President Barack Obama continues to send a mixed message on gay rights.

Immediately following Wednesday's ruling that struck down California's gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, the White House issued a statement in support of the decision.

“The president has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans,” gay glossy The Advocate reported.

A White House aide, however, clarified that the president does not support marriage equality.

“He supports civil unions, doesn't personally support gay marriage though he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], and has opposed divisive and discriminatory initiatives like Prop. 8 in other states,” the unnamed aide told

Further clarification came from White House adviser David Axelrod, who appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning.

Axelrod said the president opposed Proposition 8 because he felt it was “mean-spirited,” but emphasized that he supports recognizing gay and lesbian couples with civil unions, not marriage.

The president has also repeatedly said he opposes DOMA, which defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies. But New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler's bill that would repeal the 1996 law has not won the support of the president.

And while Axelrod asserted that “nothing has changed” in the president's position, the world did on Wednesday. The ruling handed down by a federal judge is likely headed to the Supreme Court in the next year or so, just in time to become a thorn in the side of Obama's 2012 re-election hopes.

The issue is also being pressed by gay bloggers. An online petition at the blog Americablog, run by prominent gay blogger John Aravosis, asks the president to embrace full equality.

“You simply do not support equality for gay and lesbian couples if you don't support letting them marry,” the petition reads.