Well, well -- this has proven to be an exciting last couple of months for gay rights! Just today, President Obama instructed the Justice Department to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the legal prohibition on federal recognition of same-sex marriages. More specifically, the government will no longer defend parts of DOMA that restrict the fed from recognizing marriages in states where such unions are legal.
Attorney General Eric Holder released a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, which among other things, said:
The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President's determination.
In response, Boehner issued a statement, in which he said:
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.
Excuse me, Speaker Boehner? What?? It boggles the mind how he twists this around on the President. By no means is dropping defense of DOMA or calling it unconstitutional "stirring up a controversial issue." It isn't a distraction for the government, or taking up valuable time. There isn't any money being spent here -- probably we'll SAVE money, because the federal government will no longer be defending a piece of bunk legislation that only serves to marginalize same-sex couples. Really, the President is backing us out of a fight that should have never been fought in the first place. Also, this is NOT a controversial issue that "sharply divides the nation." I would argue that more Americans are cool with same-sex marriage than not these days.
This is an exciting, bold, applause-worthy move by Obama to prove that he's committed to scrapping ridiculous discrimination against the LGBT community. What's MORE, this should make Teabaggers Tea Party people happy. Not that I really care if they're happy with anything, but if Tea Partiers practice what they preach (small government = good), then they should actually be pleased with this turn of events. That's because the move allows the fed to recognize gay marriage in states where they're legally performed, but will not require state governments that still outlaw same-sex marriages to do the same.
Really, Obama dropping the defense of DOMA means everybody wins. Except maybe crybaby John Boehner and bigoted Republicans who are clearly out of touch with what is best for Americans. (You know, cause it makes sense to spend valuable time in court protecting us from GAY MARRIAGE [ahhhh!], to give tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, and to take women's rights back half a century.)
What do you think about Obama's decision to stop defending DOMA in court?
Image via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr