Barack Obama | DOMA | Gay Marriage | Human Rights Campaign

HRC, NGLTF, ACLU, Others Call on Obama To Repeal DOMA Now


Reacting to this morning's disappointing motion from the Justice Department to dismiss a federal same-sex marriage case and the disturbing and insulting set of briefs filed along with the motion, the Human Rights Campaign and the NGLTF have called on the President to send legislation to Congress repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.

Said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement: “The Administration apparently determined that it had a duty to defend DOMA in the courts.  The President has just as strong a duty to put his principles into action, and end discrimination against LGBT people and our families. We call on the President to send legislation repealing DOMA to Congress.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund reacts to some of the dehumanizing language in the brief:

"DOMA is and has always been an immoral attack on same-sex couples, our families and our fundamental humanity. This law has only served to discriminate against Americans and belittle our nation's heralded values embracing freedom, fairness and justice. The Task Force Action Fund demands President Obama and Congress immediately repeal this hateful law, which has left a moral scar on our nation and its worthy pursuit of equal justice for all. Unfortunately, the malicious and outrageous arguments and language used in the Department of Justice's marriage brief is only serving to inflame and malign the humanity of same-sex couples and our families. This is unacceptable. This ugly chapter in our nation's history must come to an end now with the repeal of DOMA."

Obama's promises, via DailyKos:

The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released a joint statement, posted AFTER THE JUMP...

Happy Stonewall anniversary everybody!

(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

DOJ Defends DOMA, Says Good for Budget, Invokes Incest [tr]
DOJ Motions to Dismiss Federal Same-Sex Marriage Case [tr]

LGBT Legal And Advocacy Groups Decry Obama Administration's Defense of DOMA

We are very surprised and deeply disappointed in the manner in which the Obama administration has defended the so-called Defense of Marriage Act against Smelt v. United States, a lawsuit brought in federal court in California by a married same-sex couple asking the federal government to treat them equally with respect to federal protections and benefits.  The administration is using many of the same flawed legal arguments that the Bush administration used.  These arguments rightly have been rejected by several state supreme courts as legally unsound and obviously discriminatory. 

We disagree with many of the administration’s arguments, for example that DOMA is a valid exercise of Congress’s power, is consistent with Equal Protection or Due Process principles, and does not impinge upon rights that are recognized as fundamental.

We are also extremely disturbed by a new and nonsensical argument the administration has advanced suggesting that the federal government needs to be "neutral" with regard to its treatment of married same-sex couples in order to ensure that federal tax money collected from across the country not be used to assist same-sex couples duly married by their home states.  There is nothing "neutral" about the federal government’s discriminatory denial of fair treatment to married same-sex couples:  DOMA wrongly bars the federal government from providing any of the over one thousand federal protections to the many thousands of couples who marry in six states.  This notion of "neutrality" ignores the fact that while married same-sex couples pay their full share of income and social security taxes, they are prevented by DOMA from receiving the corresponding same benefits that married heterosexual taxpayers receive.  It is the married same-sex couples, not heterosexuals in other parts of the country, who are financially and personally damaged in significant ways by DOMA.  For the Obama administration to suggest otherwise simply departs from both mathematical and legal reality. 

When President Obama was courting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters, he said that he believed that DOMA should be repealed.  We ask him to live up to his emphatic campaign promises, to stop making false and damaging legal arguments, and immediately to introduce a bill to repeal DOMA and ensure that every married couple in America has the same access to federal protections. 

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Oh, dear. I'm going to happy hour. You ladies enjoy beating each other up.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 12, 2009 4:32:58 PM


    "During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans."

    LIE #1 -- He commits to no such thing when his DOJ supports DOMA.

    "Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples(...)"

    HALF-TRUTH #1 -- He must be supporting these measures in his home, because he sure as hell isn't doing it on the job.

    "(...)I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

    HALF-TRUTH #2 -- Well, to be fair he does say "promote equal rights for all" rather than "repeal bigoted discriminatory laws."

    Change We Can Believe In. Right. Like we can believe in the Tooth Fairy, if we so choose. Intelligent minds know better.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jun 12, 2009 4:38:32 PM

  3. FINALLY...HRC speaks!!! better late than never!!!!

    Posted by: steve | Jun 12, 2009 4:51:02 PM

  4. While it's disappointing, I'm not shocked. People let this man tell them lies on the campaign trail and he is now disappointing even more than Bill Clinton did in the 90s.

