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Obama Admin's Anti-DOMA brief/Pro-LGBT
#1
Think Progress: Top Eight Pro-LGBT Arguments In The Obama Administration’s Anti-DOMA Brief

By Igor Volsky on Aug 22, 2011
Quote:Joe Sudbay reports that the Justice Department has filed a brief in support of Edie Windsor’s challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Windsor was forced to pay exorbitant federal inheritance taxes after her wife passed away because the government could not legally recognize their 44-year relationship (the couple married in Canada in May of 2007 and their union was recognized in New York). Since President Obama announced that he would no longer be upholding the constitutionality of the Act, House Speaker John Beohner (R-OH) has hired former solicitor general Paul Clement to defend the measure from legal challenges.

In its brief, the government argues that Section 3 of DOMA — which defines “marriage” as a legal union between a man and woman for federal purposes — is inconsistent with the equal protections clause, “as it denies legally married same-sex couples federal benefits that are available to similarly situated opposite-sex couples.” The document reviews the the long history of “discrimination based on prejudice and stereotypes” against LGBT people from the federal and state governments and private parties, and articulates the following equality-affirming arguments:

1) DOMA IS GROUNDED IN ANIMUS TOWARD GAYS: “[O]ne of the goals of DOMA was to provide gays and lesbians with an incentive to abandon or at least to hide from view a core aspect of their identities, which legislators regarded as immoral and inferior. This record evidences the kind of animus and stereotype-based thinking that the Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”

2) ORIENTATION IS NOT RELATED TO ABILITY TO PERFORM: “Just as a person’s gender, race, or religion does not bear an inherent relation to a person’s ability or capacity to contribute to society, a person’s sexual orientation bears no inherent relation to his or her ability to perform or contribute.”

3) ORIENTATION IS AN IMMUTABLE CHARACTERISTIC: “Over ten years ago, in considering whether gays and lesbians constituted a “particular social group” for asylum purposes, the Ninth Circuit recognized that “[s]exual orientation and sexual identity are immutable,” and that “[h]omosexuality is as deeply ingrained as heterosexuality.” … “[E]fforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation are generally futile and potentially dangerous to an individual’s well-being.”

4) DISCRIMINATION ON ‘RELIGIOUS GROUNDS’ IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL: “And even if Congress’s opposition to gay and lesbian relationships could be understood as reflecting moral or religious objections, that would remain an impermissible basis for sexual-orientation discrimination…Discouraging homosexuality, in other words, is not a governmental interest that justifies sexual orientation discrimination.”

5) DOMA IS UNRELATED TO DEFENDING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE: “Section 3 denies benefits to couples who are already legally married in their own states, on the basis of their sexual orientation and not their marital status. Thus, there is not the ‘substantial relationship’ required under heightened scrutiny between an end of defending ‘traditional’ marriage and the means employed by Section 3.”

6) GAYS MAKE GOOD PARENTS: “[T]here is no sound basis for concluding that same-sex couples who have committed to marriages recognized by state law are anything other than fully capable of responsible parenting and child-rearing. To the contrary, many leading medical, psychological, and social welfare organizations have issued policies opposing restrictions on lesbian and gay parenting based on their conclusions, supported by numerous studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”

7) DOMA HURTS CHILDREN: “Section 3 does nothing to affect the stability of heterosexual marriages or the child-rearing practices of heterosexual married couples. Instead, it denies the children of same-sex couples what Congress sees as the benefits of the stable home life produced by legally recognized marriage, and therefore, on Congress’s own account, undermines rather than advances an interest in promoting child welfare.”

8) ‘RESPONSIBLE PROCREATION’ NOT A MARRIAGE PREREQUISITE “[T]he ability to procreate has never been a requirement of marriage or of eligibility for federal marriage benefits; opposite- sex couples who cannot procreate for reasons related to age or other physical characteristics are permitted to marry and to receive federal marriage benefits.”

Read the full brief here.
[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Deep wells must be dug
If you want clear water
Rose-red oh Rose-red
deep waters don’t run still

~ Rammstein - Rosenrot[/COLOR]

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. ~ Jonas Salk

You don't shine by putting out someone else's light.
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#2
Like it, like it a lot, Jake. thanks...
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#3
If President Obama thinks that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional then it is both unconscionable and a dereliction of his duty not to tell the entirety of the Federal Executive branch not to ignore it. So far he has notably failed to do that.
Fred

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
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#4
Unless I'm mistaken, it falls to the sole domain of the Supreme Court to determine what is constitutional or not.
When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
- Virginia Woolf
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#5
The Supreme Court is the final arbiter in such matters. However by enforcing Section 3 Obama believes himself to contravening the U.S. Constitution. If he merely had his doubts about its constitutionality then its fine to wait until the Supreme Court hears the case, but given that he has nailed his opinions to the mast and until the Supreme court gives the final word how can he justify enforcing it.
Fred

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
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#6
Obama seems to be back in the news today. This isn't the article I read earlier in the day, but it covers similar ground.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari...74659.html
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#7
I had alot of opposition to Obama because of a few specific incidents..this one in particular. He visited San Francisco where there are ALOT of wealthy Liberal Donors but asked specifically not to be photographed with or be in the same room as Gavin Newsome who openly supported gay marriage and I believe this is the reason he did not want to be associated with him...this was when he was running for office. This was confirmed (and maybe even reported?) by Willie Brown who was the former Mayor......

Having said that I think he is more supportive of equality for gay people than any other president and I also know that declaring openly that you support gay marriage while trying to run for President in the backwoods USA is political suicide...I think privately he does support gay marriage as evidenced from his statements made after the passage in New York.

The good thing is that I will be able to vote for him in 2012 without plugging my nose...for that I am grateful. He has grown on me...I like it when that happens.
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