WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite his campaign rhetoric just months ago saying marriage should be an issue decided by the states, President Barack Obama filed a legal brief this afternoon urging the Supreme Court to overturn California's Proposition 8. The legal document asserts that homosexuals deserve the “full benefits” and “social recognition conferred by the institution of marriage.”
Lawyers in the Obama administration's Justice Department filed an amicus curiae in the lawsuit Hollingsworth v. Perry. Today was the deadline for the administration to intervene.
The amicus brief calls for justices to judge the California state constitutional amendment protecting marriage under “heightened scrutiny” on similar grounds to those it laid out against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Homosexuals, “ a minority group with limited power,” have “suffered a significant history of discrimination,” in this country, the brief stated.
The lawyers appear to again state that sexual preference cannot be changed, refering to homosexuals' sexual orientation as “an immutable or distinguishing characteristic that defines them as a group,” a similar argument to that made in their DOMA brief.
The legal filing claimed children raised by homosexuals are as well-adjusted as those raised by heterosexuals – an assertion contradicted by the latest and most comprehensive studies. (See related article.)
It states that “protecting children from being taught about same-sex marriage” in public schools” is “not a permissible interest insofar as it rests on a moral judgment about gay and lesbian people,” seemingly disqualifying all traditional moral concerns or standards from the public square.
California's history of social liberalism may have doomed its attempt to put the breaks on the sexual revolution in the Golden State. Several times, the Obama administration cites California's decision to grant civil union status to homosexuals as legal grounds for redefining the institution of marriage itself.
Since California law “grants registered domestic partners the same parental rights and benefits accorded to married couples,” the ban “actually disserves the goal of improving child welfare by denying families access to the added stability and social acceptance provided by marriage.”
The Justice Department further agues “California’s extension of parental and other rights to gay and lesbian couples particularly undermines any contention that Proposition 8 furthers an interest in responsible child-rearing.”
The amicus also likens opposition to marriage redefiniton with those who attempted to slow the process of racial desegregation and claims homosexuals marriages have no impact on heterosexual nuptials.
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The president's very decision to involve himself in the state case has generated controversy.
In the heat of the 2012 election last May, President Obama told ABC News reporter Robin Roberts part of his opposition to DOMA stemmed from the fact that it “tried to federalize what [has] historically been state law.” He said “part of my hesitation” in endorsing marriage redefinition had “been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue.”
He even rapped Republican nominee Mitt Romney for allegedly nationalizing the issue by supporting a constitutional amendment to protect marriage.
Today's about-face drew swift backlash and charges of hypocrisy from the president's pro-family critics – and some of his usually reliable supporters in the media.
“President Obama, who was against same-sex 'marriage' before he was for it, and his administration, which said the Defense of Marriage Act was constitutional before they said it was unconstitutional, has now flip-flopped again on the issue of same-sex 'marriage,' putting allegiance to extreme liberal social policies ahead of constitutional principle,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
“This is a sharp reversal from the position President Obama articulated just last May, when he declared that 'this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level,'” Perkins said. “For the Obama administration to now challenge Proposition 8 – 'federalizing' what is a settled matter under California state law – is an act of brazen hypocrisy.”
Even New York Times reporter Adam Liptak wrote, “the views Mr. Obama expressed in May are in tension with the position taken by his lawyers in the new brief, which calls for federal intervention to override a state law.”
The Obama administration had already filed an amicus brief against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case United States v. Windsor. That argument states that when homosexuals lose elections granting them special rights it is proof of “discrimination,” and that homosexuals have no hope of changing their sexual orientation.
Justices plan to hear the two related cases on March 26-27.
The full amicus curiae brief may be read here.