White House Says 'Gay Marriage' a State - Not Federal - Issue

By Fred Lucas | January 22, 2013 | 2:29 PM EST

President Barack Obama and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – During his inaugural address on Monday, President Barack Obama equated the struggle for civil rights by blacks with the struggle by homosexuals for equality under the law, but the White House on Tuesday said that gay “marriage” is an issue best left to the states to decide.

In response to a question on whether President Obama believes same-sex marriage should be a federal or state matter, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “The president believes that it’s an issue that should be addressed by the states. As you know, and I can make it clear, that the president’s personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships and want to marry from doing so.”

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“The values that the president cares most deeply about are how we treat one another and respect one another,” Carney said. “For him, it just boils down to treating others the way that we would want to be treated ourselves, and the president has made it absolutely clear that his views are about civil marriage, as I said, not religious sacraments.”

top defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines, for federal purposes, marriage as being between one man and one woman and says a gay “marriage” in one state does not have to be legally recognized in another state.  The Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, said in 2011 it would no longer defend DOMA. Carney in 2011 said that Obama viewed DOMA as "unnecessary and unfair."

On Monday, during his second inaugural address. Obama placed a 1969 riot in a mafia-owned gay bar in New York, commonly called the Stonewall Riot, on a par with the Selma civil rights march in 1965 and the Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848.

Darcia Anthony, left, and her partner, Danielle Williams, chat before participating in a marriage ceremony at City Hall in Baltimore, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth,” Obama said.

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began,” Obama said. “For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Back in May, on ABC News, Obama endorsed homosexual “marriage,” saying, "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.”