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President Obama: The Constitution Guarantees Marriage Equality in All States

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Wednesday, October 22, 2014

President Obama: The Constitution Guarantees Marriage Equality in All States

President Barack Obama said in an interview that he believes the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage in all states. Previously, the president had said that marriage should be defined locally.

He also said in the interview with The New Yorker that the best Supreme Court decision of his career was the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

"In some ways, the decision that was just handed down to not do anything about what states are doing on same-sex marriage may end up being as consequential — from my perspective, a positive sense — as anything that's been done," said Obama.

"Because I think it really signals that although the Court was not quite ready — it didn't have sufficient votes to follow Loving v. Virginia (1967 decision ruling that states could no longer ban racial intermarriage) and go ahead and indicate an equal-protection right across the board — it was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up," he said.

On gay marriage in the states: “Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” he said. “But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare.”

Publication date: October 22, 2014