not others--is somehow not discriminatory or not supportive of inequality. Yours and Obama's is the Orwellian speak. Anything less than full equality cannot be called equality. Even Republican supporters of marriage equality don't support the half-assed equality that Obama and his supporters like you advocate.

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Mar 1, 2013 3:00:58 PM

  24. Some people hate President Obama more than they care about the path to progress.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 1, 2013 3:02:58 PM

  25. James, those "republican supporters of marriage equality" also voted for a man who was opposed to it, and spoke of an all-out national ban.

    So how bloody far does their support go, eh? They'll talk about how it's important, but when it comes time to vote they'll totally vote for the bigot who wants to ban gays from marrying anyway. Wow.

    What's up your @ss? A republican you're hiding?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 1, 2013 3:07:42 PM

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