Obama administration says marriage law unfair

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    Aug 17, 2009 3:54 PM GMT
    Just saw this in the news...


    WASHINGTON – The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continued to defend it.

    Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama last year.

    In court papers, the administration said it supports repeal of the law.

    Yet the same filing says the Justice Department will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional.

    The government's previous filing in the case angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

    "The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

    The department is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences," Schmaler added.

    The law, often called DOMA, denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

    "DOMA reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage," according to the filing by Assistant Attorney General Tony West.

    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.

    Obama has pledged to work to repeal the law.

    Monday's court filing was in response to a lawsuit by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the federal law, which prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes and benefiting from other federal rights connected to marriage.

    Justice lawyers have argued that the act is constitutional and contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.

    Earlier this year, Massachusetts became the first state to challenge the law in court.
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    Aug 17, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    jprichva saidBig deal.
    We already know what he thinks. He thinks he wants more gay cash.


    Oh c'mon, JP. Don't be so cranky.
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    Aug 17, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREThe department is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences,"


    That's hogwash.

    DoJ has a long history of presenting weak or poor cases when doing so agrees with the administration or even "looking the other way" when it suits them. Right now they could intentionally lose this one and the current DADT case too
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Aug 17, 2009 10:40 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    badmikeyt saidOh c'mon, JP. Don't be so cranky.

    Obama doesn't hate us.
    He just doesn't give a shit. You haven't picked up on that yet?


    Let's be fair to the president and remember that this is an area where an elected executive's personal views have almost never matched up with his public policy views for reasons of politics.

    We're a fringe issue on both sides. Only the far right and the far left have really cared about gay rights issues since 2006 or so. None of the middle-of-the-roaders consider us a priority, and unfortunately, our president seems content to try to position himself with them.
  • ERinVa

    Posts: 11

    Aug 17, 2009 10:45 PM GMT
    I cannot believe that the DoJ is obligated to defend a law which so clearly violates at least three principles in the US Constitution. However, if they are indeed obligated, the vigorous defense they filed in support of the law can not be explained away. Sort of like Bill Clinton's attempt at revisionist history.
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    Aug 17, 2009 10:55 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    badmikeyt saidOh c'mon, JP. Don't be so cranky.

    Obama doesn't hate us.
    He just doesn't give a shit. You haven't picked up on that yet?
    ---McClurkin. An insult he would never tolerate if race were the issue rather than homosexuality.
    ---Rick Warren. Ditto.
    ---DADT. He could have stopped this on a temporary basis while working for repeal if he meant to. He didn't mean to.
    ---DOMA. The obscenely insulting brief for which this one is supposed to be a corrective. Note that this corrective appeared after several large gay donors have zipped their wallets closed.

    Rahm Emanuel is completely poisoned by his experience as an aide to Clinton. These issues may have been scary and derailing in 1993, but not in 2009. But as long as he has Obama's ear, he will continue to advise that we be bought off with cheap symbolism. After all, there's the midterms. Then 2012. And who knows if there will still be a Democratic congress by then?


    Completely with you on this one.

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    Aug 17, 2009 11:46 PM GMT
    I'll agree with JP, that Obama doesn't hate you, nor gives a shit either.

    But then doesn't he personally belive marriage is between a man and a women? Well after all it is a religus ceremony, for heterosexuals, and one bisexuals have had access too.
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    Aug 17, 2009 11:50 PM GMT
    Maybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.
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    Aug 18, 2009 12:09 AM GMT
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Aug 18, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    ...nor actually imply that gay rights history 200 years in the future should be a consideration in the creation of any country.
  • t0theheights

    Posts: 428

    Aug 18, 2009 12:34 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    Also, he's just plain wrong. The U.K. does NOT actually have full marriage rights for homosexuals. They have something almost equivalent (but still a step down), which is more comparable to a civil union. Full marriage rights are only available in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.
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    Aug 18, 2009 12:45 AM GMT
    How quickly we forget.....

    Obama did say and has always said he is PERSONALLY against gay marriage. Operative word is what? PERSONALLY. ok, with me?

    However, he gets it. He has to defend current law until he can convince enough senators and representatives to repeal the laws against us. He also said that it should be up to the states and that means we have to do some work. See the underlying point here-when the states show it to be warranted (and they are), the feds won't have a choice. Thus far, multiple states have repealed and are allowing us to married and not be in fear of losing jobs on the state level. Is this the best way? No, but it is a way that is working and gaining momemtum.

