Obama Faces Gay Groups’ Growing Anger
Posted on June 16, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
The anger from gay rights advocates toward President Obama is starting to boil over.
On Monday, Joe Solmonese, the president of the establishment gay rights group The Human Rights Campaign, sent an angry letter to the president objecting to the decision by the Obama Justice Department to file a brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
“I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours,” Solmonese wrote. “I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you.”
The Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, mandates (1) that the federal government not recognize same-sex marriages and (2) that states not be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
Mr. Obama vowed to repeal DOMA as a presidential candidate but he has not taken any action to do so since becoming president. The Justice Department brief calls the legislation a “valid exercise of Congress’ power” and says it is “reasonable and rational for Congress to maintain its longstanding policy of fostering this traditional and universally-recognized form of marriage.”
“The government does not state why denying us basic protections promotes anyone else’s marriage, nor why, while our heterosexual neighbors’ marriages should be promoted, our own must be discouraged,” Solmonese writes in his letter.
He goes onto single out a portion of the brief referencing a case involving “marriage of uncle to niece” to support the Justice position.
“I cannot overstate the pain that we feel as human beings and as families when we read an argument, presented in federal court, implying that our own marriages have no more constitutional standing than incestuous ones,” he writes. See Obama Faces Gay Groups’ Growing Anger
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