Bachmann and Obama on gay marriage: one crucial difference
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and President Barack Obama didn’t differ much in their reaction to New York lawmakers passing same-sex marriage into law on Friday. Both said that states have the right to pass legislation and neither endorses gay marriage. However, the crucial difference between the two is that Obama supports rights and legal protections for same-sex couples, while Bachmann opposes any rights for such couples.
“The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens,” a White House spokesperson said after the vote. “The process in New York worked just as it should.”
On Fox News Sunday, Bachmann offered a similar argument.
“In New York state, they have passed the law at the state legislative level and, under the 10th amendment, the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set,” she said, adding that a ballot initiative is the best way to go. “That is up to the people of New York. I think that it’s best to allow the people to decide on this issue. I think it’s best if there is an amendment that goes on the ballot, where people can weigh in.”
Fox’s Chris Wallace asked, “But you would agree, if its passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor then that’s the state’s position.”
She responded, “It’s state law. And the 10th amendment reserves to the states that right.”
President Obama echoed that sentiment — that the issue should be up to the states — in a speech to LGBT donors in New York on Thursday.
“Part of the reason that DOMA doesn’t make sense is that traditionally marriage has been decided by the states,” Obama said. “And right now I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York about whether to join five other states and D.C. in allowing civil marriage for gay couples.”
While the president still hasn’t come out in support of gay marriage, he does support rights for same-sex couples, something Bachmann has vociferously opposed.
“The president has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told ABC News after the vote. “That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts.
Here’s Bachmann’s remarks on Fox News Sunday:
And here’s Obama’s New York speech: