Michelle Obama's comments at a
fundraiser in New York were not meant to imply that she, the
president or his two Supreme Court nominees support gay marriage, the
White House has said.
Mrs. Obama referenced the effect recent
Supreme Court appointees would have on “whether we can … love
whomever we choose” at multiple campaign events for her husband's
reelection on Monday.
“[L]et us not forget about what it
meant when my husband appointed those two magnificent Supreme Court
justices. And for the first time in history, our daughters and sons
watched three women take their seat on our nation's highest court,”
she told a crowd of about 85 supporters at an event hosted by actor
Robert de Niro and wife Grace Hightower.
“And let us not forget what their
decisions – the impact those decisions will have on our lives for
decades to come – on our privacy and security, on whether we can
speak freely, worship openly, and yes, love whomever we choose.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney
said Tuesday that Mrs. Obama was referencing “the president's
position on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).” Obama last year
instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending in court the
law, which bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages
of gay couples.
According to POLITICO.com,
a spokeswoman for the first lady said in an email: “That line in
the First Lady's remarks has been in her campaign speeches since last
summer and refers to the importance of the Supreme Court for deciding
many issues. The President and First Lady firmly believe that gay
and lesbian Americans and their families deserve legal protections
and the ability to thrive just like any other family.”
“The First Lady has said she is proud
of the President's accomplishments for gay and lesbian Americans on a
range of issues, including repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'
ensuring hospital visitation rights and calling for the repeal of