Sunday, June 14, 2009

Obama wishy-washy on LGBT issues

A few days ago, the Obama Justice Department, in dismissing the first same-sex marriage case filed in federal court, upheld the Defense of Marriage Act--although he opposed DOMA as a presidential candidate.

The dismissal came shortly after June 1st, when President Obama declared June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. While the religious right is outraged, evangelicals are not Obama voters to begin with. No political loss.

Although I am not a fan of marriage, it is clear to me that a marriage license is a tangible item, and dedicating a month is abstract, symbolic and not particularly productive. I am not impressed by the dog and pony show.

Originally posted on The Colonic


Dharma Kelleher said...

When marriage is tied to so many things from health insurance to hospital visitation to survivor benefits (not to mention tax benefits), marriage equality is about more than a piece of paper.

I've lost all trust in Obama. What he says and what he does are two different things (and not just on LGBT issues). That breaks my heart to say, but it's happening over and over again.

Ariel said...

Wow, you are so poorly informed. Only the court can "dismiss" a case. Of course the Justice Department is trying to get the court to dismiss the case-- that's their job-- to win cases! Sorry, Obama can't personally consult with you but y'know, he's kind of busy-- maybe you noticed we're in a recession, got 2 wars going on, got a North Korean nuclear crisis, got a brewing civil war in Iran, got companies going bankrupt everywhere. DOMA just isn't that important right now.

Vanessa said...

While you may rank DOMA as trivial in comparison to war and recession, the point is that placating certain voting blocs is vital to re-election.

Now that several powerful gay fundraisers have withdrawn from a DNC fund raiser in June where Biden is speaking, Obama is expected to announce that same-sex partners will be receiving federal benefits on Wednesday:

And yes, a more appropriate description would be filing a notice of a motion to dismiss.

Samantha said...

Okay what part of not Obama's problem did you miss? The federal court is STILL the refuse left by the bush administration. Obama has had no chance to effect change.

Basica 3rd grade social studies. Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches. Obama is in one, the Federal coutr wackos are in another. Get your facts straight, drop the tude, and move on.


Vanessa said...

I disagree. I like this explanation from The Washington Post:

"The department could have fulfilled its obligation to defend the nation's laws without repeating ugly reasoning rooted in ignorance.

The Justice Department could have stopped with its sound argument that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs did not "claim to have plans to seek recognition of their . . . California marriage in another state" and they "do not suggest that they have applied for any federal benefits, much less been denied any at this point." Thus, neither an "imminent injury" nor an "injury in fact" attributable to DOMA has been established. The plaintiffs lack standing. Case closed. That would have been fine with gay rights groups, which viewed Smelt-Hammer as an imperfect vehicle for challenging DOMA's constitutionality. "We had no problem with DOJ getting rid of this case," one legal expert told me. "The plaintiffs didn't tell a good story."

But Justice went further. It cited a 1961 case involving incest (a marriage of an uncle to a niece that was "valid in Italy under its laws") to show that states were not bound to honor "certain marriages performed elsewhere." But more galling (to me, anyway) was the twisted assertion that DOMA didn't single out gays and lesbians for discrimination. "DOMA is rationally related to legitimate government interests and cannot fairly be described as 'born of animosity toward the class of persons affected,' " the government argued -- making a mockery of Obama's repeated assertions that DOMA is discriminatory."

You can check out the full article: