President Obama's position on gay marriage is still evolving according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who was peppered with questions from reporters asking about the issue after a federal appeals court shot down a California ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday.
"[T]his is ... a process that involves his faith and the way he views these issues," Carney told reporters. "And -- and as he said, and I won't go beyond that, ... his views are evolving."
The White House got new questions on gay marriage within minutes of a federal ruling from the ninth judicial circuit that strikes down California's Proposition 8. In 2008 voters passed the measure that bans gay marriage in the Golden State and the case has been tied up in the courts since.
Then presidential candidate Barack Obama said the ballot initiative was unnecessary, a move that appealed to gay and lesbian Democrats. But he has also suggested states, and not the federal government, should make decisions on who can marry.
New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and the District of Columbia all allow gay marriage while other states, like California, have said no.
Carney reiterated the president's support for gay and lesbian rights and said despite California's vote to deny gays the right to marry, support for state decisions and gay rights don't clash.
"I can say that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples," Carney said. "And his overall record on the issue of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights I think is well known and is one that he is very proud of."
Proposition 8 is expected to remain in the courts and likely end up at the Supreme Court. Gay marriage is still banned in California while the measure works its way through the judicial system. The White House wouldn't comment specifically on the California law.