President Barack Obama has said that he
believes that the marriages of gay and lesbian couples should be
recognized by the federal government regardless of whether there is
Speaking to reporters in Dakar,
Senegal, Obama applauded a Supreme Court ruling striking down the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA was signed into law by
President Bill Clinton and prohibited federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples.
Roughly one-third of Americans live in
states which allow gay couples to legally marry. The president said
that such marriages may cross state lines.
“I think it was a victory for
American democracy,” Obama said. “I believe at the root of who
we are as a people, as Americans, is the basic precept that we are
all equal under the law. We believe in basic fairness.”
“What's true though is that you still
have a whole bunch of states that do not recognize it. The Supreme
Court continued to leave it up to the states to make these decisions.
And we are going to have to go back and do a legal analysis of what
that means. It's my personal belief, I'm speaking now as a president
as opposed to as a lawyer, that if you've been married in
Massachusetts and you move someplace else you're still married.
Under federal law you should be able to obtain the benefits of any
lawfully married couple.”