Friday, June 12, 2009

UPDATE: Obama's Defense of DOMA Invokes Incest and Child Marriages - HRC Demands Action

UPDATE: The White House sent this statement to numerous media sites in response to the uproar:

"As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The President has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system."

This is the same argument used to keep Don't Ask Don't Tell in place, even though Obama has the power to use stop-loss in the interim of its repeal. Also, the statement ignores the fact that other Presidents have disputed federal law in order to change it, instead of defend it.

American Blog's response.


A federal case arguing against DOMA was recently challenged by the Department of Justice, the voice of Obama's Administration when defending current law, using discriminatory language and diminishting the only two cases won for LGBT civil rights in the US Supreme Court.

The department moved to dismiss the first gay marriage case filed in federal court, saying it is not the right venue to tackle legal questions raised by a couple already married in California. (This is separate from the federal case challenging California's Proposition 8 which has been filed by unmarried couples.)

America Blog does an amazing job of breaking down Obama's court brief defending DOMA.
Obama didn't just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn't motivated by any anti-gay animus.
He actually argued that the courts shouldn't consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.

And before Obama claims he didn't have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional . . . Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was "abhorrent." Folks, Obama's lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He's taking us down for his own benefit.
Check out the rest of their post as they break down Obama's brief, bit by bit, a brief that contains:
  • Obama invoking incest and adults marrying children
  • Child rape cases make DOMA constitutional
  • It saves the federal government money
  • DOMA doesn't discriminate against gays - all they have to do to get the benefits is get married... to someone of the opposite sex.
  • "DOMA Is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles."
  • don't confuse the gays with the blacks, and other "real" marriages
  • And more.

Obama's Motion to Dismiss Marriage case Obama's Motion to Dismiss Marriage case JoeSudbay Obama administration's brief in case to dismiss same-sex marriage case.

This is in fact very disheartening. People may say that the president is only doing his job of protecting the law, but as already stated - Clinton, Bush and Reagan all had filed briefs opposing federal law. Obama could've done the same, but he didn't. Is this this an action of a man who said he believed that DOMA was "abhorrent"?

There has been many mixed reactions to Obama's job so far as President, especially within the LGBT population. Some have called for patience since he's only been in office for less than six months and is busy tackling numerous crises. Others have demanded action on his campaign promises, or in the very least, a sign of support, something that has been lacking.

I have attended demonstrations, calling on Obama to act immediately on Don't Ask Don't Tell, since our nation needs as many of our men and women in the armed forces right now. For me, it wasn't a protest against the president, just a call to action.

But now I don't know how I feel. This brief states clearly that his administration intends to defend DOMA, instead of filing a presidential challenge, an action that has precedent.

Even Jenny Pizer, director of Lamda Legal's marriage project has stated, "We are surprised and profoundly disappointed that the administration has chosen to defend DOMA - using many of the same arguments the Bush Administration used - plus some new arguments that make no sense and are discriminatory."

I'm not one to think the worst of people, but instead I try to understand where they're coming from and why they do what they do. But I don't understand this. This is NOT the actions of a "fierce advocate," no matter how you interpret it.

And isn't this the month that Obama declared to be officially LGBT Pride Month as a hallmark to us and his commitment to our civil rights? What a way to celebrate.

I feel like a fool for believing the promises that he made.

Right now I'm in shock. The anger will come later.

I'm not the only one in shock. Both the HRC and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund had demanded that Obama repeal DOMA immediately.

HRC: "The Administration apparently determined that it had a duty to defend DOMA in the courts. The President has just as strong a duty to put his principles into action, and end discrimination against LGBT people and our families,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We call on the President to send legislation repealing DOMA to Congress,” he added.

Task Force:"DOMA is and has always been an immoral attack on same-sex couples, our families and our fundamental humanity. This law has only served to discriminate against Americans and belittle our nation's heralded values embracing freedom, fairness and justice. The Task Force Action Fund demands President Obama and Congress immediately repeal this hateful law, which has left a moral scar on our nation and its worthy pursuit of equal justice for all.

