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Official White House Response to DOJ - DOMA Uproar

For the record, here's the official response the White House sent Towleroad (also sent to other media) to the uproar over the Department of Justice's motion for dismissal of the federal same-sex marriage case:

"As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The President has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system."

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  1. There's a huge difference between "defending" and "rubbing it in your face."

    The outright bigotry in this document was, well, illuminating. We now know *exactly* where the administration stands.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 12, 2009 8:34:10 PM

  2. I understand the DOJ's need to be consistent in defending existing statutes and I believe that it is the right thing to do. The point made regarding a Republican administration picking and choosing which laws to defend and enforce is truly frightening and is a point well taken. HOWEVER, the language and insults and falsities in these briefs are inexcusable and indefensible. Do they realize what they are saying? Do they understand that they are the same people who promised to work for equality? I will NEVER vote for anyone who personally insults me and my family in such a way. Their words are right out of a Pat Robertson speech or a DOM commercial. Dispicable and unforgivable.

    Posted by: Boone68 | Jun 12, 2009 8:44:59 PM

  3. The time to march on Washington is near. October 10-11, 2009. BE THERE and let the President know how you really feel.

    Posted by: Trooper | Jun 12, 2009 8:49:49 PM

  4. sorry Jimsur but I'm out of Zanex and frankly I don't feel like calming down!

    Posted by: Eating Our Own, AGAIN! | Jun 12, 2009 9:12:47 PM





    Posted by: Perry | Jun 12, 2009 9:14:54 PM

  6. infuriating crap. lawyers and politicians (our president included) suck. why didn't we elect hillary?

    Posted by: brckmn | Jun 12, 2009 9:14:55 PM

  7. A Cheney administration would not have gone as far to demonize gays as this one has.

    Posted by: DaveO | Jun 12, 2009 9:17:38 PM

  8. For the president and administration that are known for their skill at "messaging" and with the level of control they exhibit in all things political, they are absolutely TONE DEAF to the LGBT community.

    Filing this brief during Pride month, on the anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, and letting a Bush-appointed Mormon lawyer write the brief in the way that he did is unconscionable and indefensible unless the Obama administration is really thumbing their collective noses at our community.

    I have no problem with the DOJ defending the law as that is their responsibility. I can't really argue against their defending it zealously, as the code of ethics for lawyers requires.

    What burns my ass is how our straight allies and the Obamabots jump up and start telling us to sit down and shut up and wait our turn until after the economy is fixed, after health care reform is passed, and then it will be after the 2010 election, and after Obama runs for re-election, and after Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. ad infinitum.

    I can be patient. I've been actively working for equality for 30+ years. I am realistic and understand the politics of the situation. What I can't understand is why we are allowing Clinton holdovers dictate the agenda here -- it's as if they are after a "payback" for Clinton's roasting on DADT and they are hellbent on keeping Obama at arm's length from us at all times.

    And we, and our representative organizations, are letting them. We worked against a very hostile Reagan administration and managed to radically alter the American health care system during the height of the AIDS crisis. We need to rebuild that same fire and those same coalitions today. It is still a matter of life and death for too many of us.

    Posted by: Goober Peas | Jun 12, 2009 9:24:18 PM

  9. @ JimSur212:

    "is constituionally sound..."???

    Excuse me Fairy Mason, but I'll take the fact that four LEGAL EXPERT organizations
    that have denounced the Obama brief as the more credible opinion:

    American Civil Liberties Union
    Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
    Lambda Legal
    National Center for Lesbian Rights

    "...and reflects precedent"???

    So did the ruling that kept Dred Scott a slave and slavery legal. So did the Hardwick ruling that kept sodomy laws legal until "Lawrence." So do the majority of rulings on DADT.

    Finally, "the rights of gay people to marry" was NOT a position of the plaintiff's suit. What was? The very things that OBAMA used to get us into bed .... er give him the nomination.

    He promised to FIGHT for DOMA repeal not DEFEND it.

    That promise disappeared from weeks ago, but they kept the Obama "supports federal rights for LGBT couples"...nota bene not "except for married couples" [as this couple is in California] because he opposes marriage equality.

    Need MULTIPLE videotaped reminders of those promises during the campaign, go here:

    And NOW the Obama Legal Gestapo are imagining that we'll deep throat the bull about Congressional repeal, as they did to excuse their DADT defense, when in both cases HE just MADE THE SAME ARGUMENTS for the passage of DOMA and DADT in the first place????

    What's he going to say to Congress now to keep HIS PROMISES to FIGHT FOR their repeal?


    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 12, 2009 9:29:08 PM

  10. P.S. And stop sending me the urgent requests to support your damned efforts on health care reform until you make some kind of meaningful gesture to let us know that we are not forgotten and off the radar entirely. I work for you when I know you work for me. That's the way it plays, fellas!

    P.P.S. And stop pissing on my shoe and telling me that I'm drooling. The Obama administration and the DOJ have chosen NOT to defend the myriad laws broken by the Bush administration. They are continuing the illegal detention, rendition, torture, and suppression of evidence policies. They are working overtime to protect billionaires from their greedy mistakes while letting American taxpayers swing in the wind financially. I"M NOT AN OBAMABOT so your defense is useless. I am a citizen and I fight for my rights, democrat or republican in office. Period!

    Posted by: Goober Peas | Jun 12, 2009 9:31:12 PM

  11. @jimsur212

    You don't see how the constitution as currently interpreted would require states to recognize gay marriage from another state???

