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Schwarzenegger says gay marriages should resume in California; Obama still opposes them

August 7, 2010 |  8:24 am

President Barack Obama with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and in the background Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday urged that same-sex marriages be allowed to resume in California, his strongest support yet of gay marriage.

But President Obama has remained silent on the question -- and remains opposed to gay marriage.

"The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control," David Axelrod, a top Obama advisor, told NBC News on Friday.

Axelrod said Obama's position remains the same despite a federal judge's ruling that California's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker on Wednesday overturned Proposition 8's ban on gay marriage. He put his decision on hold until he rules on whether same-sex marriages should be permitted pending appeals.

Obama opposed Prop. 8, Axelrod said, because it was "mean-spirited."

The governor released a statement after the ruling that said: "For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all Californians to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their relationships with equal respect and dignity."

In court papers filed Friday, he added: "Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty," Schwarzenegger's office said in written arguments to the court.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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