"Unfortunately, the malicious and outrageous arguments and language used in the Department of Justice's marriage brief is only serving to inflame and malign the humanity of same-sex couples and our families. This is unacceptable.

"This ugly chapter in our nation's history must come to an end now with the repeal of DOMA."

Pam Spaulding from Pam's House Blend states the potential impact of this brief: "A brief with language like this could have been written by Liberty Counsel it's so homophobic; that it's written in legalese doesn't blunt the arguments being made here. It will be used to cause lasting damage to future civil rights gains."

Am I wrong for feeling like a fool? Have we all been fooled? What do you think? What do we do now? What actions do we take?

ACTION: Demand that President Obama stop defending DOMA and fulfill his campaign promises by getting it repealed! You can contact the White House by filling out their contact form, or call them and let them know what you think.

Phone Numbers

Comments: 202-456-1111

Comments: 202-456-6213


  1. And the White House gets another angry letter, email, and call from me.

    I really hope everyone else has been calling every single time Obama throws us under the bus too.

  2. Please consider putting a direct link here so that people have an easy method to email the White House.

  3. Wow. I can't believe I didn't think to do that!

    Here you go: White House Contact Form.

  4. How can a man who is a minority himself deny other minorities basic human rights????????????????????????

  5. Why am I not surprised. All the Obama supporters were duped into believing that voting black meant voting for change. This is so disappointing this is not the chage we'd hoped for. The country is obsessed with michelles clothing and the damn puppy they are missing where this "leader" is taking us.

  6. I've been duped. Fuck you Obama. I trusted you. Never trust a politician....I should have known better.

  7. Because civil rights for black and gays are not the same fight, no matter how you spin it. Bottom line, a person can choose to not disclose they are gay. A person cannot choose whether to disclose they are black.


    President Obama has never hidden the fact that he does not support gay marriage. This was discussed ad nauseum during the campaign. Maybe pay attention a bit?

  8. He said he was against DOMA. That's been discussed ad nauseum as well. There's a difference.

  9. Obama has NEVER supported Gays, however because the liberal media spun him out to be a god sent and a minority, the gays as a minority naturally clung to him.

    As a gay woman i voted republican purely on the basis that i'm gonna get screwed by either candidate on gay marriage, at least voting republican reduces my tax liability. The fact that my taxes go towards Obama's salary makes me want to vomit.

    He also openly said he wouldn't approve gay marriages but apparently no gay people got the memo, instead they ran right out to the mall and purchased a shirt with Obama's face on it, so they too could be cool.

    What a load of crap.

  10. Well, I wasn't fooled by all the Obama-worshipping. I have a habit, based on long experience, of never believing campaign promises. They are almost always pure lie.

    He better pull off some major miracles before year's end, though. Because between throwing us under the bus every chance he gets and his pathetic warmongering, he's pretty much lost my support. It's gonna take some serious and progressive revolutions in health care, economic regulation, environmental and energy policies to regain that support.

    But for now, he's lost it. I know that doesn't keep him awake nights, but still.

    At least with Bush, I knew going in. Obama is a big, if not entirely unexpected, disappointment.

  11. Wow so people should choose to disclose they are gay because they can, or forfeit civil rights? That last anonymous person is a dumb homophobe with no credibility. Obama did promise to move to the left, not the right, on gay rights, and did say he opposed DOMA.

    Maybe pay attention a little yourself before accusing others of not doing so, you dumb worthless homophobe?

  12. Obama is a fraud. This is no different than what he said during his campaign. He panders to whoever is listening to him, whomever his audience happens to be for that day.
    Obama played the GLBT community for fools.

  13. "As a gay woman i voted republican purely on the basis that i'm gonna get screwed by either candidate on gay marriage, at least voting republican reduces my tax liability. The fact that my taxes go towards Obama's salary makes me want to vomit."

