WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Friday he wouldn’t rule “in or out” the possibility of President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage in the upcoming State of the Union address.
Carney made the remarks on whether Obama would announce support for marriage equality during the State of the Union address, which is set to take place Tuesday before a joint session of Congress, in response to a question from the Washington Blade.
“I will not rule anything in or out,” Carney said. “I’m just not going to talk about — beyond pointing at his words — his personal views on this. I think his administration’s policies on related issues are there for people to judge.”
Obama doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but since October 2010 he’s suggested his views could “evolve” in favor of same-sex marriage, However, he hasn’t yet made an endorsement in support of marriage rights for gay couples.
However, in 1996, Obama, during his bid to become an Illinois state senator, said in a questionnaire response to the Windy City Times, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
Carney commented on the possibility of marriage equality in the State of the Union address after CNN’s Dan Lothian asked for an update on Obama’s evolving views on marriage. Among CNN’s questions were whether Obama talks with people about marriage or reads books as part of this evolution process.
The White House spokesperson said he doesn’t “have an update” on Obama’s position on marriage, but articulated accomplishments that Obama has achieved on LGBT issues in his response.
“I think it is important as part of my answer here to just remind you about the president’s record on these issues,” Carney said. “Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and on marriage in particular, having the federal government stand down from, or his administration stand down from defending DOMA, believing that it’s unconstitutional and working to have it repealed.”
Carney said he’d leave it to the president to describe his “personal views,” but reiterated his administration’s record on “these issues that are very important” is clear.