Obama: Constitution 'Does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states'

Tue. October 21, 2014 10:48 AM by OnTopMag.com

President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Obama's comments come just weeks after the Supreme Court decided against hearing appeals in five cases challenging gay marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana, effectively legalizing such unions in 11 states.

The president cited the decision when asked by Jeffrey Toobin to name the court's best decision of his tenure.

"In some ways, the decision that was just handed down to not do anything about what states are doing on same-sex marriage may end up being as consequential – from my perspective, a positive sense – as anything that's been done," Obama said. "Because I think it really signals that although the Court was not quite ready – it didn't have sufficient votes to follow Loving v. Virginia and go ahead and indicate an equal-protection right across the board – it was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up."

In Loving, the high court struck down state bans on interracial marriage.

He continued: "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."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine