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13 June 2009



The government's motion, OTOH, is highly insulting. This is, for my money, the most infuriating passage:

Loving v. Virginia is not to the contrary. There the Supreme Court rejected a contention that the assertedly "equal application" of a statute prohibiting interracial marriage immunized the statute from strict scrutiny. 388 U.S. 1, 8, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967). The Court had little difficulty concluding that the statute, which applied only to "interracial marriages involving white persons," was "designed to maintain White Supremacy" and therefore unconstitutional. Id. at 11. No comparable purpose is present here, however, for DOMA does not seek in any way to advance the "supremacy" of men over women, or of women over men.

And to make this filing on the day of the anniversary of Loving v Virginia. Insulting would be an understatement.

Former COGIC

OMG this brief was....just offensive in the extreme.
I'm not sure why the DOJ lawyers went that far. That is what I would like to hear, especially from those Obots who want to claim this "11th dimensional chess... People just need to be patient!"

And yes of course Justice has to enforce federal laws...but there are some cases where the administration declines to file a brief in support of a particular laws. If you accept the fact Justice "had" to file this brief, then why not argue standing or jurisdiction?? This was gratuitous (sp?) and highly unnecessary.


How did DOMA go from being "abhorrent" during the campaign, to so innocuous that the Obama DOJ is now defending it?

Someone needs to ask him that question. Just be aware that if he starts off his answer with, "as I have always said"...

Or "well look". That's another giveaway, lol


It's getting mighty crowded under this bus. Something tells me we'll need a whole new fleet of buses by 2012!


this would have been the perfect opportunity to prod for some congressional action. if the white house really wanted some action on DOMA, i mean because believe you me...there is not a bill the president wants that he doesn't ask for.

but the congress is just as much at fault. not that there are the votes to repeal DOMA.


Good point Jamey, democrats are running the show and if they would stand up on these gay issues, or any real time issue for that matter, he would have to take notice.

A. Ronald

And where are Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis during all this?

I'll be the first to say the White House is disappointing and slow on LGBT rights. (And spare me the "you have to be quiet or you will ruin health care or the economy", 'mkay?) Now they've become downright hostile. But we have three (more?) openly gay elected men and women in Congress. And Congress has oversight on DOMA. Speak up dammit!


Here's a question...
For an administration that prides itself on being on message, what message is the Obama DOJ sending to the community?

"Cuz if you're saying "they have a plan", then this must be part of "it".


Time for a Queer March on Washington!

Greg G

Very interesting developments over at DoJ but is anyone really surprised? Once elected Obama dropped his campaign promise on DOMA from the whitehouse.gov website.

I've said this several times before, marriage and DOMA were not my "issues" per se, but they're growing in importance because more states are granting marriage equality. And plus the president made a promise. But actions speak louder than words. And baby, the words in this brief are screaming from the rooftops, Obama has to get some major underway. And fast!


"DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits"

Best. Line. Evah!


Oh, which part do I like best? The incest argument? The underage marriage argument? The "it's not discriminatory because everyone can get married, as long as they marry someone if the opposite sex" argument? The "same sex marriage is different" argument? There are so many to choose from.

The problem is that this is DOJ stuff and is therefore part of the executive branch. Right now, Congress has nothing to do with the arguments made in this brief. But how in the world could arguments like these be made by an administration who said that DOMA was bad policy less than one year ago? To go above and beyond as they have done is just a true slap in the face. This is a major wake up call.

My vote is most certainly up for grabs not only in 2012, but 2010 as well. I am more and more troubled by the media's inability to ask this man tough questions about anything. His actions show him to be more problematic than I thought. I have gone from eye-rolling to discouraged to a little scared. Where is the bottom so he can't get any worse?


Rod, thanks for the analysis. Law Dork makes some very good points and of course Jon Davidson at Lambda Legal is always on point.

I'm just waiting for the gay Obama Nazis to start bashing NCLR, ACLU and GLAD, which are the groups responsible for three of of our state marriage victories. Sorry, there is no defending this one, kids. O's lawyers went way too far.

