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Robert Gibbs Calls Repeal of DOMA 'Inordinately Challenging' When Asked if it Will Happen Under Obama's Watch

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked today by Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade about the Justice Department's Defense of DOMA, and if there was any chance that the administration might drop the defense and declare it unconstitutional.

Gibbs Said Gibbs: 

"Well, we can’t declare the law unconstitutional. … Obviously if you look at what was written, the president enumerates in there … our belief on this law as we balance the obligation that we have to represent the federal government; the president believes as you said that this is a law that should not exist and should be repealed but at the same time we have to represent the viewpoint of the federal government."

Gibbs added that, given the current make-up of Congress, legislative repeal would be "inordinately challenging" when asked if it would happen during the Obama administration.

Gibbs also said he was "unaware" of any plans to mention it, or marriage equality during the upcoming State of the Union Address.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. 1) It won't happen this term, the landscape of Congress has changed and the Dems will need to pick-and-choose their fights with the Tea Partiers going into 2012. The Tea Party needs to be resoundly beaten on *governance* issues, not social ones. Expect social issues to take a backseat for the next two years. On that note...

    2) Gibbs is covering his flanks as his boss preps a 2012 defense. Noting Obama couldn't repeal DOMA now if he wanted to (see #1), saying he will repeal it in his next term is a surefire way to ensure that neither he nor any Democrat sits in the White House in January 2013.

    So... I'll patiently sit on my hands. We got DADT. ENDA has a sliver of a shot of being implemented in some shape or form. The march of history is in our direction, even if it's not moving as fast as we want.

    Besides, DOMA has a much better shot of being repealed through the courts. And that's a process that's much more in our control than not.

    So let's focus our efforts there.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Jan 18, 2011 8:22:36 PM


  2. See how quickly "yes we can" becomes "we can't." Astonishing.

    Posted by: Max | Jan 18, 2011 8:25:38 PM


  3. Max. you don't like Obama. We get it. Why, I don't know since he has been the most gay-friendly president in history. I guess you're a fiscal conservative and love your money more than your sexuality. It's your thing. I'm glad DADT repeal and Hate crimes legislation passed with the president's seal of approval(his signature). It certainly gives me hope to continue chanting "yes we can".

    Posted by: Will | Jan 18, 2011 9:31:10 PM


  4. In other other words "You fags got PUNK'D!"

    Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 18, 2011 9:31:33 PM


  5. Is this the same EXCUSE that will be used for not passing ENDA?

    And around and around we go ...

    Meanwhile, the only reason DADT passed is because of the pressure many GLBTs groups put on the Congress, Senate and yes the President. Otherwise, nothing would have happened.

    We cannot give up the fight on DOMA or ENDA.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 18, 2011 9:42:36 PM


  6. TOMMYC, since when are the courts "much more in our control"? Marriage equality was defeated in the courts here in Washington. You know what does matter? PROTEST. Queers like you who make a living off of continued homophobia seem to forget that a quarter of a million of us marched in Washington in 2009... and we got the Hate Crimes Law. If you're saying queer people should wait another 20 years for a few more crumbs, then you are a HOMOPHOBE. You are either equal or you are not, my friend. And you are NOT EQUAL. Your precious Democrats could have done something in the first two years of the Obama administration, but they were too busy writing blank checks to Wall Street. A line has been drawn, people. You are either with us or you are with the Democrats. It's disgusting that some fags are this happy with being kicked in the face.

    Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 18, 2011 9:50:50 PM


  7. Will, that's not quite correct. I don't dislike Obama, I'm just not in love with him. I'd give him one thumb up and one thumb down, based on the last two years. Let's see how he handles a Republican House.

    My point, sans sarcasm, is that he can do so much more.

    Posted by: Max | Jan 18, 2011 10:06:17 PM


  8. Mmm hmmm, DADT? I'll believe it when I see it implemented.

    Posted by: Ealan75 | Jan 18, 2011 10:58:11 PM


  9. In other words, NEVER.GOING.TO.HAPPEN!

    Geddit?

    SCOTUS is our best bet! And hope that Scalia or/and Thomas will *ahem* "step down" (to put it nicely) before the cases challenging DOMA reach them.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jan 18, 2011 11:09:17 PM


  10. Of course Mr Gibbs is "unaware" of any possible mention of marriage equality in the State of the Union speech. After all, why should pervasive, blatantly hateful discrimination by the Federal government against millions of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens in loving relationships ever rate a mention the State of the Union?

    Don't be silly...

    Posted by: RWG | Jan 18, 2011 11:21:56 PM


  11. All the more reason then Mr. Gibbs that this administration should have been working on repeal before we lost the house. Just how blond and dumb do we look? Obama in just another Bill Clinton, all hat and no cattle.

    Posted by: travelingman rick | Jan 19, 2011 12:51:32 AM


  12. DADT hasn't been repealed yet.

    Let's not forget that.

    Obama is an opportunistic homophobe.

    He is a crushing disappointment as president, and can barely even be called a lukewarm advocate.

    Vote Green in 2012, unless the homophobe Obama spells out exactly how he intends to repeal DOMA; implement ENDA, and the timelines involved.

    Empty promises are no longer enough.

    Posted by: SteveC | Jan 19, 2011 2:35:33 AM


  13. @ SteveC
    F*CK YOU. He's no more homophobic than your Momma!

    Posted by: CHRIS | Jan 19, 2011 4:01:23 AM


  14. This is wonderful... nice civil, polite discussion among people of the same oppressed group.

    Go look up the main reason Scotland is not a separate country from the UK and you'll see why we can't get much done either if we bicker with each other.

    Posted by: johnny | Jan 19, 2011 9:05:10 AM


  15. I agree with Steve C. The DADT repeal is not really a repeal. It's a repeal someday and only if the President, Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon leaders agree. The fact is Obama still has not issued a stop-loss order ending discharges under DADT. Something he has the legal right to do but refused to do time and again. The fact is DADT is still the law of the land. The faux repeal was only brought about with minimal effort by Obama and his administration. The president makes a lot of pretty speeches, but his actions and those of his administration do not back up the rhetoric. I don't call somebody who delays DADT repeal until it almost dies gay friendly. I don't think an administration who fights to keep DOMA and DADT in place, even when they don't have to, in the courts by comparing gay people to pedophiles is gay friendly. When he was a state legislator he was for same sex marriage, during his campaign he was against it, now he "struggles" with it. Sorry, but someone who struggles with giving people civil rights is a homophobe. He's not a virulent hater like many Repubs, but he is an insidious, passive-aggressive homophobe who doesn't support LGBT issues until he is forced to and it is politically expedient for him. He's done almost nothing for the LGBT community and sees its members as something less than first class citizenship. Hospital visitation regulations that may or may not be recognized by healthcare facilities only after proper documentation is a crumb. DADT repeal that keeps it the law of the land while they implement changes (what the hell is there to implement?!) is a crumb. The reason that DOMA and ENDA will probably not even be debated is because Obama and the Democrats spent too much time caving to Repubs and throwing their base under the bus. To be a progressive, you have to act like a progressive. Bold leadership does not mean compromising every deal before it even gets to the table. That's why the Repbus gained more seats in congress in the last election. Put down the Obama kool-aid and really look at what his administration has and has not done before you offer blind support.

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 19, 2011 12:24:22 PM


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