February 17, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Carney questioned on Wash., N.J. marriage

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was again pressed on President Obama’s evolving position on same-sex marriage in the wake of the legislative wins for LGBT advocates in Washington State and New Jersey.

During a gaggle abroad Air Force One en route to Seattle, Wash., a reporter asked Carney about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington and the legislative approval and expected veto of marriage equality in New Jersey this week.

Carney said he wouldn’t weigh on individual states’ actions on marriage as he reiterated comments he’s previously made on the issue, saying Obama believes states should decide the issue and the president opposes taking away already established rights from couples.

“I would say only broadly, as I have said in the past, without weighing into individual states and their actions, that this president strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue, and he opposes actions that take away rights that have been established by those states,” Carney said.

The White House spokesman responded to questions on marriage in Washington as Obama headed there to visit a Boeing Plant in Everett, Wash., and deliver remarks on increasing the economic future of the country. Obama was also slated to attend to private fundraisers in the state.

Asked about Obama’s evolving position on marriage, Carney said has “no update.” Obama first said his views could evolve on same-sex marriage October 2010 to AMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay in an interview with progressive bloggers.

Obama continues to face pressure from LGBT advocates to complete his evolution and endorse same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union sent Obama a Valentine’s Day card saying, “Mr. President. Our Right to Love Doesn’t Evolve. We’re Born with It.”

A transcript of the exchange between Carney and the reporter follows:

Reporter: Since we’re going to Washington, Washington State legalized same-sex marriage this month. And as you know, Governor Christie is promising to veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage that passed the New Jersey assembly. I’m just wondering what does the President think about Washington State’s decision and then Governor Christie’s vow to veto legislation?

Jay Carney: Well, I would say only broadly, as I have said in the past, without weighing into individual states and their actions, that this President strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue, and he opposes actions that take away rights that have been established by those states. But I’m not going to comment specifically on individual states.

Reporter: Is his view on same-sex marriage, though, still evolving? Or how would you describe it?

Carney: I have no update for you on that.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • In order to try to keep this as fair as possible in the political arena, let’s ask NEWT the same question and if he has changed his thinking on that issue since lets say 18 years ago?

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