Joe Biden yesterday, saying all marriages are equal (emphasis added):
DAVID GREGORY: I’m curious. You know, the president has said that his views on gay marriage, on same-sex marriage have evolved. But he’s opposed to it. You’re opposed to it. Have your views— evolved?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Look— I just think— that— the good news is that as more and more Americans become to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out is what— what all marriages, at their root, are about. Whe— whether they’re— marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.
DAVID GREGORY: Is that what you believe now? Are you—
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That’s what I believe.
DAVID GREGORY: And you’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I— I— look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction— beyond that.
Although those comments sounded very much like an embrace of marriage equality, Vice President Biden’s office, the White House, and David Axelrod subsequently said the remarks do not reflect a change in position. On a conference call with reporters this morning, Axelrod said Biden’s remarks were “entirely consistent with the president’s position, which is that couples that are married, whether they are gay or heterosexual, are entitled to the very same rights.”
But while you can plausibly parse Biden’s comments in such a fashion that they are compatible with Obama’s position (for example, not defending DOMA), scrutinizing whether Biden’s words were consistent with the president’s is somewhat absurd given that the president’s own position is “evolving,” and therefore not consistent with itself.
Whether or not Biden and Obama are on the exact same page isn’t the most important question here—the most important question is when Obama will himself finally come out with a full endorsement of marriage equality. Hopefully Biden’s comments mean that day will come sooner than later.