    The fact that there are gay people out there like you makes me want to vomit. Thanks a lot to people of your ilk for Reagan and the Bushes and the screwed over, class segregated, environmentally destroyed, deregulated, destroyed country we have. At least we'll get some good policy with Obama even if gay rights is a disappointment, but voting Republican just destroys everything. Shame on you.

  14. Can I take my vote back?

  15. One comment to "Anonymous". Actually, there are many mixed-races, including black, who CAN hide that they are something other than what one would believe them to be (again, including black). I know many who can pass as white, asian, or other nationalities. Discrimination is just that. It does not have a color, or sexuality, attached to it.

  16. I guess I'm just surprised that anyone is surprised by all this. I was a staunch Hillary supporter and even wrote her in for the general eletion. I just could not bring myself to vote for Obama, mostly because I could sense his homophobia a mile away. Using the "reformed gay man" Donnie McClurkin to woo black church goers in South Carolina? Very low. Having a close personal and political relationship with Rev. James Meeks, a virulent homophobe? The writing was on the wall about Obama's homophobia all along. Many members of the gay community turned on Hillary in favor of Obama and we're seeing now what a terrible mistake that was. Shouldn't his choice of Rick Warren at the inauguration have made it all clear once and for all? Obama may end up doing some good things for the economy and other issues but make no mistake about it. He is NO friend to the gay community.

  17. Wow.... I knew he was going to self-destruct, but this is crazy! He hasn't even been the president for 6 months and look at how many people he's pissed off. That's what you get for voting for "progressive and hip" and not freaking experience!!! By the way, to be clear, I tried to post with my name, but it didn't work. I didn't choose anonymous because I'm a wuss. Just sayin'.

  18. I think its time Obama came out of the closet.Its been known for years!!But,only Larry Sinclair had balls to talk about it.

  19. Because of his age and the fact that he is a minority, people assumed that he was more liberal and open-minded than Clinton. I guess voting for him only seemed like a good idea.

  20. "Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act -- a position I have held since before arriving in the US Senate" - Obama

    I guess he only said this as a means to make Hilary look bad. The greatest liar won that battle. This isn't change - this is history repeating itself.

  21. Obama is a complete and uttr disapointment. We've been had. Obama has lost my vote and support in 3 years unless he does some serious about face. How dare him. What a despicable person he is turning out to be.

  22. Every passing day the Obama administration is losing more and more support from the LBGT community.

    If Obama continues to deny LBGT Americans their equal rights I will fight just as hard for his removal from office in 2012 as I fought to replace GWBush.

    Hey Mr. President, many of us LBGT Americans influenced MANY of our heterosexual friends and family on your behalf. Keep this shoddy treatment up and I can promise we will fight just as hard to ensure your defeat in 2012.

  23. Oh my goodness, such drama kings/queens! A piece of legislation could possibly pass, but it cannot eradicate people's disapproval any more than the Civil Rights Movement eradicated prejudice/racism, since you all think they are so similar. If you are looking for complete equality, for everybody to accept, not tolerate gay's just not gonna happen. There will always be somebody that will still look at you funny. There will always be somebody that will still whisper about you. There will always be somebody that thinks it's wrong. That's just the bottom line.

  24. I always felt that the Obamamania was a tad bit over done- I admit that at times I had debates over issues that had to do with the man- but I cannot believe this! Of course I know he wasnt a gay marriage supporter, but at least he was a "strong civil union supporter" (paraphrased, of course)... This month is freaking LGBT pride month! What the hell, I mean I can -kind of- understand why LGBT issues havnt been the hugest deal -although they should freaking be, its a human rights issue1- but this?!
    The sadest part? The republican a-holes may have been right about him.

  25. Gays and lesbians who chose to support Obama over Clinton made an enormous mistake. I tried and tried and tried to shout the word but so many people got caught up in his youth and "coolness" that they ignored his obvious homophobia. What really infuriates me is the number of gay people in CA who ignored the need to donate and campaign against Prop. 8 because they were so busy supporting Obama. Now look where we are. Gay marriage banned in CA, a homophobe in office, and Clinton pushed off to the sidelines. She would have been our true friend in the White House and we blew it.

