Appearing Monday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Joe Biden made the most high-profile statement yet of the Obama-Biden position on same-sex marriage.
DeGeneres asked where he stands on California's Proposition 8, a 14-word proposal that says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Those exact words were enacted originally as a California statute in 2000, when 61 percent of voters approved Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage Act. This May, in a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court threw out Proposition 22, declaring same-sex marriage a "right" under the California Constitution.
Proposition 8 would amend that constitution to include the 14 words Proposition 22 originally made state law. If Proposition 8 wins, same-sex marriage will be prohibited in California. If Proposition 8 loses, same-sex marriage will be permitted. In other words, if you are against same-sex marriage, you want Proposition 8 to win. If you are for same-sex marriage, you want Proposition 8 to lose. There is no middle ground.
In the vice presidential debate, moderator Gwen Ifill asked Biden directly whether he supports same-sex marriage.
"Do you support gay marriage?" she asked.
"No, Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage," said Biden. "We do not support that."
Were this actually Biden and Obama's position, they would be for Proposition 8. But they are not.
"If I lived in California, I'd clearly vote against Prop. 8," Biden told DeGeneres.
The actual Obama-Biden position on same-sex marriage goes beyond merely opposing Proposition 8. In fact, their position sets the stage for liberal federal judges to impose same-sex marriage nationwide by forcing states that have passed their own acts in defense of marriage to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in states such as California, where state judges declare a state "right" to same-sex marriage.
In June, Obama sent a letter to the San Francisco-based Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club. It was read at the club's June 29 meeting and reprinted in full in the July 2 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle under the headline "Obama opposes proposed ban on gay marriage."
Yet that was not all Obama said he opposes -- or supports -- in this letter. He also declared that he opposes all state constitutional amendments that limit marriage to a man and a woman, that he opposes a federal amendment that would prevent states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages, that he wants to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and that he wants to fully open the military to gays.