Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reaction to Today's DOJ Announcement re: DOMA

From the Huffington Post:
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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's) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

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

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."  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.
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Predictably.. right on cue,  the  American Taliban immediately went berserk..
House Speaker John Boehner, apparently not remembering that the first two weeks of a GOP led Congress dealt almost exclusively with Republican efforts to take away American Women's reproductive rights; issued this terse little belch of hypocrisy.
"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," 
Yeah, because introducing  three separate bills to try to inject Government between a woman and her doctor is such a uniter.
In typical fashion,   the homophobic wing nuts  across the American Political Right,  stomped their widdle teabagger feet  and shrieked  hysterically  that the world is now coming to an end.  Noted pornography consumer and hate group spokes-bigot,  Peter LaBarbera  twittered  with rage...
Maggie Gallagher from the hate group "National Organization for (some people's) Marriage" Was all over Fox News spluttering  with indignation about how this means the end of the democracy as we know it.    Across the internet,  the whole sad little island of misfit bigots all had their  certified hate groups vomiting out  press releases,  screaming how DARE  President Obama not defend bigotry and discrimination. 
I can't help  but notice, that the day after I post an extensive blog entry, outlining my personal experience with the real life consequences of DOMA , the White House issues this statement. Now, I'm not taking credit mind you, but one does wonder who might be reading this blog. (*smirk*)   Ok, back to reality...   
What if anything does this mean for  the  thousands of bi-national same sex couples currently forced to choose between their spouse and their country?
The  Immigration Equality Action Fund, is current having its lawyers go over today's announcement  and  will be issuing a press release later today.  But  in the broader scheme of the fight to repeal DOMA,  today's decision by the Obama Administration  is nothing short of a legal earthquake.   It means that the current pending lawsuits against  DOMA  have  a much clearer path to eventually reaching the  United States Supreme Court.  
 Yet as welcome news as today's announcement is,  DOMA is still very much the law of the land, and  the process to undo it  will most likely  stretch on for at least the next two to three  years.   One side effect of  today's announcement is, that it may,  (as Slaggie Gillamonster so desperately hopes..) prompt the teabagging wing nuts in Congress to jump into the fray.  In her temper tantrum press release she spewed:
The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”
Apparently millions of tax paying Americans  are  what Maggie considers to be a "special interest".
Someone should have told  Maggie to be careful what she wished for.  The good folks over at  JoeMyGod are reporting at this hour that California Democratic Senator,  Diane Feinstein  has announced she plans to introduce a bill to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
"My own belief is that when two people love each other and enter the contract of marriage, the Federal government should honor that. I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It was the wrong law then; it is the wrong law now; and it should be repealed," the California lawmaker said in an e-mailed press statement.
Of course,  the chances such a bill has for passing the GOP/Teabagger/Loony-Toon controlled  House of Representatives is very slim to none. So as with Lawrence v. Texas,  the issue of same sex marriage, will most likely end up in the lap of the United States Supreme Court.
I am very happy to see the  Obama Administration finally  "walk the walk and not just  talk the talk"  on DOMA.    It does give Eric and I hope that someday we may actually be able move back the United States.  

1 comment:

Biki said...

This is very good news! I'd like for DOMA to be outlawed by congress. But, hey I'm not picky, I'll take the courts as well.

I loved your "could this have been because of my post" musing. Laughed quite a bit on that.