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White House press secretary Jay Carney dodged comment on this week's marriage equality victory in Washington as President Obama was scheduled to visit the state for a Friday tour at Boeing Co., where he spoke about measures to boost American exports.
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, Carney also declined direct comment on New Jersey governor Chris Christie's vowed veto of a marriage equality bill passed by the state Assembly Thursday. Lawmakers have nearly two years to override a veto.
"I would say only broadly, as I have said in the past, without weighing into individual states and their actions, that this president strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue, and he opposes actions that take away rights that have been established by those states," Carney said Friday.
Speaking with The Advocate earlier this week, Washington governor Chris Gregoire, who signed a marriage equality bill into law Monday, said she had not heard from President Obama or White House officials. "I know he's on his own personal journey, and I respect that, as I've been on mine," Gregoire said of the president. "But I will say that I feel better today than I have for the last seven years in office with the culmination of my journey and seeing what we were able to do."
Gregoire spoke briefly with Obama upon Air Force One's arrival at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., earlier today.
More on the presidential visit to Washington State via The Seattle Times.
Transcript of the marriage question:
Q: Since we're going to Washington, Washington State legalized same-sex marriage this month. And as you know, Governor Christie is promising to veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage that passed the New Jersey Assembly. I'm just wondering, what does the president think about Washington State's decision and then Governor Christie's vow to veto legislation?
Carney: Well, I would say only broadly, as I have said in the past, without weighing into individual states and their actions, that this president strongly supports the notion that the states should be able to decide this issue, and he opposes actions that take away rights that have been established by those states. But I'm not going to comment specifically on individual states.
Q: Is his view on same-sex marriage, though, still evolving? Or how would you describe it?
Carney: I have no update for you on that.