Obama Suddenly Decides Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional
The Department of Justice has released a statement today saying Barack Obama told them they should no longer defend the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act in court because it discriminates against gay spouses and is therefore unconstitutional. Well yeah, duh, instituting discrimination is the whole point of that legislation, but it's nice to see Obama starting to return his own previous position on the issue now that he feels it's safe. Change takes time to set in, we guess. The statement was sent in a letter to John Boehner, a sort of head's up to Republicans that they now live in a LAND OF SIN and there's nothing they can do about it. Equality: sometimes it happens!
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
Not quite the same as a stirring MLK speech, but it'll do.
And thus ends another chapter in Obama cautiously giving a small bit of ground to civil rights for gay people that he secretly believes in. What will he do tomorrow, shake the hands of a gay couple? He is an amazing reformer. [DOJ via Truth Wins Out]