Obama Defends DOMA And The Legislative Process, Angers Homosexual ActivistsJun 16, 2009
Who recently said that marriage between one man and one woman is the "traditional and universally recognized form of marriage"? If you guessed Carrie Prejean, who lost her Miss California crown last week (see Fox News) — after pageant officials said she could keep it — for speaking out in favor of traditional marriage, or some right-wing Christian fanatic you are . . . wrong. However, if you guessed Tony West — Ding! Ding! Ding! — You win.
Who's Tony West? He is the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and he filed the legal brief defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act in federal court June 11 (see here). The Obama administration, in fact, is asking the federal court to dismiss the case, brought on by a "married" homosexual pair.
Now, major homosexual special interest groups are going ballistic, with a leader of one blasting the president in a personal letter (see Wall Street Journal). Not only that, but the New York Times is steaming mad, too. The poor president can't get a break.
In the brief, the administration sounds as right-wing crazy as the 57 percent of Virginians who voted for our Marriage Amendment, unintended consequences and all:
In allowing each State to withhold its recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, Congress was merely confirming longstanding conflict-of-laws principles in a valid exercise of its express power to settle such questions under the Full Faith and Credit Clause. That Clause ensures that each State retains the authority to decline to apply another State's law when it conflicts with its own public policies. DOMA is fully consistent with that constitutional principle, as it permits States to experiment with and maintain the exclusivity of their own legitimate public policies — such as whether that State chooses to recognize or reject same-sex marriages. Similarly, in relation to plaintiffs' purported "right to travel" claim, DOMA simply does not impinge upon anyone's ability to travel among the States. Again, it merely permits each State to follow its own policy with respect to marriage.
Although the administration says it wants to repeal DOMA legislatively, it also says that while it is still the law, it is constitutional, and must be defended. Admittedly, this position is surprising coming from a president who, as a law professor, said restraints had to be put on the Constitution (hear for yourself) and believes in courts making policy rather than inerpreting the law, but it is refreshing — and correct — nonethesame.
It's also fun to see liberals disillusioned with their "anointed one" whom they unceasingly, thoughtlessly adore. A little wedge on the left is never bad.
Now the Obama administration has itself in a pretzel, not only casting doubt on his sincerity on homosexual "rights" (he's abandoned other promises as well), but establishing a precedent for defending laws it disagrees with by abandoning its advocacy of judicial activism. That said, we doubt it has established a pattern, but will still watch whether the administration continues this intellectual honesty regarding the proper roles of the legislative and judicial branches.