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Obama: ‘I think the Constitution calls for gay marriage to be legal in all 50 states’

Obama: ‘I think the Constitution calls for gay marriage to be legal in all 50 states’

President Barack Obama has said he believes same-sex couples should be able to marry in all 50 US states under the Constitution.

The president of the US says he believes gay marriage should come under the Equal Protection Clause.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Obama said the best Supreme Court decisions since he took office was the recent rejection of gay marriage appeals from five states.

He described it as a ‘consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up’.

Obama, who first said he ‘evolved’ on gay marriage in May 2012, said the high court was ‘not quite ready’ to ‘indicate an equal-protection right across the board’.

‘Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states,’ he said.

‘But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare.

‘And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.’

‘The bulk of my nominees, 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, would have been considered very much centrists, well within the mainstream of American jurisprudence, not particularly fire-breathing or ideologically driven,’ Obama added.

‘So the fact that now Democratic appointees and Republican appointees tend to vote differently on issues really has more to do with the shift in the Republican Party and in the nature of Republican-appointed jurists … Democrats haven’t moved from where they were.’