Sunday, June 14, 2009

Obama argues for DOMA

Americablog is reporting on the DOMA case coming before the Federal Court. The lawyers for Obama are using all the old arguments. According to Americablog:
We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It's pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush's top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn't just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn't motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn't be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn't discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can't).

He actually argued that the courts shouldn't consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.

And before Obama claims he didn't have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we'll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was "abhorrent." Folks, Obama's lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He's taking us down for his own benefit.

Here is the case.


klady said...

Ugh! This is the last straw for me. Obama got coopted just as the Clintons. Something about being in the seat of power that makes people skip those (perceived to be) at the margins.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Remember this was written by someone in the Administration; in the Department of Justice.

Probably not very authorised...

klady said...

I don't care if some leftover Bushies were involved. Obama is a lawyer and a constitutional law professor. If his government cannot prevent something like this being argued, then he's not bringing the kind of lawyerly mind (not to mention compassionate heart) to the job that I expected. The DOJ of all places should have been the first purged of these folks or at least subject to intense scrutiny in these kinds of cases. No excuse for this.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Very bad news for Obama and us.

He has some quick work to do to repair the fallout over this...if not there will be a female President Clinton, the inner conflicts have just begun.

IT said...

I ahve commented extensively on this over at GMC:

here and here.

Aravosis, at AmericaBLog, is wrong on one thing. The DoJ is stuck defending this law until those spineless wimps in congress overturn it (or the courts do). Indeed, it is the willingness of the Executive to ignore laws (against torture, and of course, Habeas Corpus) that was a huge, huge problem in the Bush years.

BUT what is absolutely true is that this is a despicable brief that goes far beyond what is necessary to attack and demonize the GLBT community. Some "Fierce Advocate".

Paul M said...

I suspect this was written by a Bush appointee burrowed in to the career civil service. This doesn't excuse the Obama people at Justice, however, because they are ultimately responsible for whatever that department submits to the court.

This reminds me of an episode in LBJ's presidency when he was presented by one of the major pieces of civil rights legislation, about to be introduced to Congress. He told the activists, "This is great. No go out there and force me to support this." Elections are important, but they only go so far. There also needs to be the groundswell of public opinion that forces our "leaders" to follow the will of the people. I am not sure we are there yet at the national level, but this is probably what it is going to take to overturn this legislation.

David G. said...

I'm Pissed, but not deflated, the word!!