A day after his administration formally weighed in on an upcoming Supreme Court case on gay marriage, President Barack Obama said he felt the issue required a response that reflected "what I believe."
"I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for," he said during a press conference at the White House.
After first indicating that it would not get involved in the case, the Justice Department on Thursday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case over the constitutionality of California's "Proposition 8," which banned same-sex marriage in the state after thousands of gay couples had already legally tied the knot.
Obama, who publicly changed course and embraced same sex marriage last year, said that he hopes that the court rules to strike down not just California's ban on gay marriage but equivalent restrictions in other states.
"The court may decide that if [a ban on same sex marriage] doesn't apply in this case, it probably can't apply in any case. There is no good reason for it," he said. "If I were on the court, that would probably be the view that I'd put forward."
"But I'm not a judge. I'm the president," he added. "The basic principle, though, is let's treat everybody fairly, let's treat everybody equally, and -- and I think that the brief that's been presented accurately reflects our views."