White House Pressed On Marriage Equality During Visit To Washington State

Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) with Obama

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the progress of same-sex marriage in the states during President Obama’s visit to Washington State this morning. Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage on Monday and has urged New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R) to enact the marriage equality bill that passed in his legislature yesterday.

Carney reiterated the administration’s position that “the states should be able to decide this issue,” but did not say if Obama’s support for the marriage rights of gays and lesbians was still “evolving”:

Q: Since we’re going to Washington, Washington State legalized same-sex marriage this month. And as you know, Governor Christie is promising to veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage that passed the New Jersey assembly. I’m just wondering what does the President think about Washington State’s decision and then Governor Christie’s vow to veto legislation?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I would say only broadly, as I have said in the past, without weighing into individual states and their actions, that this President strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue, and he opposes actions that take away rights that have been established by those states. But I’m not going to comment specifically on individual states.

Q: Is his view on same-sex marriage, though, still evolving? Or how would you describe it?

MR. CARNEY: I have no update for you on that.

Meanwhile, pressure is growing for Obama to come out in favor of same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, Valentines Day, the ACLU invited LGBT advocates to urge Obama to endorse marriage equality, noting that he has been evolving on the question for more than 470 days. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also called for marriage equality to be included in the party’s 2012 platform.