Obama Administration Fails In Attempt To Have Its Gay Wedding Cake and Eat It, Too
|But does President Obama 'feel your pain'?|
Social conservatives surely have had their tighty-whiteys worked into a twist by the Department of Justice's legal brief stating the administration supports the legislative repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That's the law --much-loathed in these parts -- that denies federal recognition and benefits to married same-sex couples.
At the same time, same-sex marriage advocates condemned the government's motion to dismiss an Orange County gay married couple's challenge to DOMA. The brief contends that the plaintiffs, a gay married couple in California, don't have the "standing" to challenge DOMA in the first place. The couple has not shown that any other state has refused to recognize their California marriage or that they've been denied any federal benefits. The filing also states Congress was "rational" in concluding that "there is a legitimate government interest in maintaining the status quo regarding the distribution of federal benefits in the face of serious and fluid policy differences in and among the states."
Hmmm...hate on DOMA in theory, but uphold it in practice. If the intent was for Obama to have a big fat gay wedding cake and eat it, too -- he failed.
"The duty of the president is to uphold the Constitution" Equality California director Geoff Kors told SF Weekly. (Equality California was itself widely criticized last week after advising to hold off the gay wedding cake order altogether until the 2012 election, instead of 2010). "[The Constitution] has an equal protection clause, and you don't file a brief saying that discrimination against a minority group is rational."
Kors said today's brief was at least an improvement over a June filing by the government that gay rights advocates condemned as blatantly homophobic. Both Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights issued statements saying they were heartened by the statement that the administration wanted the law repealed. They also were glad that the brief asserted that they believe gay parents are no better or worse than heterosexual ones, and any such argument should not be used to justify DOMA.
"The federal government's recognition that same-sex parents are just as fit as heterosexual parents is significant and historic," said NCLR executive director Kate Kendall in a statement.
But the bottom line is LGBT folks aren't happy, and the LGBT honeymoon period with Obama just may be coming to an end.
"There's a sense of people losing some patience and disappointment that the president said he'd be a fierce advocate for LGBT equality, but hasn't really done anything substantive yet to show it," Kors said.