Chris Cruz

@ Kevjack:

"I am more and more troubled by the media's inability to ask this man tough questions about anything. His actions show him to be more problematic than I thought."

Excellent observation but that train left the station long ago. Look, I like Obama and voted for him, but there was no critical questioning of Obama during the primaries and he was given a pass on almost everything. There was an infatuation by the media which was borderline obsessive. To this day it's all about the cool factor and many people will argue with anyone who dares to criticize him.

The Justice Dept's defense of DOMA was shameful. The argument would have made the Bush White House and Alberto Gonzales proud. I can understand the DOJ lawyers had to defend a federal statute but come on, incest and child marriage? Gays are not denied any rights?

"Fierce advocate" for gay rights indeed, Mr. President.

Ralph Davis

Sorry, but I can't imagine why this would come as a surprise to anyone.

Homophobes fund raising for him, IIRC "Cure the Gays" ministers as part of his faith outreach group, debate at Rich Warren's church and Obama refusing to have his picture taken with Gavin at the fundraiser that he held for Obama.

Surprise, surprise?? Obama won't do anything to reverse DOMA or DADT. I'll give him credit as far as appointments are concerned. But that's it.

I don;t think Obama will do anything about DOMA. IIRC Nancy Pelosi says she won't try to push it. If it were something the president wanted, she wouldn't say that.

Kevin Perez

I'm more amused that the Hetero Obama Nazis are accusing us of being over-senstive, demanding too much, accusing us of being selfish and wholier than thou while also telling us we should be thankful for a President that supports our "disgusting lifestyle" and "immorality", when, get this, "he shouldn't be!" or basically threatining us that and demanding we view the man as God and to forget about marriage, that if we want it so bad, we should just have sex-changes to play Mommy and Daddy.

Hey, I like Obama too! I haven't criticized him yet but I'm still optimistic. The man has dissapointed a lot but not me. Nope, I still have hope. Ummmm....Yeah, I've noticed the more the LGBT worry about being screwed over, the more the Heteros of any color scream that "we should be thankful" and again, almost threaten us to have a more favorable view towards our president. What gives?


@ Kevin Perez:

Yep that's a good observation. But it's no different than the gay Obama Obots who say we are over sensitive, demand too much, should be thankful etc. No surprise. The common thread is that everyone should be thankful we have Obama. Period.

Oh and sorry but "we" were screwed over by this legal brief. As Kevjack noted, now the official position of the United States government and the Obama administration is that DOMA does not discriminate against gays because they can marry someone of the opposite sex if they want. Oy.

Aaron P

i've been reading the reaction to this DOMA brief across the gay blogosphere. do you know on ething i noticed? the loudest and harshest critics of obama in the gay blogs...are those who were the loudest supporters (and clinton bashers extraordinaire).

sullivan, americablog, etc were obama's gay cheerleaders in the primaries and elections. now they are his biggest critics. either they feel justified in their extreme criticism ... or maybe they realize their were had.

to be honest, obama is moving about as fast as i expected. but i never expected very much from him. but this DOJ brief is unsettling and does lay the ground for precedents and future policy.

okay, time to roll our sleeves up and make some calls and email our congressmen and senators!


It's understandable that the Justice Dept is required to defend federal laws, even ones the administrations (claims) it wants repealed. But pulling the incest and child marriage cards? Really?????

Kevin Perez

Since people love to reduce us to lowest denominator or the vilest of scum, I dare ask what should we equate Heterosexual marriages to? Aside from getting freaky with your sister or a 12 year old, we've been compared to those who have sex with animals, who DO NOT CONSENT!

Do these morons believe they're intelligent when they make that point?


--->"Do these morons believe they're intelligent when they make that point?"

Yes, especially the Bible thumpers. It's a ridiculous comparison but that never stopped them from making a fool of themselves.

Now, the Bush administration might have went further than this brief and included bestiality. That's a small comfort but just about the only silver lining.


I think you are all missing the point here. The cold, harsh reality of the matter is that President Obama has made the conscious decision to relegate the LGBT community to the backburner. Let's face it folks. He didn't need us to win the presidency. The gay vote didn't put him over the top. The gay vote didn't win him the states of Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, or Nevada. The gay vote didn't get him the swing voters, the independent voters, the Black voters, the Hispanic voters, or 43% of the White voters. We were just the "also" voters as in "he also won the gay voters."

