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Thread: Obama defends 'Defense of Marriage' act in court, says it's good for economy

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Angry Obama defends 'Defense of Marriage' act in court, says it's good for economy

    Joe and I have been trying since last night to get a copy of the government's brief just filed in this case. This is not the GLAD case that we've written about previously, it's another in California. We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It's pretty despicable. Here is the entire document, and below are excerpts:


    DOMA is good because it saves the feds money


    "The constitutional propriety of Congress's decision to decline to extend federal benefits immediately to newly recognized types of marriages is bolstered by Congress's articulated interest in preserving the scarce resources of both the federal and State governments. DOMA ensures that evolving understandings of the institution of marriage at the State level do not place greater financial and administrative obligations on federal and state benefits programs. Preserving scarce government resources and deciding to extend benefits incrementally are well-recognized legitimate interests under rational-basis review. See Butler, 144 F.3d at 625 ("There is nothing irrational about Congress's stated goal of conserving social security resources, and Congress can incrementally pursue that goal."); Hassan v. Wright, 45 F.3d 1063, 1069 (7th Cir. 1995) ("[P]rotecting the fisc provides a rational basis for Congress' line drawing in this instance."). Congress expressly relied on these interests in enacting DOMA: Government currently provides an array of material and other benefits to married couples in an effort to promote, protect, and prefer the institution of marriage. . . . If [a State] were to permit homosexuals to marry, these marital benefits would, absent some legislative response, presumably have to be made available to homosexual couples and surviving spouses of homosexual marriages on the same terms as they are now available to opposite-sex married couples and spouses. To deny federal recognition to same-sex marriages will thus preserve scarce government resources, surely a legitimate government purpose."



    Gays have no constitutional right to marriage, or recognition of their marriages by other states:


    Plaintiffs are married, and their challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") poses a different set of questions: whether by virtue of their marital status they are constitutionally entitled to acknowledgment of their union by States that do not recognize same-sex marriage, and whether they are similarly entitled to certain federal benefits. Under the law binding on this Court, the answer to these questions must be no


    Praises DOMA as "cautiously limited"

    DOMA reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage.


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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    gee, if it's about money than why not only hire single people for federal positions....this way they won't have to pay marital benefits to anyone....

    what a fucking load of bullshit
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Whynot do away with regular marriage, that costs a bundle in court cases and lawsuits.. and given that it's 98% of ALL MARRIAGE, you'd save a bundle.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Jesus christ

    Holy cow. Obama invoked incest and people marrying children.

    The courts have followed this principle, moreover, in relation to the validity of marriages performed in other States. Both the First and Second Restatements of Conflict of Laws recognize that State courts may refuse to give effect to a marriage, or to certain incidents of a marriage, that contravene the forum State's policy. See Restatement (First) of Conflict of Laws 134; Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws 284.5 And the courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See, e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, "though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened the public policy of th[at] state"); Wilkins v. Zelichowski, 140 A.2d 65, 67-68 (N.J. 1958) (marriage of 16-year-old female held invalid in New Jersey, regardless of validity in Indiana where performed, in light of N.J. policy reflected in statute permitting adult female to secure annulment of her underage marriage); In re Mortenson's Estate, 316 P.2d 1106 (Ariz. 1957) (marriage of first cousins held invalid in Arizona, though lawfully performed in New Mexico, given Arizona policy reflected in statute declaring such marriages "prohibited and void").


    Then in the next paragraph, they argue that the incest and child rape cases therefore make DOMA constitutional:

    The fact that States have long had the authority to decline to give effect to marriages performed in other States based on the forum State's public policy strongly supports the constitutionality of Congress's exercise of its authority in DOMA.

    DOMA Is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles." This is important because it means that Obama wasn't content to simply argue, based on technicalities, that this case should be thrown out. He went out of his way to argue that DOMA is actually constitutional, and then went into detail destroying every single constitutional argument we have for opposing DOMA in court. This will screw us on every lawsuit we file on every gay issue, in every public policy debate we have in the states on any gay issue.

    DOMA Is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles Plaintiffs further allege that DOMA violates their rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, including its equal protection component. DOMA, however, merely preserves for each State the authority to follow its own law and policy with respect to same-sex marriage for purposes of State law. And it maintains the status quo of federal policy, preserving a longstanding federal policy of promoting traditional marriages, by clarifying that the terms "marriage" and "spouse," for purposes of federal law, refer to marriage between a man and a woman, and do not encompass relationships of any other kind within their ambit. Thus, because DOMA does not make a suspect classification or implicate a right that has been recognized as fundamental, it is necessarily subject to rational-basis scrutiny, see National Ass'n for Advancement of Psychoanalysis v. California Bd. of Psychology, 228 F.3d 1043, 1049 (9th Cir. 2000), which it


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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Why does this shock people?

    I remember Obama answering the gay marriage question during one of the debates. When he said "no" my husband and I got whiplash when we turned to each other in shock.

    I expected a media outlash, the blogosphere to go nuts, pundits to scream. That night and the next day, nothing. I even checked out gay political activist sites and saw ne'er a word.

    Did everyone think he was kidding?

