Gay Rights Take Spotlight in D.C. Wednesday after New York Marriage Vote

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With separate events on Capitol Hill and at the White House, the issue of gay rights will be in focus again in Washington on Wednesday after New York passed its same-sex marriage vote last week.

President Obama is hosting a gay pride month reception at the White House Wednesday, and 13 Senators on Capitol Hill will be unveiling their participation in the "It Gets Better Campaign."

The events come as New York state became the sixth one in the nation to legalize gay marriage, something in which the president does not support and that has put a wedge between him and some of his political base.

The White House did not release details on a schedule or whom would be attending the gay pride reception ahead of the event.

Obama supports civil unions and has said that his belief on the issue of gay marriage is "evolving."

At an LGBT fundraiser last Thursday in New York City, Obama gave this line, which didn't move his position forward but still technically provided some support, "I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country."

He also said it's an example of the power of democracy and state's rights that led to the New York bill's passage.

The verdict is still out on how much of an impact it will have on the 2012 election.Recent polls show a slim majority of Americans support gay marriage, and religious groups -- including evangelicals who are particularly key to the Republican bloc and the Catholic Church which often sways Democratic-- are for keeping legal marriage strictly between a man and a woman.

When pressed on whether he also supports the state of California, which turned down a gay marriage bill, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn't specifically say the president's thoughts on that state, but reiterated how the administration no longer defends cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

"I can't improve upon the words that the President delivered publicly...Thursday night. So I'm not disagreeing with that interpretation, but he has said quite clearly, as he did in the DOMA decision and as he did on Thursday night, that he believes that it's for the states to decide," Carney said at Monday's White House briefing.

Some pro-gay marriage critics saw Thursday evening's fundraiser and the New York vote as a chance for the president to lead on the issue. To that, the White House says Obama's record has proven he backs gay rights by pushing for repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and extending rights to partners of government workers.

Also on Capitol Hill Wednesday, 13 Senators will unveil an "It Gets Better" video, which is part of a nation-wide campaign for gay youth in which high-profile individuals give the message that while things may seem hard for them now, "it gets better."

The aim of the senators' involvement is to "underscore their support for marriage equality," according to a press release ahead of the event. "The video is an appeal to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people to not give up, reassuring them that the Senators are working hard to fulfill the promise of equality for all," the release adds. The video includes appearances by Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sherrod Brown,D-Ohio, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Chris Coons, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mark Udall, D-Colo., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Some of the senators will hold a press conference after the video's release.

White House staff, including the president and first lady Michelle Obama, have also participated in the "It Gets Better" campaign in the past.