    What is interesting is the only piece of the Executive who seems to be doing anything for gay citizens is the State Department, run by of course Hillary.

    Guess the gay orgs and most gays I know put their money on the wrong horse.

    Told you so. :)

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 12, 2009 4:51:19 PM

  5. Who at the DOJ wrote these briefs? During the W. era, DOJ attorneys were hired based on the degree of their neoconservative beliefs. This type of legal insult smells of such ambulance-chasing swine.

    That aside, Eric Holder should have exhibited quality control.

    Posted by: Peter | Jun 12, 2009 4:57:15 PM

  6. Alex you really can't make the holier-than-thou Clinton arguement, blaming Obama for having not yet repealed DOMA and DADT, both signed into law by a Clinton to begin with.

    And yes, Clinton can afford to be extra gay friendly because she is not president and therefore receives far less attention and scrutiny than Obama. In short, no one but us gays are even noticing.

    I'm pissed at Obama over this, but the "I told you so" stuff rings hollow when these laws literally would not exist without the Clintons.

    Just sayin.

    Posted by: Wes | Jun 12, 2009 5:00:10 PM

  7. I'm not calling on the Obama Administration to do anything. I'm gonna focus my energy on the midterm elections & supporting any candidate who will stand against the anti-gay stance of our "fierce advocate". As far as I'm concern our dear president can burn in hell.

    Posted by: JSH | Jun 12, 2009 5:13:43 PM

  8. I'm kinda bugged that no one (not even MSNBC) has picked this story up?? WTF. Do we have to wait for Keith or Rachel??

    Posted by: gabriel | Jun 12, 2009 5:33:24 PM

  9. clinton did the mess now obama should clean it up, just like bush did the mess now obama must clean it up. Obama the cleaning up boy who gets called names for not cleaning up fast enough as clinton and bush sit back and smile.

    Posted by: DUNCUN | Jun 12, 2009 5:38:59 PM

  10. "As far as I'm concern our dear president can burn in hell."

    Haha! "Occasionally obtuse" indeed.

    Why have we become so polarized in our thinking? Not every gay-related decision from a governing body is either 100% pro-gay or anti-gay. I know it's hard to admit, but there's some gray area.

    The CA Supreme Court, for instance, only ruled that the state constitution could legally be revised by public vote, essentially codifying direct democracy in CA instead of representative democracy. And glbt folks were pissed off all day talkin' bout throwing bottles through windows as if Barney F had just been strung up. Get a grip, my people.

    The DOJ did not just tell us gay marriage is not a right. They told us that they will refuse to make our marriages federally recognized when 44 of 50 states still refuse to recognize them. Frustrating? Yes. Wrong? Absolutely. Anti-gay? Arguably.

    Proof that Obama is a homophobic scumbag fraud that duped us into voting for him and has no intention of doing anything to advance our rights? PUH-LEEZE. You can keep all that kool-aid for yourself.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jun 12, 2009 5:52:49 PM

  11. E-mail the White House and give them hell. They need to know how many of us this effects.

    Posted by: SSD | Jun 12, 2009 6:00:56 PM

  12. Fact is, WE ARE IRRELEVANT. We are a tiny minority, with many of us still in the closet, who are patronized and given lip service by our "friends."

    Now if we were BLACK, it would be a different story.

    Posted by: Terry | Jun 12, 2009 6:32:42 PM

  13. Every April 15th we purchase a "ticket" and get a pile of shit dumped on our heads, while HETS get to ride the rides (and get discounts). Nice.

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | Jun 12, 2009 6:57:20 PM

  14. Call the White House and give some feedback.

    Posted by: NYXaq | Jun 12, 2009 7:00:11 PM

  15. What does HRC mean Obama has a duty to put his principles into action. He IS putting his principles into action, by supporting DOMA and refusing to take the 10 seconds that would be required to sign an order ending DADT.

    HRC needs to listen to the last track on "Who's Next."

