Obama drops defense of law against gay marriage

  • Sk8Tex

    Posts: 738

    Feb 23, 2011 9:45 PM GMT
    CNN Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and woman, according to a statement Wednesday from Attorney General Eric Holder.

    "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," Holder said.

    The key provision in the law "fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional."

    "Given that conclusion, the president has instructed the (Justice Department) not to defend the statute" in two pending cases in New York, Holder said. "I fully concur with the president's determination."

    Obama has previously expressed his personal opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act but had never stated an opinion relating to its constitutionality.

    The administration had a March 11 deadline to respond to two lawsuits against the measure in New York. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which includes New York -- is the only federal circuit to have never decided the basic legal question of whether a law discriminates against gay men and lesbians.

    Republicans immediately ripped the White House's decision, calling it a distraction at a time when they said the focus needs to be on the economy.

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    Representative Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the move a "transparent attempt to shirk the (Justice) Department's duty to defend the laws passed by Congress."

    "This is the real politicization of the Justice Department -- when the personal views of the president override the government's duty to defend the law of the land," Smith said.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration had to make a decision before the court-imposed deadline. He stressed, however, that the law will continue to be enforced.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, praised the administration's decision, calling it a key step forward in the push for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    It "is a victory for civil rights, fairness and equality," Pelosi said. "I commend (Obama) for taking this bold step forward to ensure the federal government is no longer in the business of defending an indefensible statute."

    Joe Solmonese, president of the progressive Human Rights Campaign, also praised the administration's course of action, calling it "a monumental decision for the thousands of same-sex couples and their families who want nothing more than the same rights and dignity afforded to other married couples."

    "We applaud (Obama) for fulfilling his oath to defend critical constitutional principles," Solmonese said.

    The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 by the GOP-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and says states cannot be forced to recognize such marriages from other states.

    In July, a federal judge in Massachusetts became the first to rule the law unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro said that "irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest."

    The administration's decision comes on the heels of other major developments in the struggle over gay and lesbian rights. In December, Obama signed legislation that will repeal the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy and bring an end to the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the armed forces.

    Courts in California are considering a legal challenge to Proposition 8, an initiative narrowly approved by that state's voters in 2008. It defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    Same-sex marriage is legal in five states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire -- and in the District of Columbia. Civil unions are permitted in New Jersey


    ...finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel..
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    Feb 23, 2011 9:46 PM GMT
    Sk8Tex said
    CNN Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and woman, according to a statement Wednesday from Attorney General Eric Holder.

    "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," Holder said.

    The key provision in the law "fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional."

    "Given that conclusion, the president has instructed the (Justice Department) not to defend the statute" in two pending cases in New York, Holder said. "I fully concur with the president's determination."

    Obama has previously expressed his personal opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act but had never stated an opinion relating to its constitutionality.

    The administration had a March 11 deadline to respond to two lawsuits against the measure in New York. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which includes New York -- is the only federal circuit to have never decided the basic legal question of whether a law discriminates against gay men and lesbians.

    Republicans immediately ripped the White House's decision, calling it a distraction at a time when they said the focus needs to be on the economy.

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    Representative Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the move a "transparent attempt to shirk the (Justice) Department's duty to defend the laws passed by Congress."

    "This is the real politicization of the Justice Department -- when the personal views of the president override the government's duty to defend the law of the land," Smith said.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration had to make a decision before the court-imposed deadline. He stressed, however, that the law will continue to be enforced.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, praised the administration's decision, calling it a key step forward in the push for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    It "is a victory for civil rights, fairness and equality," Pelosi said. "I commend (Obama) for taking this bold step forward to ensure the federal government is no longer in the business of defending an indefensible statute."

    Joe Solmonese, president of the progressive Human Rights Campaign, also praised the administration's course of action, calling it "a monumental decision for the thousands of same-sex couples and their families who want nothing more than the same rights and dignity afforded to other married couples."

    "We applaud (Obama) for fulfilling his oath to defend critical constitutional principles," Solmonese said.

    The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 by the GOP-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and says states cannot be forced to recognize such marriages from other states.

    In July, a federal judge in Massachusetts became the first to rule the law unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro said that "irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest."

    The administration's decision comes on the heels of other major developments in the struggle over gay and lesbian rights. In December, Obama signed legislation that will repeal the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy and bring an end to the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the armed forces.

    Courts in California are considering a legal challenge to Proposition 8, an initiative narrowly approved by that state's voters in 2008. It defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    Same-sex marriage is legal in five states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire -- and in the District of Columbia. Civil unions are permitted in New Jersey


    ...finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel..




    Freedom is on the march here in the U.S. too.
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    Feb 23, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    Good, unfortunately the Republicans in Congress are sure to pick up the slack in defending it. Here we go!

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    This quote makes no sense, because by not defending the law the Gov. can focus on other things like creating jobs and cutting spending, rather than preparing a defense for discrimination.
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    Feb 24, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    Yes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    Suecer4 saidGood, unfortunately the Republicans in Congress are sure to pick up the slack in defending it. Here we go!