    It's called the Full Faith and Credit clause. Look it up.

    This is not about whether gay marriages are constitutional. This is about whether a federal law that nullifies the Constitution on one particular issue, that affects a single particular group, is constitutional. Clearly it is not, since the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and DOMA is in conflict with it.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 12, 2009 9:31:49 PM

  12. 1)Donnie McClurkin
    2)Rick Warren
    3)Silence as more LGBT folks are discharged under DADT
    4)Nothing but an offensive joke as Iowa and other states endorse marriage equality
    5)Now this?!? The language they used to defend DOMA was right from Focus on the Family...I am done unless he does a 360...
    which ain't gonna happen. Like someone earlier said, Cheney would have been better
    (I've never voted for a Republican in my life).

    Posted by: Rocco | Jun 12, 2009 9:39:16 PM

  13. Thank you CHRIS for citing the Full Faith and Credit clause to Jimsur. As a lawyer who can't believe the things that people say they think they know I just didn't have the energy tonight to correct him. Today has been too upsetting. DOMA was unconstitutional the day it was adopted and it still is. It was not an amendment to the constitution, it was a badly written piece of legislation that runs afoul of the constitution.

    Posted by: Jonathan Wallach | Jun 12, 2009 9:52:28 PM

  14. Sensing an uproar, the administration now argues that it "has to" defend current law, although the President recognizes that DOMA denies gay and lesbian couples equal rights and benefits and supposedly wants it to be legislatively repealed. The President and his handlers and apologists don't seem to understand that it's hard to believe that they want to get rid of DOMA and believe it is unjust when they file a brief that with such vicious enthusiasm and brio marshalls all the fundies' and neanderthal's arguments about why DOMA is supposedly consistent with equal protection and good for America and that compares gay relationships with those founded on incest.

    Posted by: David Goroff | Jun 12, 2009 9:58:11 PM

  15. So now we have to push the Congress to pass the legislation so then Obama can't have an excuse to stand up to our causes?! If so, LET'S DO IT! I am tired of people coming out with excuses because so and so didn't do his/her part!

    Posted by: Christian Young | Jun 12, 2009 10:02:41 PM

  16. I am personally offended by the lengths to which the DOJ defended DOMA and especially outraged at the language and tone utilized. It's one thing to throw up your hands and say "oh well, can't change it..." but it's another thing entirely to reinforce the homophobic rhetoric spewed by the religi-nazis and extremist bigots with increasing frequency.

    Shame on you, President Obama. Shame on your whole administration.

    Posted by: MattP | Jun 12, 2009 10:08:14 PM

  17. the man does not deserve a second term

    Posted by: billy o | Jun 12, 2009 10:26:36 PM

  18. Hope? Change?

    Who the hell is giving Obama advice on GLTB issues? Rick Warren? Does ANYONE at the White House realize they are pissing all over one of their most ardent and activist bases?

    It's not just exasperating, it gratuitously stupid.

    Posted by: elcamino | Jun 12, 2009 10:44:54 PM

  19. Staggeringly inadequate on pretty much every level.

    Posted by: Pender | Jun 12, 2009 10:52:22 PM

  20. @jonathan wallach & chris: I am ALSO a lawyer. The US Supreme Court has recognized a public policy exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution that permits states to AVOID recognizing certain acts. One of these exceptions IS marriage. This is how states can refuse to recognize marriages on the basis of consanguinity or because they are polygamous. It's amazing that you're going to question the legal knowledge of others without fully understanding the issue yourselves.

    Posted by: BMF | Jun 12, 2009 10:55:54 PM

  21. there's a huge difference between saying something like "we are obligated to defend the law as it stands" and jumping whole-hog into it, drudging up discredited stereotypes to bolster your case.
    this is the SECOND anti-gay briefing from the obama administration in as many weeks.
    they also DEFENDED dadt to the supreme court, once again with all the old "unit cohesion" and "troop morale" bullshit intact. and yet we STILL have apologists telling us to wait because they don't realllly mean it... UGH !! get a friggin' clue, folks ! we were lied to to get our money and our votes and now we are under the proverbial bus with so many others that barack has thrown there.. until he talks pretty to the suckers again 2012.

    Posted by: el polacko | Jun 12, 2009 11:11:18 PM

  22. Fuck the stupid march on washington idea, it did nothing for us in '93 it'll do nothing for us now. we need to do more. much more. give me liberty or give me death. i'm so fucking sick and tired of waiting for someone else to give us our equal rights, it's time we demand them. we have to get serious about this. no half-naked pride parades, no disco music, no bullshit, this is serious. if no one else is serious, then we'll never get anywhere.

    Posted by: Todd in NYC | Jun 12, 2009 11:32:03 PM

  23. It wasn't what was said in the brief. It was the horrific way it was said then he serves up this totally inadequate sick excuse of a defense. Language like:

    "allegdly married"

    "forum shopping"

    And that's even before all the homophobic sterotyped casework.

    Until further notice, fuck you Barack Obama!

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jun 12, 2009 11:33:22 PM

  24. Obama gets shelved in 2012

    Posted by: Martha | Jun 12, 2009 11:38:30 PM

  25. I'm suddenly in agreement with (of all people) Rush Limbaugh, hoping Obama is a Big Fail on everything he tries--the economy, health care reform, whatever. I didn't vote for McCain last year, but I didn't vote for this bullshit artist either. Four years of Obama will be more than enough, thank you.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 12, 2009 11:47:47 PM

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