White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today repeatedly refused to say that President Obama opposes gay marriage, pointing instead to previous statements Obama has made indicating his views are “evolving” on the matter.
Asked specifically if it was still accurate to say Obama opposes gay marriage, Carney did not directly reply.
“I would simply say his views are evolving,” Carney said.
Carney’s refusal to state Obama’s position on gay marriage could have only two causes: either he does not want to anger gay voters by creating a sound bite in which a White House official says Obama opposes gay marriage, or Obama’s evolving position has brought him to the point where he now supports it, but he’s not ready to make an announcement.
Meanwhile, Obama’s opposition to same-sex marriage has not prevented him from also opposing a North Carolina constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, according to Carney.
Carney had trouble explaining to flummoxed reporters at the White House briefing how this could be the case.
“He opposes efforts to repeal rights that have been granted,” Carney said. “The referendum would restrict and deny rights to LGBT Americans. That’s my understanding. He opposes efforts to deny rights to LGBT Americans.”
But North Carolina has not granted gays the right to marry. Same-sex marriage is prohibited there by law. North Carolina would be adding emphasis to the law by enshrining it in the state Constitution. Some opponents, though, say the amendment could have “unintended consequences” harmful to gay couples.
North Carolina is to vote on the amendment Tuesday.
Carney spent a large amount of time during the briefing trying to explain Vice President Biden’s display of support for gay marriage Sunday and parrying suggestions that Obama is hiding his true support for gay marriage.