President Obama said Thursday that same-sex marriages issued in one state should apply in another.
“It's my personal belief, but I'm speaking now as a president as opposed to as a lawyer that if you've been married in Massachusetts, if you move someplace else, you're still married, and that under federal law, you should be able to obtain the benefits of any lawfully married couple,” Obama said at a news conference while traveling in Africa.
Issuing his first public comments on the Supreme Court decisions, Obama called the rulings a victory for democracy.
“We're all equal under the law. We believe in basic fairness,” Obama said in Dakar, Senegal. “And what yesterday's ruling signifies is one more step to ensuring that those basic principles apply to everybody.”
Obama added that “we now have to comb through every federal statute” to administratively apply the new ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. He also said his administration would have to do a “legal analysis” of how to apply the rule that federal benefits apply to all married couples.
“What's true, though, is you still have a bunch of states who do not recognize the Supreme Court ... and we're going to have to go back and do a legal analysis of what that means,” he said.