Updated Sunday, 2:20 p.m. PST
President Obama's reaffirmation of his belief that same-sex marriage is an issue best left up to the states to legislate wasn't met with a ton of enthusiasm, but we now have his full statement and seeing his remarks in their full context may make them more palatable. We'd love to hear your thoughts!
See his full response (video and transcript) to MTV's Sway on whether he'd use a second Presidential term to overturn the federal ban on same-sex marriage after the jump.
President Obama Speaks To MTV's Sway On Same-Sex Marriage
President Obama says:
"Well first of all, Sway, as you know, I have been very clear about my belief that same-sex couples have to be treated, before the eyes of the law, as you, know, heterosexual couples. I think that’s the right thing to do. It’s based on my personal experience seeing loving couples who are committed to each other, raising kids, and are just outstanding people.
And, you know, I was supportive of civil unions, but they taught me that if you’re using different words, if you’re somehow singling them out -- they don’t feel true equality. But what I've also said is, historically marriages have been defined at the state level, and there's a conversation going on. New York has, you know, moved forward with one set of ideas. There are some other states that are still having that debate. And I think for us to, you know, try to legislate federally in this area is probably the wrong way to go. The courts are going to be examining these issues.
I mean, I’ve stood up and said I’m opposed to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Because what that does, it says that the federal government won’t even recognize a marriage for a state that has decided they’re going to recognize same-sex couples. So if you’re a couple in Massachusetts that’s been married, the federal government is saying, we’re not going to recognize that for purposes of transferring social security benefits or something like that. I’ve said that’s wrong.
There are a couple of cases that are working their way through the courts, and my expectation is that the Defense Against Marriage Act will be overturned. But ultimately, you know, I believe that if we have that conversation at the state level, these, you know, the evolution that is taking place in this country will get us to a place where we are going to be recognizing everybody fairly, and I’m very proud of the fact that, you know, as President, I’ve got a track record of not just talking the talk on this, but also walking the walk: ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, you know, making sure that federal employees – that they are treated equally when it comes to their partners, and I’m going to keep on pushing, you know, as hard as I can.
But what’s really going to change this is the fact that young people -- their attitudes are really going to reflect the future, instead of the past."
Do you feel better about the President's statement now, Instincters?
President Obama, who endorsed same-sex marriage in Washington, Maine, and Maryland this week, was asked today whether he'd use a second Presidential term to overturn the federal ban on same-sex marriage.
Find out he had to say after the jump.
ABC News reports:
"During a live interview today inside the White House, President Obama told MTV viewers that when it comes to same-sex marriage and climate change, it would be up to future generations of Americans to implement meaningful reforms.
When asked if he would use his second term as a platform to overturn the federal ban on gay marriage, the president demurred, saying he viewed it as an issue for the states to decide.
'For us to try to legislate federally into this area is probably the wrong way to go,' Obama told MTV presenter Sway Calloway, who asked questions submitted by youth voters."
What do you think of his response, Instincters? Should marriage remain a state issue or should Obama and his administration take a stand at the federal level?