Obama says he will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act
WASHINGTON, February 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Barrack Obama has announced that he will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, while at the same time claiming that he continues to oppose homosexual “marriage.”
In a press release issued today, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “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.”
“The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination,” he added.
The president continues to claim that he opposes same-sex “marriage,” although White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today said that he is “grappling with the issue.”
DOMA defines marriage federally as a union between one man and one woman, and prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions as marriages. It was enacted overwhelmingly by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Clinton.
Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel called the decision “outrageous and unthinkable” and added that the president has “betrayed the American people by his refusal to defend the federal law that affirms what many courts upheld as constitutional, namely, that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said in response, “we have not yet begun to fight for marriage.”
“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” Brown said in a press release. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”
However, NOM chairman Maggie Gallagher says she sees a benefit to the pro-marriage movement in the decision.
“The Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway,” she said. “The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interest.”