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DOMA: Obama caves on traditional marriage

Letter by Maxine Bechtel, Des Moines on Feb. 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm with 69 Comments »
February 24, 2011 1:42 pm

President Obama stunned traditional marriage supporters with his announcement that his administration will no longer defend the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), a bipartisan federal law passed in 1996. He has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder not to defend the law.

This is sheer arrogance, and dare I say, bordering on lawlessness.

How can the president expect anyone to obey any law when he is advocating that his minions cavalierly ignore a time-honored law? What message does this send to those lawmakers (some of those in his own party who crafted the law, plus a former president, Bill Clinton), who signed that law?

One would expect the president to set an example in being a law-abiding citizen. We can’t choose the laws we obey.

The president and his attorney general have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have already passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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Leave a comment Comments → 69
  1. Maxine and taxed,

    Get off you high horses.

    The President’s order was that the Justice Department was not to defend the Constitutionality of DOMA but was still to enforce it as a law.

    Baby Boy Bush appended signing to hundreds of bills many of which illegal exempted the Executive Branch and Executive Branch Agency from the bill.

    The roars of outrage from the hypocritical right were a kin to listen to grass grow.

  2. JudasEscargot says:

    Hey Maxine, this doesn’t affect you. Relax

    taxedenough – better hurry up with your 2012 Candidate. So far there is nothing in sight and just the sound of fury signifying nothing.

  3. JudasEscargot says:

    “We can’t choose the laws we obey”

    Tell that to the Governor of Wisconsin.

  4. Obama is only doing what he promised, “we are going to transform America”! Why would anyone expect anything different?

  5. angelofdeath says:

    Finally Obama did something that was right on!

  6. This whole DOMA thing is another liberal diversion. They want people to forget about what’s going on with the public unions now that more folks are aware of the money laundering scheme that the demokrats have been doing for years. If people are given a choice whether they want to donate to the union, that is the end of the demokrat slush fund. Has anyone asked about the 700+ million that went to Wisconsin as a part of the “stimulus” bill? Just where did all of that money go? Not to those trumpeted “shovel-ready jobs, you can bet on that ,

  7. frosty….you’re kidding…..right?

  8. donjames says:

    So… does this mean that whenever a DOMA case comes before a Federal court during the 0bama reign, Holder and his cronies will just pick up and go to Illinois?

    Making it up as they go along, this crew.

  9. mrenchirito says:

    “Tell that to the Governor of Wisconsin”

    No tell that to the state Senators of Wisconsin who are refusing to do the job they were elected to do and running away like the cowards they are. Everyone else would be fired for such action, I only hope they get the same fate.

  10. Time for the people to get out and complain about Obama again. The bastion of liberalism, Fox News, had two commentators on tonight, who sided with the position that DOMA is unconstitutional. It is ‘big’ government stepping on the Constitution. Under Article 10, marriage is within the purview of the states. Each state has the right to set its own laws concerning marriage, be it between same sex or opposite sex. If thirty states have passed laws and constitutional amendment opposing same sex marriage, so be it. If other states have passed legislation allowing same sex marriage, so be it.

    If you want to play by constitutional rules, play by the rules uniformly. If you want a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, push for one. Follow the Constitution. Given the percentage of people divorcing, living without benefit of marriage, and the number of children not born of a marital union, the number of children not supported by a parent, etc, this is hardly an attack on “family values.”

  11. pazzo242 says:

    Okay–I understand why we don’t want to delve into the private lives of one another. I don’t care if two people of the same sex are having a loving relationship–not my cup o’ tea but so be it. What I want to know is where do we draw the line. If we allow same sex marriage do we then extend it to brother/sister, sister/sister, brother/brother, daughter/father, mother/son, first cousins? As revolting as that all sounds it’s not as if it is not happening (sexual activity that is) in America. Where is that line that we say, “Hey wait a minute–stop right there!”

    Do we make it legal for minors to marry? What happens behind closed doors with two consebting adults is their business but giving the legal marriage consent is a whole different area. We as a public (majority) have said no to gay marriage and like it or not that is the law.

    Until that changes the President does NOT have the right to say–sorry not going there. He has the right, just like every other citizen, to campaign to change the law, nothing more; nothing less.

