The Obama administration is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on gay marriage.
President Barack Obama raised expectations among opponents of the Proposition 8 ban when he declared in last month's inaugural address that gays and lesbians must be "treated like anyone else under the law." The administration has until Feb. 28 to intervene in the case by filing a "friend of the court" brief.
A senior administration official says a final decision on whether to file a brief has not been made. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says Solicitor General Donald Verrilli is consulting with the White House on the matter.
While the Justice Department would formally make the filing, the president himself is almost certain to make the ultimate decision on whether to file.
In an interview Wednesday with San Francisco's KGO-TV, Obama said "I have to make sure that I'm not interjecting myself too much into this process, particularly when we're not a party to the case."
He said his personal view is that gay couples should have the same rights as straight couples and said his administration would do whatever it could to promote that principle.