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Obama Says Equal Protection Should Allow Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide
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Obama Says Equal Protection Should Allow Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide

Summary: President Barack Obama has explained that his interpretation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause allows same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states.

President Barack Obama has supported gay marriage since May 2012, however, at that time, he said that the issue was best left to the individual states to decide. Now, it appears that the president has changed his mind. The Huffington Post reports that President Obama told The New Yorker that same-sex couples in each of the 50 states should be allowed to get married under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.


Obama explained that he felt the best decision to come from the Supreme Court since he took office was the rejection of gay marriage appeals from five states just a few weeks ago. Obama called it “a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up.”

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The president noted that the Supreme Court “was not quite ready” to “indicate an equal-protection right across the board,” but feels that same-sex marriage is protected under the Constitution. He explained, “Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states. 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. And, given the direction of society, for the court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”

Fortunately for many same-sex couples, the federal government has extended benefits to same-sex married couples in states where their marriages are legal. Benefits were recently given to same-sex married couples in the states whose appeals were rejected by the Supreme Court.

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