Obama considers weighing in on gay marriage case

(Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an event in Chicago, Illinois February 15, 2013.

The administration of President Barack Obama is considering whether to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California's gay marriage ban known as Proposition 8.

The Justice Department has one week to submit a "friend of the court" brief outlining its opinion on the California law defining marriage as between a man and woman to the justices.

"I have to make sure that I'm not interjecting myself too much into this process, particularly when we're not a party to the case," Obama told KGO-TV of San Francisco on Wednesday.
A majority of California voters in 2008 approved Proposition 8, a voter referendum that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, thereby banning same-sex marriage. A lower court struck down the ban as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the Prop. 8 case on March 26. The day after, the high court will hear a challenge to a federal law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and say states do not have to recognize gay marriages from other states.

Thirty states, including California, have adopted DOMA, while nine states and Washington D.C., have legalized gay marriage.

Obama's position on gay marriage has changed over the years. When he ran for president in 2008, he opposed the California ban but stopped short of endorsing gay marriage. As he sought a second term last year, Obama said he supported marriage between same-sex couples but said it was an issues for states to decide.

The president reiterated his position during the KGO interview: "My personal view is that same-sex couples should have the same rights and be treated like everybody else and that's something that I feel very strongly about."

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