Obama Approach 'Exactly' Right on Gay Marriage Andrew Sullivan thinks Justice Department is wise to make 'modest' arguments By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Mar 1, 2013 1:50 PM CST 35 comments Comments The July 16, 2011 file photo shows two homosexual men holding hands during Christopher Street Day in Weimar, eastern Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Michael Reichel) (Newser) – Andrew Sullivan may be a big believer in marriage equality, but he also thinks it is a policy best pursued through legislative means, not the courts. Which is why he thinks the Obama administration is taking "exactly the right approach" in joining the Supreme Court cases over Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The Justice Department's arguments are "modest" and "small-c conservative, in that they stop short of a full-scale federal equal protection argument that would mandate marriage equality across the entire country at once," writes Sullivan on the Dish. "I think in a democracy, you change hearts and minds first if possible; then you change the law," he adds. Sullivan recognizes that opinions are strong and split on the issue, and that public opinion matters in a democracy. The president has struck the right balance, "advancing a liberal goal of equality with a small-c conservative concern for gradual change based on moral, empirical and spiritual evolution." Click to read the full column.