Some critics have found a cloud in the silver lining of President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage. In his interview on ABC, Obama said not only that "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married" but that, if he were a state legislator, he would vote for legislation allowing gay marriage.
But he also said this: "And what you're seeing is, I think, states working through this issue -- in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that's a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what's recognized as a marriage."
At Mother Jones magazine Adam Serwer complained that Obama's position "accepts the legitimacy of states like North Carolina subjecting the rights of gays and lesbians to a popular vote." According to this view, what Obama should have said was that he believes enactments such as North Carolina's (and California's Proposition 8) are unconstitutional.
But Chris Geidner of MetroWeekly argued that Obama already has said that in connection with its refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Geidner cited a letter from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to House Speaker John A. Boehner in which that decision was justified by the president's conclusion that "given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny" under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. If the Supreme Court agreed, provisions like Prop. 8 probably would fall.