  12. pazzo – RE minors marrying question. You answer that one yourself: “consebting(sic) adults

    Regarding the taboos on incest – actually that is a little more tricky. Studies on incest taboos throughout different cultures reveal that who one group of people think are too related and another group think is just fine whether the relationship is matrilineal or patrilineal. The “common knowledge” is that incest is prohibited due to the danger of genetic weakness but, I suppose that would be subject to scientific evidence if it came up in court (which brings up all sorts of issues with researching on human subjects). I suppose the spectre of a parent/child marriage could be argued due to undue influence exerted by an adult on a minor so there would be some sort of arbitrary age established when that influence was considered no longer a factor.

    But…..all your points are just slippery slope variations that are brought up because you really don’t have a cogent argument against homosexual unions that hold water.

    And…..the President does have the right to instruct the DOJ to not strive to fight the Constitutionality of same-gender marriage.

  13. Frosty, IMO you have the cart before the horse. Given how little coverage DOMA has received it would appear the Wisconsin was a diversion for DOMA.

    You are also speaking out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand the right claims Mr. Obama already has a billion plus re-election fund, then claims he does things ‘for the money’.

    DJ and p42 – go read my answer to Maxine and taxed above.

    Mrenchrtito, by preventing passage of Walker’s bill the Wisconsin senators are doing what they were elected for, and showing courage in the process.

  14. JudasEscargot says:

    “Mrenchrtito, by preventing passage of Walker’s bill the Wisconsin senators are doing what they were elected for, and showing courage in the process.”


  15. mrenchirito says:

    Really, the Wisconsin senators are doing what they were elected for, and showing courage? I guess that’s why state troopers keep going to their homes to bring them TO DO THEIR JOB. I guess that’s why they are running away so they won’t get caught. Yeah real courage there. Civil disobedience means you are willing to accept the consequences for your actions, not be on the lam.


  16. mrenchirito says:

    “Now isn’t there a law about accepting gratuities in government?”

    Walker didn’t say those words nor did he accept the offer from the fraudulent person. Keep trying maybe one day you will post something that is accurate.

  17. mrenchrito – I believe said something like ‘that would be great” which sure sounds on the tape like he was accepting.

  18. mrenchirito says:

    I love how everyone is ignoring the fact that someone committed fraud in pretending to be someone he wasn’t in an attempt to coerce a public official into saying things he wanted him to. There are laws against that stuff you know.

    Sorry xring, Walker’s response even if he said “yes we will go to Cali on this date” will never stand up in court.

  19. Roncella says:

    Come on folks this is nothing more than a little pandering to the left to get ready for the run up to the 2012 elections.

    President Obama needs to keep his leftest supporters in line for the next two years and with Daley and other experts to do his biding he will be very difficult to beat.

    Obama has over 1 billion and climbing in his re-election bid bankroll. There are no Republicans with funds even close to what Obama has already. He has a built in voter block of loyal supporters, who would never vote for a Republican.

    He has the lame Stream Press which supports his every move almost 100% of the time.

    I would not be surprised to see VP Joe Biden step down and retire, and Hillary Clinton take his place. If that happens they would be unbeatable.

    Everything Obama does and says from this point on will be directly related to his re-election bid. He is a good campaigner and can read his tele-prompters with great skill.

  20. JudasEscargot says:

    Interesting how the ACORN “undercover reporter” wasn’t “committing fraud”.

    Do these clowns think we forget this stuff?

    I knew that sooner or later “fraud” would enter the issue and of course the Right Wing Sound Machine will be hoping that everyone forgot who James O’Keefe was

  21. JudasEscargot says:

    Roncella – who is your 2012 candidate?

  22. JudasEscargot says:

    “can read his tele-prompters with great skill”

    let me guess…..hyphenating “teleprompter” was a typo

    I was watching some old Reagan tapes a week or so ago. Teleprompter.

    Both Bush Presidents were on that tape. Teleprompters.

    Sarah Palin spoke to a group. Notes on her hand, ala elementary school. Speaking of Sarah, she and her campaigners don’t know where she was born. In faux letters to the editor, they referred to Sarah as a “lifelong Alaska girl”. Sandpoint, ID is now in Alaska?

  23. JudasEscargot says:

    “Walker didn’t say those words nor did he accept the offer from the fraudulent person. Keep trying maybe one day you will post something that is accurate.”

