Free Markets, Free People

Obama Defends Marriage

Move over, Carrie Prejean.  President Obama apparently thinks that marriage  should be defined traditionally, too.  And he’s sent government lawyers into court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act.  And it has some people upset.

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.

Apparently, some people didn’t beleive Obama when he stated that he opposed gay marriage.  So, more buyer’s remorse from those people.

I wonder if a Cheney Administration would have taken a more reasonable position vis a vis DOMA.  It could hardly have staked out a more conservative one than the Obama administration did.

Here’s the thing:  as Dale Carpenter over at Volokh points out, the DoJ went all the way to the wall to defend DOMA, even though there was no need to do so.

Of most interest is what the DOJ has to say about the due process and equal protection claims, rejecting just about every single variation of an argument that gay-rights scholars and litigants have made over the past 30 years.

Fundamental right to marry that includes same-sex couples? Nonsense under the narrowest approach to such rights, as articulated by Chief Justice Rehnquist in Washington v. Glucksberg, who wrote that in evaluating a fundamental-rights claim a federal court must follow tradition and tradition is to be understood as narrowly as possible.

The Loving analogy? Rejected. Strict scrutiny for laws discriminating against gays and lesbians? Unprecedented. Sex discrimination? Meritless. Romer v. Evans? That dealt with a comprehensive denial of rights, unlike DOMA. Lawrence v. Texas? That was a privacy case.

Ninth Amendment rights? No such thing.

Essentially, the Obama Administration’s justice department filed a brief that attempts to gut practically every constitutional gay rights argument you can think of.  I would have expected Obama’s defense of DOMA–assuming there was going to even be one, which there didn’t have to be–to be more or less pro forma.  Instead of arguing that the law was unconstitutional–which Bush and Clinton did a couple of times–or making boilerplate legal arguments as a matter of form, the DoJ went for the throats of gay marriage advocates.

I really do wonder why.

11 Responses to Obama Defends Marriage

  • I, for one, am thrilled The Dear Leader™ that has ticked off some of his biggest supporters.

    Perhaps next time, they won’t be as stupid and trust such a liar.

    I don’t trust him and I didn’t vote for him, thank goodness.

  • They will all have forgotten by the next election.

  • Can we get Donald Trump to fire him?

    As for TAO’s motivation… well… think about the church he went to.  It may be that Rev. Wright has a (ahem) problem with more than just white people and Jews. 

  • I look forward to Perez Hilton ripping BO a new one on national TV because, after all, I’m sure Perez is no hypocrite….
    Yep….aaaany day now….

  • It may have to do with the push for hate crimes laws. It would be harder to include gays as a protected class if they get everything they want.

  • I see this as Obama has “bigger fish to fry”
    In terms of the overall electorate, fighting this battle now is bad strategy.
    Supporters and detractors should look at Reagan & abortion for a historical prespective that has this is going no where soon.  Obama is taking the same path with gay marriage.

  • … and Obama and Rahm Emanuel will laugh and laugh

  • It’s because he’s really Muslim and they believe in conventional, albeit multi-women, marriage and detest homosexuality.

  • I love it. No gay can ever again blame the GOP for no gay marriage.

    The left controls the house.
    The left controls the senate.
    Both with filibuster-proof majorities

    The left controls the Presidency
    The left looks to be controlling the SCOTUS
    The left has most of the governorships.

    I never want to hear a guy person whine about the GOP again. If you don’t get it now, you’ll never. EVER. Get it.

    But hey, you at least get to be useful idiots again.

  • This is hilarious.  I really want to se what Sullivan does now.  He “claimed” that his break with Bush was due to the marriage thing.  While Bush’s gay marriage opposition was limited, Obama’s is full on against it in steroids.
    Wonder how he spins it this time.

  • Neo, it sounds like he went farther than he needed too, if it was just about “bigger fish”.