Justice Department Defends The Defense Of Marriage Act

From Talking Points Memo:  http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/justice_department_defends_the_defense_of_marriage_doj_doma.php

Ryan J. Reilly
January 13, 2011

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a motion justifying the Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, appealing a federal judge’s decision that the part of DOMA which defines marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

But the appeal makes clear that the Obama administration doesn’t support DOMA, and that the Justice Department was simply following tradition in defending even those laws the executive branch disagrees with.

“Indeed, the President supports repeal of DOMA and has taken the position that Congress should extend federal benefits to individuals in same-sex marriages,” DOJ writes in the appeal. “But a consensus behind that approach has not yet developed, and Congress could properly take notice of the divergent views regarding same-sex marriage across the states.”

“The Department of Justice has long followed the practice of defending federal statutes as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality, even if the Administration disagrees with a particular statute as a policy matter, as it does here,” government lawyers write. “This longstanding and bipartisan tradition accords the respect appropriately due to a coequal branch of government and helps ensure that the Executive Branch will faithfully defend laws with which an Administration may disagree on policy grounds.”

Continue reading at:  http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/justice_department_defends_the_defense_of_marriage_doj_doma.php

3 Responses to “Justice Department Defends The Defense Of Marriage Act”

  1. quenyar Says:

    Better, I suppose, than coming down foursquare in favor of DOMA, but it still strikes me as a pretty weaselly , mealy-mouthed (meaning un-courageous) way to express an opinion.

    I don’t actually know, and it surprises me that I don’t, but how does DOMA specifically apply to transsexual people – if you are a legal male person and you marry someone who is a legal female, does DOMA somehow prohibit your marriage? I know there’s lots of churches who would not allow such a sacrament, if they knew, but I fail to see the words “a legal union between one individual with one X-chromosome and one Y-chromosome and one other person with two X-chromosomes” in the text of the bill. Perhaps I just missed some huge debate and you will all encourage me to crawl back under whatever rock I came from, but I am honestly perplexed.

    • Suzan Says:

      A large percentage of post SRS women are lesbian and a large percentage of post-SRS men are gay. Large numbers of pre-op/non-op sister like men, large numbers of pre-op/non-op brothers like women.

      Marriage equality is everyone’s issue.

  2. quenyar Says:

    I very definitely concur that civil rights for all people without distinction are everyone’s issue. DOMA is a bad law, regardless of legal split hairs. I was just curious and I tend to obsess about details… I’d say, for example, having re-red DOMA that it prohibits intersex people marrying anyone ever.


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