    And the ACORN lady wasn’t being serious with the fakepimp (one word on purpose)

  24. ItalianSpring says:

    MC Obomba is the best the libs have ever produced.

  25. Mrenchirito,
    You are confusing ‘passive resistance’ with the more general ‘civil disobedience’; suggest you look the terms up.

    In addition, you are assuming the Wisconsin Senators are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Giving they are state senators they probably know they will see any on the consequences (good and bad) at the next elections.

    Walker’s works will be judged in the court of public opinion – by the voters of Wisconsin.

    Roncella: and you have the republicon party for helping to unite the Democrats.

  26. mrenchirito says:

    I am not assuming the Senators are unaware of the consequences. I am assuming they are aware THAT IS WHY THEY ARE RUNNING AWAY. That is cowardly and they should be fired now, not at the next election, for failing to do the job they are required to do.

  27. Actually Big Mouth Walker is in more danger of being fired, not to mention doing jail time.

  28. Only fools stand and fight when they cannot win. The wise withdraw to a more advantageous time and place.

  29. The flight of the Wisconsin 14 and Walker’s big mouth are keeping the protests going.


  30. mrenchirito says:

    “Part 946.12, Section 1, of Wisconsin state law says that a class 1 felony is committed when a public official “intentionally fails or refuses to perform a known mandatory, nondiscretionary, ministerial duty of the officer’s or employee’s office or employment within the time or in the manner required by law.”

    Seems you have a lot to learn about the law xring. Find them and jail them now. As for Walker, by all means go after him, see how long before its thrown out of court.

  31. I know enough about the law and its enforcement that IF the Wisconson Legal Code could be used to force the Wisconson 14 back sone republicon shyster and tame judge would already have the warrents and extradition papers drawn up and served.

    As for Walker, let’s wait to see what the Wisconson Attorney General and the State Ethics Borard do.

  32. mrenchirito says:

    The language of the law is crystal clear. The reason the Governor/others aren’t going after them is purely political. They are failing to perform their duties, end of story.

    Throw them in jail, then release them on bail with the condition they have to show up to the Senate floor. Take the vote, then impeach them. That’s what should be done.

  33. If the law is so clear why has it NOT been used?

    Unless you have been admitted to the Wisconsin Bar, I’ll

    take you legal pronouncements with a few grains of salt.

  34. mrenchirito says:

    As I just said, because of politics. Many laws on the books are rarely enforced, this time it should be.

  35. bobcat1a says:

    Mrenchirito: You need to read for consistency before hitting submit.
    To wit: “The language of the law is crystal clear. The reason the Governor/others aren’t going after them is purely political. They are failing to perform their duties, end of story.”
    Thus, if the governor is not going after them for purely political reasons, ipso facto, he is, as chief executive of the state, “failing to perform [his] duties, end of story.”
    Throw hin in jail and then impeach him.

  36. mrenchirito says:

    bobcat, I agree with you, and you understood the point I was making, how’s that for consistency? If someone is refusing to enforce a law, then they need to pay the penalty for it.

    The people being inconsistent are the ones making excuses for the lawbreaking Senators.

  37. Reminds me how much I chuckle when I read that common bumpersticker….the one with GW Bush smiling that asks….”Miss Me Yet?” HAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  38. I find it laughable, too, Dcr628.

  39. Off topic marathon anyone?

    Obama has to start making some gestures to appease the left; this is just the first one.

    What has happened to this country…that our leaders arbitrarily decide which laws to support and which ones to ignore?

    About defending marriage…I hope all of you have enough vision to see what happens to countries that do not defend and support the nuclear family. The disintegration of the family in Africa due to HIV AIDS is striking and frightening. When I went there to explore ways to help orphaned children, it was the most striking observation I’ve made. If you want to see a society crumble, shatter the family unit.

  40. I can see the family unit being shattered by divorce.

    I don’t see the family unit being shattered by non traditional marriage.

  41. And back on topic: How many times did W. append signing statements to laws that said the law does not apply to the the Executive Branch and Executive Agencies?

  42. sozo:

    Since so many marriages in the US end in divorce and there are children in need of adoption here, why go to Africa and point a finger at them?

    The biggest shatter of the family unit in America is the need for two incomes to survive.

