(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said Friday that the country as a whole has gone through the same “evolution” he has in now supporting same-sex marriage.
During a press conference Friday, Obama was asked about his Justice Department’s brief in the California voter-approved Proposition 8 case before the Supreme Court that will decide whether the state – and possibly other states – can ban gay marriage.
“As everybody here knows, last year upon a long period of reflection, I concluded that we cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to marriage, that the basic principle that America is founded on, the idea that we’re all created equal, applies to everybody regardless of sexual orientation, as well as race or gender or religion or ethnicity,” Obama said. “I think that the same evolution that I’ve gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through, and I think it is a profoundly positive thing.”
Obama initially publicly opposed gay marriage, but changed his position in 2012.
“When the Supreme Court asks do you think that the California law, which doesn’t provide any rationale for discriminating against same-sex couples other than just the notion that, well, they’re same-sex couples -- if the Supreme Court asks me or my attorney general or solicitor general, ‘Do we think that meets constitutional muster?’ I felt it was important for us to answer that question honestly,” Obama said. “And the answer is no.”
Proposition 8 was approved by California voters in 2008 and legally defined marriage in the state as only between one man and one woman.
“What we’ve done is, we’ve put forward a basic principle, which is -- which applies to all equal protection cases,” Obama said. “Whenever a particular group is being discriminated against, the Court asks the question, ‘What’s 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.’”