Obama Drops Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law
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Thread: Obama Drops Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Obama Drops Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

    Gov't drops defense of anti-gay marriage law
    By PETE YOST, AP

    WASHINGTON In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

    Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus" the Constitution is designed to guard against.

    The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now.

    The move quickly drew praise from some Democrats in Congress but a sharp response from the spokesman for Republican John Boehner, the House Speaker.

    "While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation," said Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel.

    White House: Obama 'grappling' With Gay Marriage
    Gay groups, which had long pressured the administration to take a step like this, were pleased. Ron Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called the policy change "a tremendous step toward recognizing our common humanity and ending an egregious injustice against thousands of loving, committed couples who simply want the protections, rights and responsibilities afforded other married couples. We thank the Obama administration."

    Obama's move may position him politically at the forefront of rising public support for gay marriage. Polling results can vary rather significantly depending on what words are used to describe gay marriage, but there is a gradual trend in public opinion toward more acceptance of gay marriage.

    An Associated Press-National Constitution Center Poll conducted last August found 52 percent of Americans saying the federal government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, while 46 percent said it should not. In polling by ABC News and the Washington Post, support for the legalization of gay marriage has climbed from 37 percent in 2003 to 47 percent in February 2010.

    Holder's statement said, "Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed" the Defense of Marriage Act. He noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional and that Congress has repealed the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

    At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said Obama himself is still "grappling" with his personal view of gay marriage but has always personally opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as "unnecessary and unfair."

    Holder wrote to Boehner that Obama has concluded the Defense of Marriage Act fails to meet a rigorous standard under which courts view with suspicion any laws targeting minority groups who have suffered a history of discrimination.

    The attorney general said the Justice Department had defended the law in court until now because the government was able to advance reasonable arguments for the law based on a less strict standard.

    At a December news conference, in response to a reporters' question, Obama revealed that his position on gay marriage is "constantly evolving." He has opposed such marriages and supported instead civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. The president said such civil unions are his baseline at this point, as he put it.

    "This is something that we're going to continue to debate, and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward," he said.

    On Wednesday, Holder said the president has concluded that, given a documented history of discrimination against gays, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny than the department had been applying in legal challenges to the act up to now.

    The attorney general said the department will immediately bring the policy change to the attention of two federal courts now hearing separate lawsuits targeting the Defense of Marriage Act.

    One case, in Connecticut, challenges the federal government's denial of marriage-related protections for federal Family Medical Leave Act benefits, federal laws for private pension plans and federal laws concerning state pension plans. In the other case in New york City, the federal government refused to recognize the marriage of two women and taxed the inheritance that one of the women left to the other as though the two were strangers. Under federal tax law, a spouse who dies can leave her assets, including the family home, to the other spouse without incurring estate taxes.
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier....One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

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  3. #2
    I've never understood people's obsession with other people's bedrooms.

    I don't think any state prohibits gay people from getting married. I don't think any state requires people to proclaim their sexual orientation before obtaining a marriage license. I don't think any state test people to be certain they can procreate before issuing them a marriage license.

    So what's the issue? It ain't gay people getting married. It ain't limiting marriage to heterosexuals. it ain't limiting marriage to those who can procreate.

    Who was the law aimed at?

  4. #3
    Even the big Zero gets it right occationally.

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    Legislative Branch writes bill - sends to Executive B.ranch
    President signs - bill becomes law - President vetoes - bill returns to Legislative Branch
    Legislative Branch overrides veto by 2/3 vote - bill becomes law.
    Law challenged at Supreme Court - Court determines Constitutionality - law lives or dies accordingly. ===> CHECKS AND BALANCES

    President decrees laws to be enforced or ignored. Isn't this the act of a Monarch?

    Let me see, is this the Nation we are evolving into? Help me understand, are we really OK with this?

    Respectfully - Al

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Azimuth315 View Post
    Legislative Branch writes bill - sends to Executive B.ranch
    President signs - bill becomes law - President vetoes - bill returns to Legislative Branch
    Legislative Branch overrides veto by 2/3 vote - bill becomes law.
    Law challenged at Supreme Court - Court determines Constitutionality - law lives or dies accordingly. ===> CHECKS AND BALANCES

    President decrees laws to be enforced or ignored. Isn't this the act of a Monarch?

    Let me see, is this the Nation we are evolving into? Help me understand, are we really OK with this?

    Respectfully - Al
    Maybe we agree on this. But let me ask, would your response have been exactly the same if the headline was "Obama tells congress that DOJ will no longer defend health care act against legal challenges"?

    If so, then we agree. If not, then it is just pick-and-choose politics you are advocating.

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    I stand FIRMLY in support of the Constitution and the checks and balances under which EACH branch is supposed to perform. WE THE PEOPLE are to whom all branches of this government answers. WE THE PEOPLE Democraticly elect Represenatives and allow them power and authority to collectively act in OUR best interests in this REPUBLIC. No way, no how, no time, never, for no reason should WE THE PEOPLE allow one person to RULE by DECREE without checks and balances. To allow something like this to happen with no pushback whatsoever is extremely dangerous, particularly in the political climate that exists in our Nation today, no matter what the EDICT of the day might be.

    Regards - Al
    Last edited by Azimuth315; 02-24-2011 at 10:53 AM. Reason: pushed wrong button -- posted too quickly

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    This is not the act of the Imperial Obama. He's not declaring that the law is in fact unconstitutional. He'd declaring that he believes it to be unconstitutional. He's also not saying that DOMA will no longer be enforced. It will. What will no longer happen is the DoJ defending the unconstitutional DOMA against legal challenges, in effect, throwing in the towel on it and just waiting until someone files the lawsuit that will result in the courts giving it the 10 count and striking it down for lack of a response from the executive branch.

    As it should be.
    When they "Nudge. Shove. Shoot.",
    Don't retreat. Just reload.

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    So if lord Obam was to say abortion is no longer to be allowd because he doesn't think it's constitutional for the government to be invalved, everyone would sing his praises. I'm with Azimuth315. We have checks and balances that are being ignored and have been for years. This nation is in a tailspin, were is the outrage. Oh wait, we have a democrate in the white house, he cares so much for the people. What am I thinking. I need a group hug.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
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    He picks and choses what laws he thinks should be backed and who should be put on trial. Dropping the case against the NBP party thugs was a perfect example of his meddling where he shouldn't.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CathyInBlue View Post
    This is not the act of the Imperial Obama. He's not declaring that the law is in fact unconstitutional. He'd declaring that he believes it to be unconstitutional. He's also not saying that DOMA will no longer be enforced. It will. What will no longer happen is the DoJ defending the unconstitutional DOMA against legal challenges, in effect, throwing in the towel on it and just waiting until someone files the lawsuit that will result in the courts giving it the 10 count and striking it down for lack of a response from the executive branch.

    As it should be.
    I think the executive branch should defend enacted laws within the bounds of ethics. Let the courts decide if it is unconstitutional.

    I don't agree with the law and I think it will be held unconstitutional, but I don't think it is so clear that the executive branch can conclude there is no hope for its survival. In fact, if the issue reached the SCOTUS there would probably be at least 3 existing justices who would vote for upholding the law.

    It is too earlier to throw in the towel. At least let a few of the Courts of Appeals address the issues.

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