  43. Ummm sozo……..are you trying to connect children orphaned by AIDS in Africa to gay marriage? This would require us to accept the unspoken assumptions that the AIDS epidemic in Africa is related to homosexual activity (while the opposite is true) and that gay marriage would increase promiscuous behavior (which is absurd) or that gay couples are dying and leaving their genetic offspring behind (which is impossible).

    Bush’s ABC anti-AIDS policy (anything but condoms) wasted a huge amount of time and resources on an abstinence-only program that is based in the moralizing of Augustine who saw procreation as the original sin.

  44. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, If you get the opportunity to go to a Bill Cosby appearence, you really should. He goes on and on about the black community in general, especially about how many black women are left to raise and support their children alone.

    Cosby reasons that many of the problems in black families are caused by the absence of a Father figure in the household. This would include, school drop outs, being respectful, not wearing pants that are below the butt, using black slang when speaking, etc. etc.

    By the way I believe President Bush allocated more funds to fight aids in Africa than any previous President including the first black President Clinton.

  45. How do Cosby’s remarks relate to non-traditional marriage, Roncella?

  46. Ron…..what does Bill Cosby’s comments about the American black community have to do with my post pondering what sozo’s comments about Africans orphaned by AIDS have to do with same-sex marriage in America?

    And…..as many conservatives like to point out, spending money on something (like Bush’s ABC African AIDS program) that doesn’t work is a waste of tax-payers’ money.

  47. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, as a liberal I thought you might be interested in hearing what a very intelligent, successful black entainer had to say about some of problems facing the black community in America.

    I have not heard that the funds aloted by President Bush where a waste of tax payers money, that the Aids program was not working in Africa.

  48. JudasEscargot says:

    Bill Cosby talked about personal responsibility among black men.

    Give them jobs and they’ll stay out of crime/jail and be responsible. I’ve seen it 1,000s of times in my life.

  49. JudasEscargot says:

    “This would include, school drop outs, being respectful, not wearing pants that are below the butt, using black slang when speaking, etc. etc.

    1. School dropout rate in Lewis County? About 25%. How many blacks live in Lewis County?

    2. Respectful? As a former coach I got the same respect from all kids.

    3. Pants below the butt? Yeah, kinda dumb – like my parents thought about the Beatles haircuts.

    4. Slang? gnarly, dude!

  50. i think i will marry my goldfish, take out a huge insurance policy, then when it croaks in a few weeks i can move to florida where there are no snow days! :D

    (once again–i didnt capitalize where i was suposed to becuase i didnt feel like it!) :D

  51. JE – I see far more white folks with droopy drawers these days than black folks. But then – I live in SE Idaho so I see an awful lot of white folks.

  52. My oh my, bBoy, you took some giant leaps from my comment.

    I was not making a statement about gays in any way I was saying I personally witnessed a shattered society where the family unit has been vaporized, period.

    Of course it is no surprise to anyone that I personally believe in the strength of a tradiltional marriage and family, in part because I believe children fair far better with both a mother and a father, folks with a strong sense of their gender identity.

    That said, I’d rather see a child raised in a non-traditional family unit that was loving and stable than a severely dysfunctional one. I don’t like the word dysfunctional, however, because I’m still looking for that perfectly functional fantasy family out there.

    So bBoy, you wasted some energy on me I think, by reading things into my commentary that were not there.

  53. Polago, I have two grandchildren. When I am in their homes, I am struck by how significant it is that both mom and dad have input into their daily dilemmas. Dads see things through a different lens than moms; each balances the other. I believe daughters need their dads in some very unique ways (I lacked that guidance and influence myself). I believe sons need their mothers in some very important ways. Etc. Etc.

    I will not argue that a non-traditional home situation can work. Heck, I was raised in one, though not by a gay couple. I had a mother who remarried with the understanding that her husband would have no significant input into the raising of her six children. It was less than ideal to be sure, but I survived.

    All I’m saying is that there’s nothing wrong with aiming for the ideal.

  54. Roncella says:

    Sozo, Its been my experience through life that everyone sets their own priorities.

    I watch some in my family who are having a difficult time. Yet they have very large screen T.V.’s, hand phones. They also eat out often, own boats, have 3 or 4 cars in the driveway, have their children enrolled in many sporting activities at school, on and on.

