WASHINGTON — Just two years after Barack Obama announced that he had reversed his longstanding opinion that marriage is solely between a man and a woman, the president of the United States is now taking his view even further by stating that he believes that the Constitution requires states to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” he said in an interview published this week by the New Yorker.
Obama was responding to a question about his favorite Supreme Court ruling during his tenure. He advised that rather he thought the court’s recent decision not to hear the appeals from states who sought to defend their marriage amendments was the most telling and showed that the court needed to “catch up” with the changing opinions of society.
“In some ways, the decision that was just handed down to not do anything about what states are doing on same-sex marriage may end up being as consequential—from my perspective, a positive sense—as anything that’s been done,” Obama said. “Because I think it really signals that although the Court was not quite ready—it didn’t have sufficient votes to follow Loving v. Virginia and go ahead and indicate an equal-protection right across the board—it was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up.”
Loving v. Virginia was a 1967 Supreme Court ruling surrounding the right of men to marry those of different races.
“But, as you know, courts have always been strategic,” he said. “And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”
In years past, although Obama had been clear about his determination to further the homosexual agenda, he was hesitant to state that he supported homosexual “marriage.” While running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama said at the time that he believed marriage was solely the union between a man and a woman.
“What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting,” he stated in an interview with WTTW-TV. “I don’t think marriage is a civil right.”
Obama reiterated his beliefs in 2o10, but stated that his views about the matter were “evolving.”
“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” he said. “But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships.”
But as previously reported, in 2012, Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts, that his friends had changed his opinion about the issue and that he now supported same-sex “marriage.”
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” he said.
During the interview, however, Obama opined that the matter was an issue for the states to decide.
“And what you’re seeing is, I think, states working through this issue … Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that’s a healthy process and a healthy debate,” he outlined. “And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.”
However, this week’s revelation marks another change in the president’s views—that he now believes the U.S. Constitution requires the states to legalize same-sex “marriage.”