The Supreme Court will hear two major gay rights cases this spring. One deals with a federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It denies federal benefits to same sex couples who are legally married in their state. President Obama believes the law is unconstitutional, and his Justice Department has refused to defend it in Court.
But the Justice Department has not yet weighed in on the second case before the Supreme Court: a challenge to California’s ban on gay marriage. That case asks a much broader question: is there a fundamental right to gay marriage? While the Supreme Court could decide the case without reaching that constitutional question, court watchers wonder if the Obama administration will weigh in on that case.
President Obama worked to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“. In May, he told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he had come to personally support gay marriage. He has said if he were still a member of a state legislature he would support gay marriage. But will he weigh in on whether same-sex couples have a right to marry under the U.S. Constitution?