(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
The Obama administration announced late Thursday that it will be filing an amicus brief encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn California's proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriage in the state.
The administration, which initially suggested it would not get involved with the Supreme Court case, will file its brief later on Thursday, officials told NBC News, the first media outlet to break the story.
As The New York Times points out, the Obama administration previously expressed reluctance in joining the judicial fray regarding same-sex marriage, partly because of historical practice and partly because Obama has formerly expressed his belief that same-sex marriage should be handled on a state level.
"I continue to believe," Obama told Robin Roberts of ABC News, "that this is an issue that is going to be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what's recognized as a marriage."
In spite of these previous comments, Obama's January inauguration speech alluded to the fact that his administration was backing same-sex marriage legalization.
"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," Obama said.
Alliance Defending Freedom, who is a co-counsel in the Supreme Court case in favor of upholding Proposition 8, previously told The Christian Post that it hoped the Supreme Court would uphold the definition of traditional marriage.
"The wisest course of action is for the Supreme Court to allow the debate over marriage to continue in this country and not judicially impose same-sex marriage on Americans," ADF told CP.
Obama's decision to file the brief comes days after a separate brief, signed by lesser-known Republicans, was to be submitted.
This brief includes signatures from Former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, and former George W. Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley, among others.
Groups supporting Proposition 8 have also filed briefs, including the pro-traditional marriage group Minnesota for Marriage and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Opening arguments for the Supreme Court Proposition 8 case will begin March 26.
In this session, the Supreme Court will also be hearing a case regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman on a federal level. The Obama administration filed a brief last week, urging the Supreme Court to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.