    Personally speaking, I don't think we have done enough, particularly with everything else that is going on. But if you want to think it ain't every gonna happen, fine. You are entitled. I will just smile to myself and nod when it does happen.

    And if it doesn't, I'll send out a post saying ok you were right, but not conceding just yet.icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 18, 2009 12:50 AM GMT
    So I have to ask this of the armchair brigade -

    What are you doing to lean on your congressmen/women to garner THEIR support in getting it overturned? Calling them? Writing them? Pestering the holy shit out of them to make this an important issue?

    Probably not. And that's ok, because it has become the norm in this country to just complain about things vs. actively taking part in solving them. But while I disagree with your summary, I also fervently believe that voter apathy extends WAY beyond just barely showing up to vote (if at all) and that ultimately - we get what we deserve/demand of our politicians.
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    Aug 18, 2009 2:20 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    But one did not insult your country, nor anyone else's.icon_wink.gif

    But I'll still icon_biggrin.gif and hand you a vegemite sandwich.
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    Aug 18, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
    t0theheights said
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    Also, he's just plain wrong. The U.K. does NOT actually have full marriage rights for homosexuals. They have something almost equivalent (but still a step down), which is more comparable to a civil union. Full marriage rights are only available in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.


    Good enough, the same goes in Oz, we too have civil unions, this does not come under the banner of marriage, but in many ways it's all the same but under a diffrent name.

    I never wanted the label marriages anyway, as it's a religious intrusion created for heterosexuals, and one bisexuals have had access too also, and Civil unions takes away any religious connotationsicon_biggrin.gif

    Also they still don't include I, as I'm blessed to have two men who love me, one of 20 years and the other 10 years, yet we are excluded from civil Unions too, as well marriage.

    Not wrong, my opinion is just diffrent to yours, and this does not make one wrong; icon_wink.gif

    I know you believe you understand what you think I said.

    But......I'm not sure you realise that what you read, is not what I meant.
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    Aug 18, 2009 2:32 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]t0theheights said[/cite]
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    Also, he's just plain wrong. The U.K. does NOT actually have full marriage rights for homosexuals. They have something almost equivalent (but still a step down), which is more comparable to a civil union. Full marriage rights are only available in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.[/quot
    PS. I said nothing about full marriage rights, I just used the slang word (wed), and thats your interpretation, of what I said.

    Holding a Civil union can be interpreted as being wed to you lover, and many do consider it so.
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    Aug 18, 2009 3:43 AM GMT
    styrgan said
    zeebyaboi said
    Matey saidMaybe if the Americas has of stayed with Mother England, you would be a more advanced nation now, and not being held back by your religus fundamentalist roots. The homosexuals of Britten now have the right to wed their loved ones. So maybe you should of stuck with Mother England.


    You don't need to insult our country, Mr. One in Oz.


    ...nor actually imply that gay rights history 200 years in the future should be a consideration in the creation of any country.


    truly good point. But the world as we know it, ends in 2012.

    But there is only one way to avoid this, and thats to follow the Ori, they are the way.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Aug 18, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    OK, gay folks.

    I'm as upset as the next guy that we can't get married. But why is the homosexual community up in arms against Obama? He's only been there for half a year. HALF A YEAR. This battle has lasted for so many years already... I think we should just be patient.

    This lawsuit is for US. It seems to me that almost the entire gay community was in favor of his election. And nothing happens overnight. Although Obama hasn't done anything extreme, he has been methodically desensitizing the country to this issue.

    When he gave the presidential medal to a couple of gay icons, there was a topic posted about that. A bunch of people complained and bitched and moaned that it wasn't enough-- that it was just a symbolic gesture.

    Well, here we are in a country that is changing rapidly. Six states by the end of this year will be performing gay marriages. Two more (NY and DC) recognize marriages from other states. New Jersey is reintroducing legislature to review their civil unions and change it to legalize marriages. We are in a wonderful place, and the political climate is turbulent because of it... and Obama knows this.

