Obama nears deadline on gay-marriage decision
WASHINGTON (AP) — The next phase of President Barack Obama's evolving position on gay marriage may come sometime today, the deadline for his administration to weigh in on a landmark Supreme Court case that could determine whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.
Gay-rights supporters are pressing the administration to file a friend-of-the-court brief urging the justices to overturn California's gay-marriage ban. Obama is not required to file a brief, though he raised expectations in his second inaugural address when he declared that gays and lesbians must be "treated like anyone else under the law."
An administration brief would not be legally binding. But it could offer the clearest insight into Obama's views on gay marriage, which he supports but has said should be governed by the states.
Ahead of today's deadline, dozens of prominent Republicans signed a friend of the court brief asking the justices to declare California's Proposition 8 ballot measure unconstitutional. Among them are former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
The Proposition 8 ballot initiative was approved by California voters in 2008 in response to a state Supreme Court decision that had allowed gay marriage. Twenty-nine other states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, while nine states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.