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    well he DID say he was a fierce advocate for gay rights.. uh huh..
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    He did say he was against gay marriage, but he also clearly stated on his website that he was against DOMA ( back in November):

    Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

    Civil Rights | Change.gov: The Obama-Biden Transition Team

    this was an old thread here: Barack Obama's Change.org site devotes half its civil rights page to LGBT rights

    During the election, when people would question his stances, they were often told 'go to his website- his opinions are all there'. The website turned out to be about as truthful on these issues as TASS used to be.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    shit, i think i crashed americablog with my furious rantings lol
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    uh- oh....Avarosis is going to kick your ass
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    I would think "saving the government money" is an extremely piss-poor constitutional argument to make.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    I would think "saving the government money" is an extremely piss-poor constitutional argument to make.
    Better than saying, I'd rather be wishy washy and appeal to all constituents than taking a definitive stand on one issue.

    A Yahoo article yesterday had headlines quipping that Obama would be the "Harry Truman of the gay rights issue," lol.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Is this Obama's baby? I don't know a lot about the case, but did it start under the Bush or Obama administration?

    Just curious...yes I know Obama is responsible for his AGs and responsible for the legal positions the gov't takes under his administration, I was just curious.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^ Smelt & Hammer is both new and old- new on the federal level - after being in the CA state courts last year.

    the comparisons to incest are repugnant.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; June 12th, 2009 at 01:17 PM.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    now the DOJ is lying.

    Ben Smith at Politico just reported the following statement from the Department of Justice over their brief, filed last night, comparing gay marriage to incest:

    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.

    Yeah, you see, that's an outright lie. Fortunately for you, and unfortunately for Justice, Joe and I are both lawyers. We suspected this betrayal was coming, so we read up on the law. In fact, George W. Bush (ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta - "The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Congress that it will not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems."), Bill Clinton (Dickerson v. United States - "Because the Miranda decision is of constitutional dimension, Congress may not legislate a contrary rule unless this Court were to overrule Miranda.... Section 3501 cannot constitutionally authorize the admission of a statement that would be excluded under this Court's Miranda cases."), George HW Bush (Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission), and Ronald Reagan (INS v./ Chadha - "Chadha then filed a petition for review of the deportation order in the Court of Appeals, and the INS joined him in arguing that 244(c)(2) is unconstitutional.") all joined in lawsuits opposing federal laws that they didn't like, laws that they felt were unconstitutional. It is an outright lie to suggest that the DOJ had no choice.

    But it's worse than that. Let's just assume for a moment that the Justice spokesman didn't lie to Politico, even though they did. Let's just assume that Obama had no choice but to oppose the gay couple filing this DOMA lawsuit. Where in the law does it say that Obama was required to compare gay marriage to incest?

    And putting that little bit of religious right messaging aside, even if they "had" to file the brief against us, why didn't they just file a brief that argued the technicalities about why the case should have been thrown out (e.g., the plaintiffs had no standing)? No, what Obama did was throw the legal kitchen sink at us in a brief that could have been written by Antonin Scalia. They argued that DOMA is constitutional. Worse yet, they argue that it was a reasonable, rational, good law that actually saves the government money. They argued that DOMA wasn't motivated by hate. That DOMA doesn't discriminate against gays one bit because, apparently, gays can get married if they want... well, if they want to marry straight people of the opposite gender. They invoked Loving v. VA, the miscegenation case, and argued how it doesn't apply to gay marriage, undercutting the entire basis of our civil rights movement - saying that our civil rights are not akin, are not as worth, not as real, as the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. They went out of their way to try to diminish the legal impact of our two big Supreme Court victories, Roemer and Lawrence - that will have implications on every future civil rights battle we fight.

    No. The Obama administration didn't just lie to Politico, Obama lied to our community, or he lied to the court. But you don't publicly call yourself a "fierce advocate" for gay rights, and then compare married gays to incest. You don't make your first official legal statement on gay rights an outright attack on the underpinnings of our entire civil rights.

    Our president had a choice. And he chose to throw us under the bus, and then knife us for good measure.

    PS And here's another lie from the Justice spokesman:

    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.

    In fact, Obama argued last night that DOMA does not discriminate against gays' rights or benefits:

    Rights

    In short, then, the failure in this manner to recognize a certain subset of marriages that are recognized by a certain subset of States cannot be taken as an infringement on plaintiffs' rights, even if same-sex marriage were accepted as a fundamental right under the Constitution.... DOMA, understood for what it actually does, infringes on no one's rights, and in all events it infringes on no right that has been constitutionally protected as fundamental, so as to invite heightened scrutiny.

    Benefits

    [G]ay and lesbian individuals who unite in matrimony are denied no federal benefits to which they were entitled prior to their marriage; they remain eligible for every benefit they enjoyed beforehand...

    DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits. To the contrary, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited in federal employment and in a wide array of federal benefits programs by law, regulation, and Executive order.

    You see, this is the problem with what Obama did to our community last night. He can talk all he wants about helping us get our civil rights (well, in fact, notice the Justice spokesman said nothing about Obama actually helping us get DOMA repealed), but the Obama administration's own word will now be used against us, and against him, if he ever deigns to actually fulfill even one promise to our community.

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    Elite Member nycgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    well he DID say he was a fierce advocate for gay rights.. uh huh..
    Apparently, just like I said from the start when the media was putting him up on this pedestal, he's not above playing the game of politics. He's done nothing to further gay rights so far, and shows no intentions or plans for doing so in the future. We're still essentially living in a separate but equal society... how does that line up with Obama's promise for "change?"
    Last edited by nycgirl; June 12th, 2009 at 05:54 PM.

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