WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- In a White House press conference today, President Barack Obama called the Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states an "extraordinary achievement" for which Americans should be "very proud."
Prior to the news conference, in which the President took no questions from reporters," the White House Twitter account changed its logo to rainbow colors and tweeted "Love Wins."
"What a vindication of the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things," the President said. "What a reminder of what Bobby Kennedy once said about how small actions can be like pebbles being thrown into a still lake and ripples of hope cascade outwards and change the world."
The President said social progress comes slowly – but "then there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."
"Those countless, often anonymous, heroes, they deserve our thanks," said the President of gay rights activists who have worked for years to legalize same-sex marriage. "They should be very proud."
The President also noted in his address that those celebrating today's Supreme Court decision should be mindful of the fact that those who are not celebrating with them are doing so, in most cases, from deeply-held, fundamental beliefs and the role of freedom of religion cannot be forgotten in the celebration.
Obama opened his speech by declaring that the United States was founded on the principle that all people were created equal and that it is up to each generation to "bridge" those words about equality and apply them to changing circumstances.
That is why his administration, he said, decided to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays serving in the military.
During his years in the White House, Obama claims to have evolved on the issue. In his 2008 campaign, he declared his favor for same-sex unions but opposed gay marriage. During his 2012 campaign, Obama said his views had "evolved" in large part due to his daughters. Because of his daughters, he claimed to want an America where all people could marry the person they truly loved.
Despite Obama's claims of "evolution" on this issue, former advisor David Axelrod claimed earlier this year that Obama always favored same-sex marriage but altered his public statements as the idea gained popularity in the broader culture.