It’s been three days since AMERICAblog’s John Avarosis got their mitts on a copy of the Justice Department motion to dismiss a federal DOMA case. It’s an appallingly offensive document, written by GWB holdover Scott Simpson, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to address it.
Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).
He actually argued that the courts shouldn’t consider Loving v. Virginia, the miscegenation case in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages, when looking at gay civil rights cases. He told the court, in essence, that blacks deserve more civil rights than gays, that our civil rights are not on the same level.
And before Obama claims he didn’t have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we’ll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was “abhorrent.” Folks, Obama’s lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He’s taking us down for his own benefit.
The Obama Administration’s motion (pdf) goes on to make the argument that marriage rights for everybody would be too expensive, that we can just get straight married like everybody else, and with a whole host of other horrible arguments. (I tend to agree with the Box Turtle Bulletin‘s Jim Burroway that Avarosis is reaching with the incest argument claim.)
We have gone from the Obama Administration being curiously silent on LGBT/civil rights issues to an openly hostile Obama Administration which, as Richard Socarides points out, is trying to inflict maximum damage. And I’m trying to square the Administration’s newly enumerated stance squares with this video from late last October:
To the people who suggest that the Administration didn’t have a choice but to defend DOMA, I offer two things. First, nobody was forcing them to make their case in the most offensive manner possible. For goodness sake, the thing reads like it came from the Family Research Council.
Secondly, and most troubling, yesterday the White House sent out resident House Fag John Berry to explicitly defend the motion, throw up his arms, and tell us that it’ll all be done by the end of President Obama’s watch, so just be patient, you guys! The interviewer asked whether Berry meant 2012 or the potential 2016, and he dodged the question, so most people (including me) assume that this means that the wait on ANYTHING might be 7 1/2 years. But don’t worry, “this president is with us”!
Mr. Berry, this president is most decidedly not with us, and we most certainly will not wait patiently in the corner for another seven years as more people lose their civil rights and others lose their lives. The fact that you don’t ‘get’ that astounds to me. I have a feeling this a case of “I’ve got mine”, which disgusts me more than I can say.
You know, I always knew that we’d probably get cast aside. I’m sure it’s no accident that President Obama has just started his health care push, and ditching these nasty civil rights issues probably gains him a couple political points. But last November, when I stood in line for three hours to vote for him, I’d hoped that I was voting for someone who might be above that.
And people wonder why I’m a pessimist…