    At the same time they are having a difficult time making house payments, insurance payments, utilities, etc.

    Back to my original statement, about many folks setting their own priorities.

    My wife and I see so many ways they could be saving money or at least getting more form their money than they are, but we just observe and hope somehow they all make it OK.

  55. sozo, you wrote, “I hope all of you have enough vision to see what happens to countries that do not defend and support the nuclear family. The disintegration of the family in Africa due to HIV AIDS is striking and frightening. When I went there to explore ways to help orphaned children, it was the most striking observation I’ve made. If you want to see a society crumble, shatter the family unit.”

    This is more than simply, “aiming for the ideal.”

    You’re saying that unless we defend the nuclear family, society will crumble.

    An acceptable family unit can be non traditional, maybe more-so than many nuclear families are, today.

    Your experience may not have been ideal, but it may have been better than the alternative.

  56. Well Polago, with all due respect, I think we WILL see the deterioration of our society if the nuclear family continues to erode. This is no doubt just one more area where you and I will have to respectfully disagree.

    Again, I am well aware of families that compensate for and manage without the presence of either a loving mother or father, but “acceptable” seems to be lowering the bar to accommodate everyone so that no sacrifices need be made.

    Sacrifice is NOT a dirty word.

  57. Is it your feeling that non-traditional families erode the nuclear family, sozo?

  58. Any erosion of the traditional nuclear family is due more to the actions of heterosexuals who are choosing not to get married than to homosexuals wanting to get married.

    The erosion of the traditional (extended) family can be seen going back to increased mobility that made it much easier to move to another region and away from one’s family. Blame (if it is needed) can be cast on Eisenhower’s freeways or the railroads…..

  59. Erode? I’m not sure I’d say that Polago, though I maintain that the best possible household for a child to grow up in is one with an emotionally healthy mother and an emotionally healthy father.

  60. bB, I am saddened for the kids of divorce as well as kids of parents who will not commit.

    Every step we take in this society of each person looking out for himself or herself is a step in the wrong direction IMO. We are witnessing one of the most self-obsessed, self-absorbed eras of modern history….IMO.

  61. Two emotionally healthy parents.

  62. with financial stability……

  63. Not to beat the drum to shreds, Polago, but I believe the ideal is for children to have both mother and father if at all possible. I know how important it was for my sons to have their father around balancing the ship when estrogen threatened to rule the day. Likewise they needed me when their dad was failing to see certain things that women see in a different way.

    Clearly you do not agree and that’s fine.

    As for financial stability, yes bB, that would be good, though I know many wonderful people who grew up poor as church mice, just as I did. But jobs and money in the bank relieve a great deal of stress in the house so financial stability is an ideal.

  64. I’m well aware of what it is that you believe to be ideal, sozo. The question is, as it appears that in your previous comments, non-traditional families are very high on your list as to what you believe to be unacceptable, and given that your ideal isn’t always possible, can you live with the fact that two people of the same sex can and do get together and raise children, and these children can grow up to be respected members of our society, and that the product of your ideal relationship can turn out to be failures?

    The proof is in the pudding, not necessarily the ingredients.

    It seems that the hangup has more to do with the sexual relationship than the nurturing these children receive as a result of the relationship.

  65. I would rather see a child in a non-traditional home where he/she is receiving love and care than in a home where that is not the case, and yes, I’m willing to admit that this might mean being with homosexual parents contrasted to violent or abusive heterosexual parents.

    Having said that, I DO believe, though it’s considered archaic and absurd by savvy sophisticates of our day — that sex between two people of the same gender is anomalous. Homosexual parents who are not prepared to help their children deal with some measure of confusion about sex are being, IMO, naive.

  66. Most kids are not confused about their parent’s sex, sozo, heterosexual , or homosexual. They don’t think about it. They’re too busy doing other things. It doesn’t occur to them in any way, unless, of course, some busybody brings it to their attention. The problem wouldn’t come from the parents, or their private moments, but from those who make it their business to stick their nose where it doesn’t belong.

  67. I don’t think you are right about this, Polago, but I can’t prove it.

  68. And for the record, you have no way to prove your point either, do you ?

  69. I don’t remember spending any time pondering my parent’s sexuality, did you, sozo? Lids have more important things to do.

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