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Monday, August 17, 2009

Obama Undermines DOMA Law

The Obama Justice Department today filed court papers claiming the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against homosexuals. In the meantime, the DOJ lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a homosexual California couple challenging DOMA.

Gary Bauer Gary Bauer, president of American Values, says President Obama is committed to repealing DOMA -- but does not want to take the political flak that would come along with it.

"What the White House wants is for a court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act so that the White House and the president don't have to take the political damage for undermining a law that protects normal marriage," he explains.

Bauer argues Obama is contradicting a campaign pledge. "President Obama ran promising he would be open and transparent, and no longer practice the usual politics of Washington, DC," he notes. "Millions of people voted for him because they thought he would be more honest and more open in the way he governed."

According to Bauer, that is not happening. "What we're seeing here is something more reminiscent of the way they do politics in the wards of Chicago -- saying one thing and then doing something else behind the scenes," he states.

If the Defense of Marriage Act is overturned by White House maneuvering or a federal court, every state would be forced to recognize same-sex "marriages" that are now legal in states like Massachusetts.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a same-sex California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered homosexual activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama.

In the court papers, the administration urges the repeal of the law but says in the meantime, government lawyers will continue to defend it as a law on the books.

The government's previous filing in the case angered homosexual rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

The Justice Department, she added, is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences."

The law, often called DOMA, denies federal recognition of same-sex "marriage" and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Obama has pledged to work to repeal the law.

Monday's court filing was in response to a lawsuit by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the federal law, which prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes, and benefiting from other federal rights connected to marriage.

Justice lawyers have argued that the act is constitutional and contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to homosexuals would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.

Earlier this week, Bill Clinton told a gathering of Democratic Activists on CSPAN that he never really supported DOMA when he signed it into law, but did so to fool the general public into thinking the issue was settled, and thereby prevent momentum by Republicans to pass a Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage throughout the nation. By postponing the Amendment, judicial activists and Democratically controlled legislatures have since been able to legalize gay marriage in numerous states without the pubic ever having a chance to vote on it. See Chick's SIN CITY.

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