Despite stressing last May that gay marriage laws should be left to each individual state, President Barack Obama revised his previous statement in an interview released by ABC on Wednesday, admitting that he “could not imagine a circumstance in which a state banning gay marriage was legal.” In the interview hosted by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Obama was asked if gay marriage should be a Constitutional right.
“Well, I’ve gotta tell you that – in terms of practical politics, what I’ve seen is a healthy debate taking place state by state, and not every state has the exact same attitudes and cultural mores. And I – you know, my thinking was that this is traditionally a state issue and –that it will work itself out,” he said. Turning to what he considers the heart of the issue, Obama replies, “On the other hand — what I also believe is that the core principle that people don’t get discriminated against – that’s one of our core values. And it’s in our Constitution.”
Stephanopoulos then pressed the president: could current gay marriage bans in some states pass as Constitutional?
“Well, what I– what I believe is that– if– if the states don’t have a good justification for it, then it probably doesn’t stand up to constitutional muster,” said Obama.
Obama has nothing to lose in his second and final term of presidency, and it appears his true feelings on gay rights are finally starting to show. The president’s administration recently stated that both of California’s gay marriage bans, Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage, are believed to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is set to review both cases in late March.
Krysta Loera is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.