August 17, 2009

DOMA Derangements: Obama Wants MA to Dictate SSM to USA

Hatched by Dafydd

Now that the presidency of Barack H. Obama is in a quiet period, with no roiling controversies or raging political disputes at the moment, he has reannounced his intention to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- presumably whether or not Congress agrees -- so that Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and (possibly) Maine can force the other 44 states to accept same-sex marriage (SSM), regardless of the homophobic votes of the knuckledragging, redneck, slope-browed, inbred, hillbilly, religion-clinging citizens of the vast majority of the American population. After all, we can't turn over the whole political process to mere voters and trust them to do the right thing:

President Barack Obama insisted Monday he still wants to scrap what he calls a discriminatory federal marriage law, even as his administration angered gay rights activists by defending it in court.

The president said his administration's stance in a California court case is not about defending traditional marriage, but is instead about defending traditional legal practice....

Obama said he plans to work with Congress to repeal the law, and said his administration "will continue to examine and implement measures that will help extend rights and benefits" to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples under existing law.

The government says in its court filing that it will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional -- a standard practice of government lawyers.

As everybody in the known universe understands, the purpose of DOMA is to prevent some states from forcing every other state to accept same-sex marriage (SSM); its operative language is very simple:

The first part is found at U.S. Code Title 1, Chapter 1, §7:

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

That is, same-sex unions are not marriages under federal law. The other element is at U.S. Code Title 28, Part V, Chapter 115, §1738C:

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

This is the provision that says states do not have to recognize an SSM, even if it is legal in the state where it was performed.

The president, by announcing that he still intends to repeal DOMA, signals that he wants to take away the people's right to determine the marriage law of their own state: Any same-sex couple living in a state that doesn't recognize SSM could very simply take a trip to a state that does, get married, then return and demand to be treated the same as an opposite-sex married couple... and to hell with what the citizens of that state have said at the voting booth.

So the national government, in addition to taking over dozens of banks, General Motors, and the entire health-care industry, wants to take over the state marriage laws as well! ("None dare call it...")

Incidentally, if Brietbart is to be believed (and why not?), it's not strictly true, as they reported above, that the Justice Department is "defending [DOMA] in court." In fact, towards the end of the story, we discover that they're doing so in such a half-hearted manner one might almost conclude they're intentionally sabotaging their own case, hoping to lose:

The administration also disavowed past arguments made by conservatives that DOMA protects children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality," lawyers argued in the filing.

They begin by throwing into the dustbin of politics a very powerful argument for DOMA that could easily sway the federal courts, and the absence of which could destroy the case.

Of course, if they do lose, they can always say they tried! That way they get the policy they want but duck the consequences.... Just another day in Obamaland.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 17, 2009, at the time of 6:24 PM

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The following hissed in response by: cdor

If gay marriage becomes legal via the courts or Presidential decree, it will be as devisive an issue as abortion and will set the gay rights movement back a generation.

The above hissed in response by: cdor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2009 4:57 AM

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