President Obama knows that he won't lose an election because he hasn't ended DADT or DOMA. He said those supportive things to the gay community because it was politically expedient. But in the end, our vote is not large enough to affect a presidential election. That may be a harsh thing to say, but it is nonetheless true.

I'm not going to beat anyone over the head for supporting President Obama or not supporting him. That is a decision that each individual has to make. And I'm sure that everyone has valid reasons for their decisions. I still hold out hope for him that he will rectify his administration's stance on these issues, but I'm also a pragmatist. I'm not shocked by what's going on. And, frankly, no one else should be either. He has stated on numerous occasions that he was against gay marriage. So why are people surprised by his actions so far? I think people drew conclusions based on their own hopes and dreams. But logically it is difficult to reconcile the positions of being against gay marriage and against DOMA. People just believed what they wanted to believe.

You see, I never get overly excited about any individual in politics. My only regret in life is that I was never able to grow up watching and listening to Martin Luther King do his thing. He is perhaps the only person I wished that I had known. Otherwise, I look at people in terms of the lesser of two evils. I made the decision to support Obama because he wasn't Bush, McCain, Palin, Romney, and the rest of the rethuglican cabal. And it didn't hurt that he was African-American as well. I'm just being honest.

I sympathize and fully understand the frustrations that fellow LGBT citizens have towards President Obama. I will not waste my time to challenge how people feel because I simply cannot formulate an argument against how many feel. When President Obama is up for reelection, unless he commits atrocities against mankind, I will vote for him again, because I will not return to the mentality that corrupted the last 8 years of this country. President Obama is not perfect, but he is not a neocon that will shred the Constitution and lie us into an unjust war.

But I have some words to President Obama. You are making me sick to the stomach over the way you are handling gay issues such as DADT and DOMA. Everytime these issues come up, I cringe at your response. I pray that you get your act together, because if there is blowback against your non-action, then you only have yourself to blame. But worst off, you will be responsible for turning the country back over to the rethuglicans that ran this country into the ground during the last 8 years. And that will become your legacy. If we think that we have complaints now, they will be just firecrackers against the nuclear bombs that we all would be hurling against the rethuglicans.

Continue to preach on and speak your minds. Many of you have done a great job in expressing your opinions. Just remember to be respectful towards one another.

Chitown Kev

Boy, I did have to let out a f**k Obama on one of the white gay blogs about this.

Thing is, this brief was so very hurtful for me to read as a chicagoian. Granted Obama wasn't the best on gay rights, still...

I'm just offended and straight people telling I need to get over my emotions...I just want to slap them really. Each and every one of them.

Chris Cruz

"So why are people surprised by his actions so far? I think people drew conclusions based on their own hopes and dreams."

Ravenback, I think you hit the nail on the head. Obama tends to speak in vague generalities and people imprint their own desires into what he says. Or didn't say.

Obama will sign ENDA and hate crimes when it reaches his desk. But there is no rush. OTOH I don't see him making any moves toward dismantling DOMA. Any. This constitutional law professor made it abundantly clear "God is mix" in marriage. So much for the "fierce" advocacy.

As far as DADT, that's just as thorny an issue as DOMA. I see something being done, not sure what, but but not soon.

However I still will be voting for Obama in 2012. I'm just also very disappointed in his lukewarm reaction to gay issues and his desire to avoid any controversy and continually placate conservatives. But I am even more disappointed in many of this gay supporters, they cheerfully dismiss gay rights like it means nothing at all and we can wait until (possibly) 2012. SMH


wow....this is some great convo on here on a saturday night.

i heard some discussions about the brief yesterday. i only read it today, and couldn't get past seventh page. wow. talk about hurtful.

i am hurt, ashamed, embarassed and outraged this is the official position of our government.

i am also even more outraged to learn the assistant attorney general tony west signed off on this and his name is on the brief. tony west was a campaign fundraiser for obama. so you can't say obama's inner circle was in a vacuum and didn't know about this.

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