  26. I love Obama! Read ur bibles people!!

  27. Read it and weep. God damned queer.

  28. Hate to say I told Obama supporters so. This is exactly why I didn't vote for him, I trusted my instincts believing there was something(s) he would fool us all into thinking. I'm so sorry to everyone this is affecting. Truth be told I'm a Christian and WAS a supporter of prop 8, but only recently have I realized who am I to judge who people can and can't marry? That's definitely not my call. In no way am I against gays nor am I for ripping families apart. I choose not to be a proponent of something that will cause that...shame on you, Obama.

  29. Ridiculous. Makes me even more proud of my country, which allows gay marriage nation-wide.

    Good job, Obama. Bottomfeeding scumbag. Just like the rest of them.

  30. What's the surprise? Heterosupremacist Obama supporters joined the rest of California's tyrannical lynch mob voting for Prop Hate

  31. As someone who was a Hillary supporter to the bitter end, all I can say to those who voted for Obama is...told you so. I have no idea why so many were fooled by him. At least Hillary's still out there fighting for us. She has even included gay and lesbian rights as paramount in her pursuit of international human rights. Something I'm sure we'll neve hear Obama the homophobe say.

  32. You had to look at the relationship with that horrible Rev Wright. Obama sat in that church for 20 yrs of hate. Hate for everyone especially America. This guy wants to destroy our country. He is not helping the economy, they are spending trillions of dollars and we will have to pay for it! They are taking over private companies for Gods sake. Dems and Rep need to put hate aside and save our country. They want us to fight and hate each other. You will get your rights fullfilled but give people some time and we need to come together and stop the hate. Obama wants there to be race, gender, Islam wars. He thrives on creating a crises so he can get away with what he is doing. The media is so in the tank for him they are not reporting on what he is doing to us. Wake up people!

  33. You really expect a man of such little political experience to be able to take the reigns in DC and invoke serious change? The Hillary supporter is right, you should pay attention to the candidates stance on the issues that are paramount to you and not fall for the glamour and fucking race war that was the Obama administration. This man is not helping us in the white house, he is just another politician. JFK forever.

  34. I don't think people quite understand what this really means at all. Look, I don't like DOMA, nor do I support it, but this document is TOTALLY misunderstood and is being twisted the wrong way.

    The plaintiffs' weren't actually denied any benefits, so they just don't have standing--end of sentence. They are essentially suing for damages for a car accident that hasn't even occurred. If the Supreme Court even granted certiorari, which I PRAY they don't at this critical point in time, we would not be in very good shape.

    And as for rational basis, it's perhaps THE most important aspect of this whole issue. Same sex couples get rational basis--"Congress could find... Congress could reasonably find." It's as easy as Congress looking at how many states recognize same sex marriage, and saying, look, not even half of you do so why should we?? They could look at portrayals of the same sex community, and easily be reviled to the point of penning a most disturbing opinion that is in no way beneficial to us. Look what happened to the writer of "Milk". [thanks Lance, no really, way to keep up a legacy]

    Come on. READ the HRC comments above, and take action THAT way before we follow California's example, throw this in people's faces, and end up suffering the backlash.

    We need to STOP partying, and START proving how important this really is to us. We need to get out from behind our computers, and get involved in the lives of those in our community who NEED OUR HELP.

    We need to show exactly how much our lives are impeded by such hateful legislation, and stop whining about the "bible thumpers" or whatever people call them these days.

    PRESIDENT Obama is a seasoned law professor from a very highly regarded school. He knows what his limitations are. We need to meet him half way, and help him figure out how to use those limitations to our advantage--just like the last president did (to our detriment).

