With a White House official confirming this evening that Obama will announce he is nominating Jim Comey to serve as the next FBI director on Friday, and as the country waits for a Supreme Court ruling in the case challenging California’s Proposition 8, the differing viewpoints serve as a reminder that it was only last May that Obama announced he even personally supported marriage between same-sex couples.
Comey, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, joined Ken Mehlman and more than 125 other “social and political conservatives, moderates, and libertarians from diverse backgrounds” to urge the Supreme Court to strike down California’s amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying on the grounds that marriage is a fundamental right and there is no legitimate reason to ban same-sex couples from exercising that right. Under that reasoning, all such bans would be unconstitutional.
The Obama administration avoided that issue, as well as the question of whether treating same-sex couples differently from opposite sex couples in marriage laws is ever constitutional. Instead, the Obama administration told the court:
The Court can resolve this case by focusing on the particular circumstances presented by California law and the recognition it gives to committed same-sex relationships, rather than addressing the equal protection issue under circumstances not present here.