The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 1, 2013

Obama urges Supreme Court to strike down gay marriage ban

WASHINGTON — Citing the principle of equality that drove the nation's founding, President Barack Obama spoke out Friday against California's ban on gay marriage and said the Supreme Court should strike it down.

A day after his administration filed a friend-of-the-court brief unequivocally calling on the justices to strike down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure, Obama said he felt there was no way for his administration to avoid the case.

"I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for," the president said.

The nation has gone through the same evolution he has gone through about how gay couples should be treated under the law, said Obama, who once opposed gay marriage but changed his position last year during his re-election campaign.

"I think this is a profoundly positive thing," Obama said in a White House news conference.

The administration's brief outlined a broad legal argument that could ultimately be applied to other state prohibitions across the country. Although it unequivocally calls on the justices to strike down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure, it stops short of the soaring rhetoric on marriage equality President Barack Obama expressed in his inaugural address in January.

Still, it marks the first time a U.S. president has urged the high court to expand the right of gays and lesbians to wed.

Obama said the brief didn't explicitly argue that gay marriage should be made legal in every state because the case before the court deals specifically with California.

"That's an argument that I make, personally," Obama said. "The court may decide that if it doesn't apply in this case, it probably can't apply in any case. There no good reason for it."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Minneapolis to NYC flight diverted to Milwaukee MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis to New York City has landed safely in Milwaukee after it was diverted. Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo says the crew chose to divert the flight Saturday morning out of an abundance of caution a

    July 26, 2014

  • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel. Sami Abu Zuhri sent a text message to reporters Saturday, saying: "No agreement to extending the calm for an

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona execution renews debate over methods SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there is a foolproof way for the government to humanely kill condemned criminals, and whether it's even worth looking for one. Death

    July 26, 2014

  • Lake Huron fishery recovers, but anglers skeptical TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — More than a decade after its prized chinook salmon crashed, Lake Huron is fertile fishing territory once more, with fast-growing populations of native species such as walleye and lake trout, biologists say. Now the challen

    July 26, 2014

  • Minnesota prosecutor convicted of sex misconduct DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A jury on Friday convicted a northern Minnesota county attorney of sexual misconduct involving a 17-year-old girl after the prosecution argued the man was in a position of authority over the teenager. The jury found Cook County

    July 26, 2014

  • Some in 'torture' report denied chance to read it ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban

    July 26, 2014

  • Police hunt for 2 who carjacked SUV, killed 3 kids PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit to raise money for their church, killing three siblings and critically injuring their mother and the carjacking vic

    July 26, 2014

  • 1 hurt in fiery Twin Cities interstate crash ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say one person was hurt in a fiery crash involving four vehicles on a Twin Cities interstate. The crash on Interstate 35 brought morning traffic to a halt during a rainy commute. The Minnesota State Patrol says a

    July 25, 2014

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014