"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.Check out the rest of their post as they break down Obama's brief, bit by bit, a brief that contains:
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.
- 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
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.