Obama Must Clarify Stance on Gay Marriage
The Supreme announced that it would weigh in on two gay marriage cases. This has made people wonder what the Obama administration’s stance on the issue. Does the president think gay and lesbian Americans have a constitutional right to marry or does he think that it is a moral one?
The Justice Department declined to address the questions. The legal team representing the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case plan to lobby the administration to publicly declare that the right to gay marriage is protected by the nation’s constitution. The lawyers also intend to file a legal brief that would support their argument.
This would be a big move for the Obama administration. First, the action could help influence the Supreme Court to reach a conclusion on the constitutionality of same sex marriages. This could also help the public accept the right as well.
The Supreme Court’s decision to weigh in on California’s Proposition 8 could be more vital than the decision to weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act. If the Supreme Court deems Prop 8 to be unconstitutional because it violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the constitution, then it would enshrine the federal constitutional right to marriage. It could lead other states to ban gay marriages.
President Barack Obama has said that he personally favors gay marriages and has been open about its opposition to Prop 8. The White House hasn’t clarified whether it sees Prop 8 as unconstitutional which is unlike the narrower DOMA.
There are speculations that it the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of gay marriages it could lead to a public backlash. There are lots of Americans who oppose gay marriage and it is illegal in several states.
But the circumstances today is different from that of the 1960s and 1970s when the public was outraged by the Supreme Court rulings about racial and gender discrimination. Public opinion today is more favorable towards same-sex marriages. The public can be familiar with the arguments over the issue via cable and internet.