  35. This is why I wanted Clinton to be our president! Obama was a very shady figure to begin with; you really didn't know ANYTHING about where his loyalties were during his campaign and people were so swept up by his sudden fame that they failed to realize anything else. Obama's been an extreme letdown in not only the aspect of equality, but also in terms of the economy. I hope he improves and starts improving the quality of our nation. I seriously think America needs to come together and show that we're not a bunch of idiot hicks and that we are a group of intelligent, independent individuals that will not take whatever the president thinks is right without complaint. That's what happened during the last president's reign and look where we ended up. It's time to actually DO something instead of lazing around. I think we would be able to make a difference if we put in even an ounce of effort into changing the face of American from its old, traditional, racist and discriminatory face to a new modern and accepting era, not only in terms of the LGBT community, but also in terms of all religions and ethnicities. We're already co-existing relatively equally within our communities; it's time we all co-existed equally in terms of the law.

    As for people who are saying to read the bible because it says all homosexuals will go to hell... you guys are soooo idiotic. Stop picking and choosing what you like from the bible and read it in its entirety. Furthermore, why believe something written by other men to be a religion? Scientology is the same thing as Christianity. It's a man-made organization aimed at fooling people and creating religious nazi-types out of it. And regardless of where someone's faith lies, there should be a distinct separation of church and state, especially in the US where there's a myriad of different religions. It's not fair to all Americans to be ruled by one religion when they're not practicing that religion.

  36. Everyone is reacting like Obama created the legislation to restrict the rights of the LGBT community ban gay marriages in Amerikkka. Since biblical times there has always been a resistance to homosexuality,this does NOT however excuse it! Discrimination against gays is not something new and this should not mean that we should be complacent. You can change legislation but you can't change people's minds. I've had my share of racist comments from gays,how ironic.I think LGBT community has every right to the basic fundamental rights that are affored to everyone one in your country. However as a woman of colour who supports gay marriage. I am resentful of some of the comments here about 'race wars' Please don't insult people of colour and assume that we are oblivious to the fact that our rights are inextricably tied to each other.

    Stop using Obama as a scapegoat to vent your frustrations and feelings of rejection by your own society. Instead of spewing hate for the man. Try positive approach. Because the only thing worse than vested interset is APATHY. Apathy is a killer! Please don't make me apathetic by insulting people of colour.Whether or not you like it, the reality is that people are gonna have a vested interest in causes. Stop blaming blacks or the black vote for the fucked up legislation and injustices that you are subjected to you. How how much social and economic power do blacks have in the U.S. really??

    Blacks did not create those laws as a black person I resent being blamed for the oppression that you are facing because of that ridiculous Prop 8. With all due respect Fuck you! If you want blacks or any other minority to rally with you stop fucking blaming them for your problems especially if they have no real econonomic/social/political power to create/influence legislation. Remember Katrina??? Why don't you deal with those crazy ass white people in the bible belt regions of your country. Amerikkka denies the LGBT community their rights! Wake up people! Stick to the topic.

    It's an issue of your human rights quit making ita race issue, as if there are no black gays or gay people of colour in genreral. Thank god I live in Canada.

  37. To the above poster, I agree with you that we need to be careful about generalizations re: who is and who is not supportive of LGBT rights in America. That being said, it is a sad reality that 70% of black voters in CA voted in favor of Prop. 8. This is an enormous percentage and it has to be acknowledged. There were other blocs of voters who also went heavily in favor of Prop. 8...evangelicals, Mormons, hispanics, and seniors. I think the gay community can at least make sense of the evangelical and Mormon votes. We expect that. The senior vote is simply a generational belief that can't really be changed at this point but will fade out. The lack of support for LGBT issues is troubling, however, in the hispanic and black communities. And maybe more puzzling in the black vote. The majority of gays and lesbians are liberal to moderate and heavily support/vote for issues important to the black community...affirmative action, racial hate crimes, anti-discrimination laws, etc. So it comes as a surprise and a huge disappointment to see so many voters in the black community supporting the removal of civil rights for another minority group. It is a very disheartening thing to see.