    Obama is a man of the people. He recognizes that he can't just change it all over night. But now, NOW, a couple of you are actually saying that he just wants gay cash... or whatever. Give the man a break. He just filed a fucking lawsuit to repeal DOMA. It's a big risk for him. Support him and support yourselves. He's your president, and he's fighting a battle that NOT A SINGLE PRESIDENT IN US HISTORY has been willing to fight.

    I <3 Barack Obama.
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    Aug 18, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
    Ugh, the "gay community" is so annoying. Do some of you really think Obama would be sworn into office and the next day gays would be allowed to marry?

    Newsflash: Most people in the United States are against gay marriage, as harsh as some of you may find it. Homosexual marriage is a process that surely but gradually becoming more accepted and being recognized in many states.

    Obama doesn't need gay cash. The "gay community" is too small to make any sort of difference electorally.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 18, 2009 7:00 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    badmikeyt saidOh c'mon, JP. Don't be so cranky.

    Obama doesn't hate us.
    He just doesn't give a shit. You haven't picked up on that yet?
    ---McClurkin. An insult he would never tolerate if race were the issue rather than homosexuality.
    ---Rick Warren. Ditto.
    ---DADT. He could have stopped this on a temporary basis while working for repeal if he meant to. He didn't mean to.
    ---DOMA. The obscenely insulting brief for which this one is supposed to be a corrective. Note that this corrective appeared after several large gay donors have zipped their wallets closed.

    Rahm Emanuel is completely poisoned by his experience as an aide to Clinton. These issues may have been scary and derailing in 1993, but not in 2009. But as long as he has Obama's ear, he will continue to advise that we be bought off with cheap symbolism. After all, there's the midterms. Then 2012. And who knows if there will still be a Democratic congress by then?


    I love when someone isn't afraid to speak the truth!
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    Aug 18, 2009 9:03 AM GMT
    This thread reads like all of the others. It's getting old.

    Truth is, all of those saying Obama is going to move the needle for equality will be saying the very same thing three years from now, while the rest of us will be told to have patience because this lovely president of ours has far more important issues to tackle.

    By the time Obama's done sucking the cocks of all those Wall Street and healthcare industry execs., his mouth will be far too tired to give us gays anything more than a little more lip service. But that's okay. I voted for him this time around, so I'll adjust and live with it for a few more years.
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    Aug 18, 2009 11:38 AM GMT
    I agree with JP on this. He is not being cranky but realistic.
    We are not at the top of his list. He didnt do a thing 8 months into his administration. He only did minor concessions when he saw gay political groups withdrawing support from fundraisers. He wants cash and he doesnt want to lose our vote next election.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Aug 18, 2009 11:53 AM GMT





    NObamaLogo.jpg









    PE










  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
    danisnotstr8 saidOK, gay folks.
    He just filed a fucking lawsuit to repeal DOMA. It's a big risk for him. Support him and support yourselves. He's your president, and he's fighting a battle that NOT A SINGLE PRESIDENT IN US HISTORY has been willing to fight.



    He has done no such thing, the DOJ filed a brief.

    Obama is going to hide behind Congress on this issue until some of his bigger goals are out of the way (health care, economy, military, etc..). Obama has talked about fighting on gay issues but has yet to rise from his chair because he is not interested in spending the political capital.
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    Aug 19, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    scarabboy said
    jprichva said
    badmikeyt saidOh c'mon, JP. Don't be so cranky.

    Obama doesn't hate us.
    He just doesn't give a shit. You haven't picked up on that yet?
    ---McClurkin. An insult he would never tolerate if race were the issue rather than homosexuality.
    ---Rick Warren. Ditto.
    ---DADT. He could have stopped this on a temporary basis while working for repeal if he meant to. He didn't mean to.
    ---DOMA. The obscenely insulting brief for which this one is supposed to be a corrective. Note that this corrective appeared after several large gay donors have zipped their wallets closed.

    Rahm Emanuel is completely poisoned by his experience as an aide to Clinton. These issues may have been scary and derailing in 1993, but not in 2009. But as long as he has Obama's ear, he will continue to advise that we be bought off with cheap symbolism. After all, there's the midterms. Then 2012. And who knows if there will still be a Democratic congress by then?


    Completely with you on this one.



    Obama doesn't need gay cash. The "gay community" is too small to make any sort of difference electorally.

    But you all claim Palin and Mccain would be worse. Don't you get it we will never have the same rights till the United States see us a People not freaks or doing the devils work.