Wednesday, February 23, 2011

President Obama Finally Comes Out Against the Defense of Marriage Act & Refuses to Defend It in Court

     This is a huge and long-fought victory in the fight for marriage equality and to repeal the hateful discrimination that is the Defense of Marriage Act.  The National Journal reports:
     President Obama believes that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and will no longer defend the 15-year-old law in federal court, the Justice Department announced today.  The decision, which stunned and delighted gay-rights activists, means that the administration will withdraw its defense of ongoing suits in two federal Appeals Courts and will leave it to Congress to defend the law, known as DOMA, against those challenges. It will remain a party to the lawsuits. The law itself remains in effect.  DOMA, signed by President Clinton in 1996, allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages preformed in other states and provides a federal definition for “marriage” that excludes same-sex couples.
     In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the president has concluded that, given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny”. . .
     The decision means the Justice Department will cease to defend two suits brought against the law. The first was a summary judgment issued in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services last May by the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the law’s definition of “marriage” as a legal union between a man and a woman.

2 comments:

Buffy said...

I don't trust it. I smell pre-primary posturing here. Why else would he wait until 2011 to do this? And why did he "defend" it all that time prior?

He doesn't really give a hoot about LGBT people. He just wants to get the votes of those who are silly enough to fall for this.

truthspew said...

Here's my take on it. I think Obama has long supported marriage equality. He made all sorts of noise about it when he was a state then U.S. Senator.

Then all of a sudden he's President and he's 'grappling' with it. My ass, what he's really grappling with is the political ramifications.