After three days of reporters’ unrelenting questions on the President’s position on gay marriage, White House spokesperson Jay Carney today told reporters that he anticipates President Obama might “describe his personal views” soon, either in an interview or press conference to the American people. The subject of same-sex marriage has become a flashpoint after Vice President Joe Biden told Meet The Press host David Gregory that he “absolutely is comfortable” with same-sex couples accessing the same rights as opposite-sex couples, implicitly endorsing the idea of marriage equality.
“I can tell you that I’m sure it is the case that [President Obama] will be asked again at some point when he gives interviews or press conferences about this issue, and I’ll leave it to him to describe his personal views,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters today aboard Air Force One on a trip to Albany, New York. The question to Carney was, “On the gay marriage issue, Jay, has the intensity of interest in this and the statements from some of the President’s supporters led him to consider clarifying his position? And considering that his views are evolving, does he want to maybe consider his views more thoroughly?”
Some see this as an attempt to pave the way for the President to address the issue of same-sex marriage, which he appeared to support in 1996, but never since. President Obama has tried to toe a tightrope on the volatile issue, and in late 2010 said he was still not in favor of marriage equality but acknowledged his feelings and attitudes on the subject were “evolving,” leading may to believe he would soon support same-sex marriage.
Over the past few days, the Obama campaign has been viewed by many as attempting to walk back the Vice President’s remarks, yet on Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also came out publicly in support of same-sex marriage, becoming the third top-level Obama Administration official to support marriage equality.
Of course, all this is happening as voters in North Carolina complete voting today on a constitutional amendment not only banning same-sex marriage, but any other relationship vehicle, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, even for heterosexual couples.
No doubt North Carolina marriage equality supporters wish the President had come out in support of marriage equality ahead of this issue, but understandably the President, should he even be considering making a supportive statement beyond having had already stating his opposition to the North Carolina Amendment, would not want to be seen as weighing n on states’ rights issues too deeply.
MetroWeekly notes that “this is the second day in a row that Carney has gone beyond simply saying that the president has previously commented on the matter gives some indication that the White House is aware the Obama is going to have to address the issue directly before this November’s election.”
Philadelphia Weekly today also noted:
The issue was discussed earlier today on MSNBC, where former Pennsylvania Governor/Philadelphia Mayor and current cable news contributor Ed Rendell was on to discuss the issue.
“He should man up and say this is what I believe,” said Rendell. “I think he doesn’t lose any African American votes…and the people who vote solely on this issue, single-issue voters, gay marriage, none of them are voting for Barack Obama now, and they’re not going to vote for him whether he says he’s against it.”
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