In the interview, Obama's first one-on-one with an LGBT news outlet as President, reporter Kerry Eleveld asked him if he'd consider just dropping the defense.
"I have a whole bunch of really smart lawyers who are looking at a whole range of options," Obama said. "My preference wherever possible is to get things done legislatively because I think it gains a legitimacy, even among people who don't like the change, that is valuable."
"So with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' I have such great confidence in the effective implementation of this law because it was repealed [legislatively]. We would have gotten to the same place if the court order had made it happen, but I think it would have engendered resistance," he added. "So I'm always looking for a way to get it done if possible through our elected representatives. That may not be possible in DOMA's case. That's something that I think we have to strategize on over the next several months."
The DOJ continued defending Don't Ask, Don't Tell from legal challenges even as Obama tried to get the law repealed.
Obama also hinted, again, that his personal views on gay marriage may change.
"I'm wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this. I have always firmly believed in having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under the law that marriage does," he said.
"What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples," he said.