On Meet the Press, the vice president discussed the administration's position in the same-sex marriage debate.
It has been quite a few days for the cause of marriage equality. First, in an interview with NBC’s Meet The Press, Vice President Biden stated that he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage:
"Look I am the Vice President of the United States of America. The President sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual- men and women marrying- are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And, quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that."
When asked if his views had evolved Biden said:
"The good news is that more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals."
It must be noted that this is quite a different answer than when he was asked if he supported gay marriage during the 2008 Vice presidential debate—when he responded: “No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.”
The White House was quick to clarify that Biden’s comments on Sunday were in no way a reflection of an official change in stance on the administration’s part. A stance that remains vague (the Obama administration stopped defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and-- in states where same sex marriage is legal-- the President supports providing those couples with equal rights, but he has never publicly supported same-sex marriage itself).
But it turns out that Vice President Biden is not alone. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Monday morning and, in light of Biden’s comments, was asked whether or not he believed that same-sex couples should be legally allowed to get married within the United States. His response? A simple, “Yes, I do.”
Vice President Biden was certainly successful in making waves-- Monday afternoon White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spent 21 minutes of a 44 minute press conference fielding marriage-related questions (you can see a compilation of some of the questions/responses here).