    Posted by: jmdrwac | Jun 12, 2009 7:06:57 PM

  16. Clinton (Bill) signed those at the behest of the legislature during times when he had no political capital. DADT was still a better option than what existed prior to Clinton which was that gays could not serve, closeted or otherwise. It was a disappointment, no doubt, but I would certainly not compare the political power and capital Obama is currently riding with what Clinton faced in 1993. That said, I was speaking about Hillary, not Bill. If the State Dept can be open minded, why not the Justice Dept? Erik Holder is no more the President than Hillary. The fact is this brief is disgusting and insulting and beyond the pale considering the promises made by Obama to the gay community. It's not even that he's not doing anything, it's that he's actively allowing his Justice Department to make it more difficult for the very thing he's promised to happen.

    The apologists on here and in the gay community make me nearly as sick as Log Cabin Republicans.

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 12, 2009 7:14:42 PM

  17. Didn't believe or support him in '08 and never will. Unless someone has a voting record, I don't support them. :)

    Posted by: Name: | Jun 12, 2009 7:24:32 PM

  18. I ain't apologizin for shit.

    It's called politics. He is a politician. He is the best politician of our lifetime. He's doing things the way they need to be done, and soon we'll all see that truth. You know, once the government stops running every single large corporation in the country.

    It's just politics, and when it comes to our actual freedom, it matters very, very minutely. Free yourselves, people. You are responsible for your own equality. If you and your partner want to get married, but you're waiting for legal recognition- DON'T! Hold a gigantic wedding now, invite everyone you know, and very publicly do not give a flying eff whether your government recognizes it or not.

    That's my advice. Our love, our lives, are our best protest. Free yourselves. That's the only freedom we'll really ever need, or have.

    But otherwise, Obama's a great president who just needs some time to get other shit done. Just relax, kids.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jun 12, 2009 8:08:39 PM

  19. Relax? I'll "relax" when I'm not a second class citizen, federally and at the state level. Try telling the one surviving spouse of a gay couple to "relax" after his partner, who was the breadwinner, has died and no social security benefits are available. No, that goes "up in smoke" if you're gay. But not if you're straight, the checks start coming. How fair is that? Put yourself in that position. Then see if you can "relax".

    Posted by: shawngust | Jun 12, 2009 8:26:39 PM

  20. Obama is a coward in regards to LGBT issues!!! FACT!

    Posted by: steve | Jun 12, 2009 8:31:58 PM

  21. "Fact is, WE ARE IRRELEVANT. We are a tiny minority, with many of us still in the closet, who are patronized and given lip service by our "friends."

    Now if we were BLACK, it would be a different story."


    I couldn't agree with you more. It will take a lot to convince me that Straight Guys actually honestly, sincerely can feel comfortable around a gay guy much less work hard to support or help gays gain rights. This isn't about the women, it's about the gay guys. Do you even hear ONE Sports figure weigh in to help gay guys? No, they just want the Lakers to win the playoffs and if DADT is kept, then they don't have to feel uncomfortable in the showers.

    Posted by: Alan | Jun 12, 2009 8:36:20 PM

  22. Wow, I didn't see any of this coming.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 12, 2009 9:06:47 PM

  23. If some one gay is ill advised enough to actually file a civil rights lawsuit to a Conservative Packed Federal Court System, the very least the Obama Administration could do is to PROTECT THE GAYS FROM THEMSELVES by filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

    Listen up gurls, NO ISSUES ARE DECIDED WITH A LAWSUIT IS DISMISSED IN FEDERAL COURT because the dismissal means that the Court had no jurisdiction over the lawsuit. Without proper jurisdiction, there can't be any binding legal precedence.

    Posted by: Peter Everhard | Jun 12, 2009 9:08:30 PM

  24. "Now if we were BLACK, it would be a different story."

    @Terry - I'm not sure why you say this, as black people didn't have anything handed to them on a silver platter. If you're implying that Obama favors black people, I don't necessarily see that either.

    Obama is a narcissist who cares only about himself. Don't get bigotted and drag other minority groups down just because you feel bitter about having a third Bush term, or "McSame" I think they called it a few months ago when I was being berated here every day for voting Libertarian.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 12, 2009 9:11:01 PM

  25. "It's called politics. He is a politician. He is the best politician of our lifetime."

    Yet when he ran against Hillary it was she that would have said and done anything to get elected. That was the politician. He was different. He was change. BULL SHIT THEN AND BULLSHIT NOW!

    Posted by: Lucifer | Jun 12, 2009 9:21:25 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Unblocks LGBT Websites« «