WASHINGTON — The White House late Tuesday issued a statement criticizing efforts by North Carolina lawmakers seeking a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and said the President opposes laws “designed to take rights away.”
In response to an inquiry by the Washington Blade, Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media for the White House Office of Communications, said:
“The President has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. He has also said that the states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens.
“While the President does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. The President believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.”
Earlier Tuesday, the North Carolina state Senate approved a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, sending the measure to a statewide vote in May 2012.
If approved by voters, the state constitution would be amended to read that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”