At 1:30 p.m. today, President Obama is due to sit down with ABC's Robin Roberts, and the topic of marriage equality is expected to be discussed.
As The New York Times reported, the interview was hastily arranged:
The sudden booking suggests an interest on the part of the White House to get Mr. Obama in front of cameras, albeit in a carefully controlled interview setting, as soon as possible.
ABC secured the interview with Mr. Obama on Tuesday afternoon, according to two people involved in the planning. It will take place at the White House. The interview was so hastily arranged, in fact, that Ms. Roberts was still in New York on Wednesday morning to co-host “Good Morning America”– and was planning on returning to New York right after the interview, because her mother is visiting and the two have dinner plans on Wednesday evening.
The interview comes as Metro Weekly reported on Tuesday that White House press secretary Jay Carney -- after two solid days of questions about the president's "evolving" position on marriage equality -- was suggesting just such a move:
Echoing a line from Monday's press briefing that was highlighted by Metro Weekly, Carney appears to be signaling that comments from the president -- further evolution toward supporting marriage equality or not -- will be forthcoming: "I'm sure it is the case that he will be asked again at some point when he gives interviews or press conferences about this issue, and I'll leave it to him to describe his personal views."
That this is the second day in a row that Carney has gone beyond simply saying that the president has previously commented on the matter gives some indication that the White House is aware the Obama is going to have to address the issue directly before this November's election.
The interview comes just three days after Vice President Joseph Biden told Meet the Press host David Gregory that it was his belief that marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals all came down to the same roots of love and loyalty.
Marc Ambinder, often a source for administration trial balloon and leaks, tweeted today:
Obama, who supported marriage equality while running for state senate in Illinois in 1996, has supported civil unions but not marriage equality since running for federal office. In late 2010, first with AmericaBlog's Joe Sudbay, then with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld and then with the whole press corps -- Obama stated that his position on the issue was "evolving."
Now, LGBT advocates and the rest of the country are awaiting word of the president's current views on the topic -- one day after North Carolina voters amended their constitution to prohibit not just same-sex couples from marrying but also all unmarried couples from having any recognition of their relationships.
[Photo: President Obama, with Vice President Biden, at the signing of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act on Dec. 22, 2010. (Photo by Ward Morrison.)]