May 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
White House issues statement on Minn. marriage amendment

The White House (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The White House on Monday issued a statement in response to a proposed measure in Minnesota that would make a ban on same-sex marriage part of the state constitution.

The complete statement follows:

“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples or to take such rights away. While he believes this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also believes that committed gay couples should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.”

White House spokesperson Shin Inouye provided the statement to the Washington Blade via e-mail in response to a question on President Obama’s position on the marriage amendment, which will come before Minnesota voters in 2012.

The statement doesn’t explicitly mention the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota, but states that the president “has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts” that would restrict rights for gay couples.

Additionally, the statement reaffirms Obama’s lack of support for same-sex marriage rights by saying the issue is “best addressed by the states.” Obama has said he’s “wrestling” with the marriage issue, but has yet to make an endorsement for marriage equality.

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

  • Straight people should worry about the divorce rate and all of the people who have children without the benefit of marriage.

  • So exactly what is our fearless leader saying here? Re-hashing the same old blah, blah, blah he’s always been saying. Pull yer head outta yer arse mr. President and actually take a stand on something for a change! jeeeeeeezus!!!

  • Time for the federal Government to step in…: TENNESSEE: Governor Signs Bill Banning All Local LGBT Rights Laws

  • Hey LOOKIE! President Fierce’s flack almost says something!

  • action speaks louder than words Mr. President.. stop repeating yourself.. youve been saying those BS since you became our president. repeal DOMA if you really hate discrimination. we are not kids anymore to believe in your bedtime stories.

    • It’s not discrimantion. two gays can’t marry. Marriage is for heterosexuals. I guess next year you want man and boy ‘marriages’ and then woman and boy, and then german shepherd and woman. You can’t change the definition of a word. Move on.

  • Well, we saw how that approach worked out with another civil rights issue in the 1860s.

  • Did anyone notice the statement was sent only to the Washington blade …and via email. At least tell the people.

  • This is a deplorable move on the part of the state of Minnesota, and a tepid response from the President of the United States. Imagine the outcry, if it were interracial couples who were going to be denied their basic civil rights.

  • This is California’s PROP H8 de ja vu. Why is it that EQUALITY is only a straight person’s right? The Tyranny of a (bigoted) MAJORITY is allowed to deny us our RIGHTS! Time for all states to get out of the marriage business. Let churches “marry” whomever they wish. Grant SS Couples the SAME FEDERAL RIGHTS & PRIVILEGES as our straight counter-parts. And if the CHURCH continues to invest time & energy & $$ in Social Issues like this, time to TAX them!

  • I don’t think Obama’s support for gay marriage could be more crystal clear in this statement. These political manueverings while handling societal shifts are hard to deal with. I’m not a politician but I’m certainly engrossed in it. To me, this is similar to the birther movement and Donald Trump’s demands to see Obama’s birth certificate. Obama has shown his birth certificate up to three times prior before the White House Correspondents Dinner but not everyone believes he was born in the United States because they don’t want to believe it. I feel the same way about people who think that Obama is against gay marriage. He’s certainly for it but to actually enact a change in policy takes time and a lot of policy influencing. When the time is right, I have every faith that gay marriage will become federal law.

  • WHY IS THIS STILL AN ISSUE?? Why are we STILL listening to the so-called Moral Majority?? Especially since they’ve shown they’re neither Moral OR a Majority?? If two people are committed to each other then let them marry. IT’S NONE OF THE STATE’s OR ANYONE ELSE’s BUSINESS! Aren’t we living in U.S. of America? Aren’t ALL “people” created equal in this country?? Isn’t this the 21st century?? Get some BACKBONE Mr. President. Do what’s RIGHT not what’s easy.

  • “…the statement reaffirms Obama’s lack of support for same-sex marriage rights”

    Are you kidding?

    “…committed gay couples should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.”

    What else can he be saying here other than that he supports same-sex marriage? This is double-talk…and it’s not even good double-talk.

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