President Obama on Wednesday said that New York state's decision this past weekend to legalize same-sex marriage was a “good thing,” but he stopped short of supporting the issue unequivocally.
“What I’ve seen happen over the last several years and what happened in New York last week, I think, was a good thing, because what you saw was the people of New York having a debate, talking through these issues,” Obama said at a White House press conference focused on the economy. “It was contentious. It was emotional. But ultimately, they made a decision to recognize civil marriages, and I think that’s exactly how things should work.”
When asked by the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler to clarify whether he was personally in favor of gay marriage, Obama responded: “I’m not going to make news on that today. Good try though.”
Obama’s remarks come as the White House has attempted to win the support of the gay community while refraining from a full endorsement of gay marriage. Last week, the president gave a speech at the DNC’s LGBT leadership dinner in New York, during which he condemned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but stopped short of lending his support to same-sex marriage.
At one point in the speech, several audience members shouted out, “Marriage!”
Briefly interrupting his prepared remarks, Obama replied, “I heard you guys. You know, believe it or not, I anticipated that.”