It’s an election year, so it’s time to play wedge issue roulette. Which culture war favorite is it going to be this time? Gay marriage? The Obama administration’s recent and contested decision to require Catholic organizations to provide birth control coverage to employees?

There’s movement on both those fronts this week, what with a California appeals court’s ruling Tuesday that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Also that day, White House spokesman Jay Carney piped up about the birth control controversy and his boss’ plans to try to tamp down the criticism. How exactly Obama will do this was unclear at press time. –KA

Update: And they’re off: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney took to the contraception coverage debate with aplomb Tuesday in an effort to one-up each other and gain on fellow GOP contender Rick Santorum, who’s already made some headway on this issue.

AP via USA Today:

He continued to defend the new policy, while making clear Tuesday that the White House is looking for a way to calm the growing election-year firestorm that’s erupted since it was announced late last month.

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