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    This quote makes no sense, because by not defending the law the Gov. can focus on other things like creating jobs and cutting spending, rather than preparing a defense for discrimination.




    At a time when "Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending", Mr Boehner and his fellow Repubs in the House have REPEATEDLY been bringing up the divisive ABORTION issue.

    Mr Boehner needs to "explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue (like abortion) that sharply divides the nation.

    And why he is such a fucking hypocrite.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif




    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.

    Social change comes slowly.
    That's just the way it is.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif


    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.


    ...yeah we are. Blacks have just as many rights as any other race, and even have lots of black-only programs for their benefit.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Feb 24, 2011 4:24 AM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    Suecer4 saidGood, unfortunately the Republicans in Congress are sure to pick up the slack in defending it. Here we go!

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    This quote makes no sense, because by not defending the law the Gov. can focus on other things like creating jobs and cutting spending, rather than preparing a defense for discrimination.




    At a time when "Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending", Mr Boehner and his fellow Repubs in the House have REPEATEDLY been bringing up the divisive ABORTION issue.

    Mr Boehner needs to "explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue (like abortion) that sharply divides the nation.

    And why he is such a fucking hypocrite.


    Well put, buddy. The Weeper of the House is such a jerk. I'm wishing 2012 were here NOW. The good guys are gonna take back the House, give us a more comfortable majority in the Senate and re-elect our President!
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:34 AM GMT
    turtleneckjock said
    rickrick91 said
    Suecer4 saidGood, unfortunately the Republicans in Congress are sure to pick up the slack in defending it. Here we go!

    "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 Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

    This quote makes no sense, because by not defending the law the Gov. can focus on other things like creating jobs and cutting spending, rather than preparing a defense for discrimination.




    At a time when "Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending", Mr Boehner and his fellow Repubs in the House have REPEATEDLY been bringing up the divisive ABORTION issue.

    Mr Boehner needs to "explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue (like abortion) that sharply divides the nation.

    And why he is such a fucking hypocrite.


    Well put, buddy. The Weeper of the House is such a jerk. I'm wishing 2012 were here NOW. The good guys are gonna take back the House, give us a more comfortable majority in the Senate and re-elect our President!



    The speed with which the Repubs have put themselves back in the doghouse with the American people reminds me of the speed with which George W. Bush sped from the afterglow of his reelection in 2005 - to being the extremely unpopular president who tried to privatize Social Security (even though he NEVER said during the 2004 campaign that he would do that if he was reelected) and who didn't seem to give a shit about the Hurricane Katrina disaster and took days before lifting a finger to help the victims of the disaster.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Feb 24, 2011 4:35 AM GMT
    It's about time Obama...what took you so long????
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:42 AM GMT
    TrentGrad saidIt's about time Obama...what took you so long????


    Political Opportunism, that's what.

    Sort of a very dim reflection of the Master of Triangulation, Ol' Slick Willy himself.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:44 AM GMT
    FearTheFall said
    rickrick91 said
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif


    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.


    ...yeah we are. Blacks have just as many rights as any other race, and even have lots of black-only programs for their benefit.


    What a douche... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Feb 24, 2011 4:46 AM GMT
    finally... been saying for months. Case can still go forward though but its cripled.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:48 AM GMT
    alphatrigger said
    TrentGrad saidIt's about time Obama...what took you so long????


    Political Opportunism, that's what.

    Sort of a very dim reflection of the Master of Triangulation, Ol' Slick Willy himself.


    I kind of agree, but I think the opportunity is that the Republicans and Tea Parteirs (you know, the ones that aren't anti-gay only care about fiscal issues?) managed to elect a slew of stunningly homophobic politicians and Obama sense rightly that this is the right side of the fight to be on in order to recapture the progressive vote.

    And the right-wingers are taking the bait. Monica Crowley on Fox today said that by not "enforcing" DOMA Obama has made himself a dictator. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    FearTheFall said
    rickrick91 said
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif


    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.


    ...yeah we are. Blacks have just as many rights as any other race, and even have lots of black-only programs for their benefit.


    What a douche... icon_rolleyes.gif
    That's a mild description!
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    Feb 24, 2011 5:03 AM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    Christian73 said
    FearTheFall said
    rickrick91 said
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif


    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.


    ...yeah we are. Blacks have just as many rights as any other race, and even have lots of black-only programs for their benefit.


    What a douche... icon_rolleyes.gif
    That's a mild description!


    FTF's new thing is to post something racist and inflammatory and then hide the post before anyone can call him on it. But I think we should know what his feelings really are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 5:08 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    TropicalMark said
    Christian73 said
    FearTheFall said
    rickrick91 said
    60isthenew40 saidYes, light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel? icon_question.gif


    How long did it take for black Americans to achieve full equality?
    It's been decades and we're not there yet.


