By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The US Justice Department filed papers in federal court on Monday that argued a federal law protecting the traditional definition of marriage was “discriminatory” and ought to be repealed. However, at the same time, Justice Department attorneys argued that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed Constitutional muster and that the court ought to throw out a challenge brought forward by two California homosexuals.
Attorney General Tony West filed the brief defending DOMA in the US District Court for the Central District of California, which stated that the Obama administration, “does not support DOMA as a matter of policy, believes that it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal.”
Although the Justice Department argued they did not believe that Congress had “legitimate government interests” in creating legal structures promoting “the raising of children by both of their biological parents,” they nevertheless argued that Congress had good reasons at the time to protect the traditional definition of marriage by enacting DOMA, so that the states could “grapple with the emerging debate over same-sex marriage.”
Some pro-family advocates believe the Obama administration is inviting federal courts to settle the national debate over marriage through judicial review, and so relieve the President and the Democratic Congress of repealing DOMA and suffering political consequences.
“While the President defends marriage publicly, his administration is working behind the scenes to undermine the DOMA through legal action—filing court papers complaining that the bill discriminates against same-sex couples,” said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America, accusing the President and his Administration of once again “saying one thing while doing another.”
However, the brief seemed calibrated to mollify President Barack Obama's discontented homosexual allies, a small constituency with massive political donor clout. At the same time, the Administration seems intent on preserving DOMA in order to prevent the alienation of a larger bloc of Obama's voters not in favor of seeing same-sex “marriage” imposed on their home states.
Homosexuals erupted in outrage earlier in June when the Justice Department filed its first motion in the case. That motion asked the court to dismiss the legal challenge to DOMA, which was put forward by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, a California homosexual couple who had received a marriage license in California before the state constitution was amended to ban same-sex “marriage.”
At the time US attorneys argued that federal laws like DOMA were constitutional and necessary to protect the marriage laws of states, offering the example of state marriage statutes that prohibit incestuous or consanguineous marriages, such as between cousins of the first degree.
Joe Solmonese, president of the homosexual lobby group, Human Rights Campaign, wrote an angry letter to the White House demanding that Obama fulfill his campaign promise and submit legislation to Congress repealing DOMA. The New York Times denounced Obama in strong terms accusing his Administration of striking “a blow for the other side” and that it “needs a new direction on gay rights.”
Almost immediately after the Times excoriated the Administration for its “disturbing brief,” the President announced that he was extending federal employee benefits to homosexual couples.