Obama Takes a Shot at DOMA, Orders Justice Department to Stop Defending it.
President Obama got one right yesterday. After weeks of deliberation and possibly some soul searching, Obama ordered the justice department to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. Attorney General Eric Holder informed congress in a letter that certain classifications of DOMA were unconstitutional and violated the rights of LGBT citizens. With two federal lawsuits pending and scheduled to be heard on March 11, it could mean that DOMA may be declared unconstitutional by the courts and open the door to federally recognize same sex marriage. At the very least, by identifying parts of the act as discrimination, it could have a positive affect on solving issues such as employment discrimination, family recognition, and full equality rights for gays and lesbians.
Of course many in the Republican Party are outraged. They are saying that Obama is letting his personal views get in the way of doing his duty to defend the law of the land. Their complaints reek of hypocrisy; the American people through out the course of our history has seen countless efforts of conservative movements to further their own moral standards by attacking pro choice advocates and equality for those who were born with same sex orientation. In their eyes every baby should be born no matter what, and gays and lesbians are going to hell because they are perverting the laws of god. In the Republican/christian conservative political ideology the Bible is more of a tool to govern our country than the Constitution. However, in the public for the most part this is not the case. Recent polls have shown that most republicans favor equal rights for gays and lesbians, and at least half of the Republicans polled favored same sex marriage. Why is this sticking point for our conservative law makers? Because the people who line their campaign coffers are uber conservative christian zealots who want to eliminate all diversity within our borders.
Obama in reality opposes same sex marriage. The fact that he can finally put his religious views aside and begin to do what’s right from a humanistic, secular stand point is admirable. Giving the order to stop defending DOMA in federal court at this time is a brilliant strategy as well. With the national focus on collective bargaining for state employees as a distraction, Obama has used the diversion to his advantage to move forward on equality for gays and lesbians. With the Republican Party already taking a bludgeoning over their unconscionable move to oppress labor and unions, to actively fight this move may insure their defeat in the next election. Besides it’s all about the budget and jobs for the Republicans right? There certainly has to be a huge price tag on defending federal law suits, and I would think that a lot of money would be saved by refusing to defend against and already unconstitutional law. In my eyes it’s refreshing to see a president who doesn’t treat the white house as his own theocracy and is more interested in doing what’s right. I hope he doesn’t bow to the Koch brother’s party and reverse what he has put forward.
- Obama Administration Won’t Defend the Defense of Marriage Act (news.change.org)
- Gov’t will stop defending DOMA gay marriage ban (cbsnews.com)
- Obama: Paving The Way for Same Sex Marriage? – CBS News (news.google.com)
- New York pols respond to Obama’s DOMA decision (timesunion.com)