January 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Obama hopes Supreme Court comes to ‘right decision’ on marriage

Ebola, gay news, Washington Blade

President Barack Obama said he hopes the Supreme Court makes the “right decision” on marriage. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President Obama said Thursday he hopes the Supreme Court makes the “right decision” as it considers litigation that could potentially result in marriage rights for same-sex couples across the nation.

Obama made the remarks in an interview with YouTube blogger GloZell Green after she asked if he thinks same-sex marriage will be legalized across the country during the time he’ll be in office and what he could do to push it along.

“I’m hopeful the Supreme Court comes to the right decision, but I will tell you, people’s hearts have opened up on this issue,” Obama said. “I think people know that treating folks unfairly, even if you disagree with their lifestyle choice, the fact of the matter is, they’re not bothering you. Let them live their lives, and under the law, they should be treated equally.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to take up litigation filed in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples. The expectation is the court will deliver a a nationwide ruling on the issue by the end of June.

Initially in response to the question, Obama talked about his administration’s work on behalf of same-sex marriage, which includes him coming out in favor of marriage equality and the Justice Department’s decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

“Well, we’ve done a lot, obviously, to push it along,” Obama said. “I announced my belief that same-sex marriage should be legal, that people should be treated the same. We argued against as an administration, before the Supreme Court, we argued against the Defense of Marriage Act that was treating married couples, same-sex couples differently in terms of federal benefits.”

Speaking about the decision the Supreme Court will face, Obama said he personally thinks the same-sex couples he knows “are great parents and great partners” and the idea the law would treat them differently “doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“My hope is they go ahead and recognize what, I think, the majority of people now recognize, which is two people who love each other, and are treating each other with respect, and aren’t bothering anybody else — why would the law treat them differently?” Obama said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has already announced he intends a friend-of-the-court arguing in favor of marriage rights “for all Americans.” Although the administration has strongly suggested it will argue that all bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, the nature of the brief remains to be seen.

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

5 Comments
  • Obama ought to know by now that it's not a "lifestyle choice."

  • What???!!!! Lifestyle choice????? I choose to like vanilla over chocolate. I choose to like the beach over the mountains. I did NOTHING to decide my sexual orientation. He better choose his words more wisely next time. I am shocked and saddened by this.

  • "Lifestyle choice" does not mean a choice between being homosexual or heterosexual. It means your choice to marry or not a person of the same sex, choice to be in the closet or not. Your decision to be out or not. It does not mean your sexual orientation. You can choose to be straight or not, but some people choose to be in the closet even if it is legal or not. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that still decide to hide even to other gay people. I think that's sad but it is their right. I think the president knows the difference.

  • the lifestyle thing shows just how old ideas get rooted into our culture. It makes as much sense as doctors going back to bloodletting to cure ilnesses

  • the lifestyle thing shows just how old ideas get rooted into our culture. It makes as much sense as doctors going back to bloodletting to cure ilnesses

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