WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced a flurry of questions Tuesday about President Obama’s evolving position on same-sex marriage and his reaction to the court decision that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
In response to the questioning, Carney said he didn’t have a comment on the decision, although he noted the president has ”long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts that deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples.”
A total of six news outlets asked Carney about marriage and the Proposition 8 decision: Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, the Huffington Post, American Urban Radio and the Washington Blade.
Under questioning from the Blade, Carney dodged an inquiry about whether Obama — who came out against Prop 8 when it was on the ballot in 2008 and called it “unnecessary” — also believes the measure is unconstitutional.
“I’m not going to comment on litigation particularly as here where we are not party to it, but the president’s positions on these issues writ large are well known, and he’s long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny right and benefits to same-sex couples,” Carney said.
Pressed by the Blade further on whether Obama’s lack of support for marriage equality but opposition to “divisive and discriminatory” efforts such as Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage, represents an inconsistency, Carney said he didn’t have an update on the president’s position on same-sex marriage, but explained the distinction.
“I can tell you that divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits is something this president has long opposed,” Carney said. “And I think that’s an important point to make. These are proactive and deliberate efforts to deny benefits and to be discriminatory.”