From Senator Obama's U.S. Senate Website: Obama Statement on Vote Against Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage Wednesday, June 7, 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Washington Contact: Tommy Vietor or Robert Gibbs, (202) 228-5511 Illinois Contact: Julian Green, (312) 886-3506 Date: June 7, 2006 Obama Statement on Vote Against Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement outlining the reasons for his vote against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage: "This debate is a thinly-veiled attempt to break a consensus that is quietly being forged in this country. A consensus between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Red States and Blue States, that it's time for new leadership in this country - leadership that will stop dividing us, stop disappointing us, and start addressing the problems facing most Americans. "I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also agree with most Americans, including Vice President Cheney and over 2,000 religious leaders of all different beliefs, that decisions about marriage should be left to the states as they always have been." Open Letter by Obama 2008: "As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does hmmm...in 2006, Obama believes it should be left up to the states but when running for president his position changes. Clinton on DOMA: "I believe that DOMA served a very important purpose. I was one of the architects in the strategy against the Marriage Amendment to the constitution, and DOMA gave us a bright line to be able to hold back the votes that were building up to do what I consider to be absolutely abominable and that would be to amend the constitution to enshrine discrimination. I believe marriage should be left to the states. I support civil unions as I've said many times with full equality of benefits and so I think that DOMA appropriately put the responsibility in the states where it has historically belonged and I think you're beginning to see states take action. I think it's, I think part three of DOMA needs to be repealed because part three stands in the way of the full extension of federal benefits and I support that."