It appears that the Obama administration is taking both sides on the issue of same-sex marriage as government lawyers defend the Defense of Marriage Act from a suit by a California gay couple.
The law says marriage is between a man and a woman, but the president also said DOMA discriminates against gays and lesbians and he wants Congress to repeal it.
Until then, the White House will do its job of defending the law.
Experts say playing both sides of the issue may backfire on the Obama administration.
Julie Nice of the University of South Florida Law school said neither side is going to be happy.
"The brief today does make the claim that same-sex marriage ban is discriminatory and that is going to anger those who oppose same sex marriage," she said.
"But at the same time, they are defending the ban on marriage as a technical matter and that is going to really upset the gay activists."
During his run for office, President Obama repeatedly stated that while he supported civil unions, he was against gay marriage.