In a pair of interviews yesterday, President Obama reaffirmed his and his administration’s commitment to marriage equality following two Supreme Court hearings that could have widespread impact on the issue.
“I never predict what the court will do,” Obama said in an interview with Univision. “But I used to teach constitutional law, and there is certainly a strong basis for determining that in this age, given what we now know, given the changes that have been taking place in the states around the country, same-sex couples should be treated fairly and have the same rights benefits, be able to transfer property, all the rights and recognitions that heterosexual couples do.”
The SCOTUS heard arguments about the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriages, Proposition 8, on Tuesday and on Wednesday, 83-year-old widow Edie Windsor had her day in court challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said that, if the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, it would be “difficult” for any state to defend its ban on same-sex marriage.
“I think not only is it right and fair but also consistent with our Constitution to recognize same-sex couples,” Obama said in another interview with Telemundo. “It doesn’t mean everybody has to agree from a religious standpoint about this issue. It does mean that it is very important for us to remember that we’re a nation where everybody is supposed to be equal before the law.”
The Obama administration found DOMA to be unconstitutional in February 2011 and has since refused to defend it in court, though it has enforced the law. Leading up to the Supreme Court hearings, the White House filed amicus briefs asking the court to overturn Prop 8 and DOMA.