President Obama didn’t publicly support marriage equality until May of 2012, but his views today sound more like those of a lifelong champion of gay rights.
In an interview with The New Yorker about his judicial legacy, Obama said:
“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states. But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare. 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.”
Given the president’s background as a constitutional law professor, and the fact that he’s the president and all, it’s pretty amazing to hear such strong language on an issue that’s taken so much work to advance.
He was also asked what the “best” Supreme Court decision during his tenure has been, and he answered:
“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. 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 (the 1967 decision that states could no longer ban interracial marriage) 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.”
At what point will same-sex marriage opponents realize they’re not going to come off so great in the history books?