When President Obama made his announcement in May of 2012 that he (once again) supported gay marriage, he also made it clear that he thought the issue should be left to the states. Obama said in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts:
What you're seeing is, I think, states working through this issue in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that's a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what's recognized as a marriage....
Part of the reason that I thought it was important to speak to this issue was the fact that, you know, I've got an opponent on--on the other side in the upcoming presidential election, who wants to re-federalize the issue and institute a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. And, you know, I think it is a mistake to try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue.
Today, according to reports, Obama may continue his evolution on gay marriage and fight to deny California voters the right to settle this issue at the ballot box. NBC's Pete Williams reports that Obama's Justice Department will file a brief arguing that California's constitutional amendment establishing marriage as a union between one man and one woman violates the federal constitution. "Specifics — including the breadth of the administration's argument — remain unknown, although a brief should be filed later Thursday," reports Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner.