Obama asks the SCOTUS to strike down Prop 8.

This doesn’t earn him forgiveness for drone strikes, persecution of whistleblowers, or protecting torturers from the Bush years…but it’s a start.

Throwing unprecedented political weight into legalizing same-sex marriage, the Obama administration on Thursday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California’s ban on gay nuptials.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the administration for the first time stepped into the four-year legal battle over Proposition 8, arguing that the 2008 voter-approved law violates the federal equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples and does “not substantially further any important government interest.”

Although the administration stopped short of asking the Supreme Court to find all state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the legal reasoning, if adopted by the justices, would implicate laws similar to Proposition 8 across the country and raise the stakes in the civil rights showdown.

Good for him.

Of course, this doesn’t convince me that Obama has a spine.  Standing up on principle could’ve happened several years ago, when the polls didn’t show that most Americans favored this decision.  It’s less impressive when the stand you’re taking is politically expedient.

Alan Keyes: pro-equality SCOTUS ruling would be a cause for war.
On bigots becoming the minority.
Huckabee says SCOTUS can't overrule god on same-sex marriage.
London pro-equality bus ad scores points for brevity.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • iknklast

    To your list of things this doesn’t make up for, there is a long list of environmental decisions that have been terrible. It’ll take a lot of same-sex marriages to undo all the ecosystems that have been destroyed or will be destroyed by his policies.

  • http://charles-thompson.com Code Casanova

    I agree with iknklast. One of the reasons I voted for Obama was because I hoped for more stringent environmental policies and reform. It seems as if things like Gun control and same-sex marriage are more important these days than the long-term sustainability of our country and lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for same-sex marriage, but it does appear as if his motivation is political- not principle-based as JT pointed out.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      I mostly voted for Obama in despair at the other options … McCain and/or Romney would’ve utter disasters for the country.

  • trucreep

    Every single thing a politician does is politically motivated

    • Desiree

      Yup. SSM will positively help his campaign since most americans support it. It would not matter if the president personally was for or against SSM. I still take this as a win for progress. There is no stopping equal rights and the president is smart enough to know this and jump on the bandwagon.

      • Andrew Kohler

        I just think it’s pretty awesome that supporting marriage equality is now a political boon rather than something which politicians did their very best to avoid, even though this led to completely incoherent positions (“I fully support equal rights in all ways! Oh, but marriage is between a man and a woman. So, full equality except for having the actual same thing.”