President Obama remains opposed to same-sex marriage, even though he agrees with a district judge that California's ban against it is unconstitutional, a White House adviser said today.
Supporters of Proposition 8 -- a measure approved by California voters in 2008 that bans same-sex marriage -- plan to appeal yesterday's ruling, and it may reach the Supreme Court.
"The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control," White House adviser David Axelrod said today on MSNBC.
He noted, however, that the president has always opposed Proposition 8.
"The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time -- he felt it was divisive, he felt that it was mean spirited," Axelrod said. "We reiterated that position yesteday."
The court battle over Proposition 8 could thrust the debate over same-sex marriage back onto the national stage and compel the president to take a less ambivalent position.
"His position on Prop. 8 has always been clear. What has not been clear is how he squares his position for equality with his refusal to embrace actual equality in marriage," Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry told Politico. "That is unclear, increasingly unclear, and there's no good reason to explain it."
Americablog, the liberal blog with a special emphasis on gay rights, has started a petition asking Mr. Obama to fully support same-sex marriage.
"In the wake of today's historic court decision on Proposition 8, it's time for President Obama to support full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples," the petition says. "You simply do not support equality for gay and lesbian couples if you don't support letting them marry."