    ...yeah we are. Blacks have just as many rights as any other race, and even have lots of black-only programs for their benefit.


    What a douche... icon_rolleyes.gif
    That's a mild description!


    FTF's new thing is to post something racist and inflammatory and then hide the post before anyone can call him on it. But I think we should know what his feelings really are.



    FeattheFall has made it blazingly obvious in many many posts that his views towards non-whites are extremely racist
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    Feb 25, 2011 5:05 AM GMT
    LOL. I had my account on hide for a week or so. Not to hide my post.

    Blacks have every right that whites do, and more programs for solely THEIR benefit. Now, if anything in the system is racist, it is the programs that say ONLY members of a certain race can qualify. Any merit-based system, liberals argue, is racist because it's discriminating against blacks. The reality is, blacks in America simply underperform on the whole, look at test scores. That is not any race's doing except their own. A white man, for example, should not be blamed for a black man's failure when that white man had nothing to do with that black man. It's hypocritical to call someone racist for believing people SHOULDN'T be treated differently for the color of their skin.
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    Feb 25, 2011 5:08 AM GMT
    Yay! The troll finally resurfaces!

    *instant ignore
  • aaronkei

    Posts: 211

    Feb 25, 2011 5:20 AM GMT
    I can only say that this is a huge step and that our commuity deserves this. We have faught for years for this and we are finally getting some results. I hope that this will not take as long as it did for African Americans but only time will tell. People have to realize that being gay isn't a mental disorder and that (most) of us are sane and compitent. I love my fellow gay men and I think that we should get behind this 100% and we should help Obama with this. My political views: I am neutral but I tend to lean towards the Republicans in certain views but in this one I of course lean towards the Democrats.
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    Feb 25, 2011 2:17 PM GMT
    FearTheFall saidLOL. I had my account on hide for a week or so. Not to hide my post.

    Blacks have every right that whites do, and more programs for solely THEIR benefit. Now, if anything in the system is racist, it is the programs that say ONLY members of a certain race can qualify. Any merit-based system, liberals argue, is racist because it's discriminating against blacks. The reality is, blacks in America simply underperform on the whole, look at test scores. That is not any race's doing except their own. A white man, for example, should not be blamed for a black man's failure when that white man had nothing to do with that black man. It's hypocritical to call someone racist for believing people SHOULDN'T be treated differently for the color of their skin.



    wow.. instead of pointing out the many flaws of your argument ill leave it alone. in short you're either racist and don't know it or just say whatever the fuck you think will get you the most attention. im giving you too much validity by even responding. wrong thread wrong time... smh
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    Feb 25, 2011 2:23 PM GMT

    Not one reply from the Righties.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2011 2:27 PM GMT
    FearTheFall saidLOL. I had my account on hide for a week or so. Not to hide my post.

    Blacks have every right that whites do, and more programs for solely THEIR benefit. Now, if anything in the system is racist, it is the programs that say ONLY members of a certain race can qualify. Any merit-based system, liberals argue, is racist because it's discriminating against blacks. The reality is, blacks in America simply underperform on the whole, look at test scores. That is not any race's doing except their own. A white man, for example, should not be blamed for a black man's failure when that white man had nothing to do with that black man. It's hypocritical to call someone racist for believing people SHOULDN'T be treated differently for the color of their skin.


    If anyone should be slotted into a special members-only program, it's you.
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    Feb 25, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    The Most Ballsy thing Obama's ever done.
    icon_cool.gif
  • BeingThePhoen...

    Posts: 1157

    Feb 25, 2011 2:52 PM GMT
    1daman23 said
    FearTheFall saidLOL. I had my account on hide for a week or so. Not to hide my post.

    Blacks have every right that whites do, and more programs for solely THEIR benefit. Now, if anything in the system is racist, it is the programs that say ONLY members of a certain race can qualify. Any merit-based system, liberals argue, is racist because it's discriminating against blacks. The reality is, blacks in America simply underperform on the whole, look at test scores. That is not any race's doing except their own. A white man, for example, should not be blamed for a black man's failure when that white man had nothing to do with that black man. It's hypocritical to call someone racist for believing people SHOULDN'T be treated differently for the color of their skin.



    wow.. instead of pointing out the many flaws of your argument ill leave it alone. in short you're either racist and don't know it or just say whatever the fuck you think will get you the most attention. im giving you too much validity by even responding. wrong thread wrong time... smh

    Please state the flaws of his arguement. You can't say that he is wrong on so many points, but then refuse to say why. If you don't confront these types of ideologies when they surface, you do just as much of a disservice to everyone.

    Personally, I see where you are coming from FTF and you are actually right to some degree, but you fail to recognize the obsticales in the black community. It isn't necessarily your fault that you don't understand these obstacles, especially if no one ever tries to explain it to you and atuomatically expects you to understand.

    1daman, would you (oranyone else with some knowledge on this subject) please explain some of these obstacles.