Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorses gay marriage. Is Obama cornered? (+video)
Gay-rights activists called on the president to voice the support for same-sex marriage that they believe exists.
“In supporting marriage equality, [Duncan] communicates to all students that they deserve an equal shot at the American dream of love, family, and equality,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the president shares these values and that’s why it’s time for him to speak out in favor of marriage equality as well.”
On a conference call with reporters Monday, top Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod held to the view put forth by aides to Mr. Biden after his comment: that the vice president’s statement was “entirely consistent with the president’s position,” and that couples who are married, be they gay or heterosexual, are entitled to the same rights and liberties.
Mr. Axelrod also noted that the Obama administration has stopped defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. And he put the gay marriage issue in the context of the presidential race against Mitt Romney.
“There couldn’t be a starker contrast on this issue than with Governor Romney, who has funded efforts to roll back marriage laws in California and other places,” Axelrod said.