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Obama administration says marriage law unfair

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WASHINGTON – The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continued to defend it.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama last year.

In court papers, the administration said it supports repeal of the law.

Yet the same filing says the Justice Department will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional.

The government's previous filing in the case angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

The department is obligated "to defend federal statutes when they are challenged in court. The Justice Department cannot pick and choose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences," Schmaler added.

The law, often called DOMA, denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"DOMA reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage," according to the filing by Assistant Attorney General Tony West.

The administration also disavowed past arguments made by conservatives that DOMA protects children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality," lawyers argued in the filing.

Obama has pledged to work to repeal the law.

Monday's court filing was in response to a lawsuit by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the federal law, which prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes and benefiting from other federal rights connected to marriage.

Justice lawyers have argued that the act is constitutional and contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts became the first state to challenge the law in court.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090817/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_gay_marriage


by on Aug. 17, 2009 at 11:40 AM
Replies (51-54):
jaxTheMom
by on Aug. 17, 2009 at 9:07 PM

I read your earlier post and just stopped, but I wanted to come back and respond.

I wanted to tell you, how brave your daughter must be to come out to you.  She took a huge risk , knowing your beliefs, but I'd like to think that she hoped that your love was still as unconditional as it always was.

I think you are on the right path.  She's still the girl you raised and the girl she always was.  She still wants the same things, and she must love you very much to take such a risk in coming out.

That's what moms do, right?  We love.

I don't think you did too badly there, mom.  I think you did quite well, although I don't know all the particulars.  She loves you and needed you to know, and now you do, and you still love her and want what's best for her.

For the record, I don't think she's sinning.  I think she's exactly what God wanted her to be, and she should always strive to be even better, as we all should.  The reasons "why" aren't always available when we want them, only when we need them.  God's sneaky like that!

I hope she reaches and exceeds your every dream for her.  You are doing fine.  Feel free to PM me any time.  I have been in your shoes and I promise you, it's ok.

Quoting showmeborn:

My faith is a big part of my life. I do not liken my daughter to a prostitute or a tax collector. And yes, I do believe that she is sinning by living a homosexual lifestyle. I will do what a truly good Christian would do. Pray for her, love her and support her. If this means that I welcome her partner for Christmas dinner, so be it. If that means that I attend her wedding and welcome her wife into my family so be it. She made her choice. She knows where I stand on this subject. God knows where I stand on this subject. Her girlfriend knows where I stand. They understand about my faith and they understand that it is as big a part of me as their sexuality is a part of them. They know that I will love and support my daughter what ever her lifestyle. If that makes me doing mental gymnastics, than so be it. I am not here to please society, I am here to be the best mom and Christian I can be.


mandygm
by Bronze Member on Aug. 17, 2009 at 9:15 PM


Quoting susankl:

I'm sorry but being gay is wrong!!!!!!!!! If you choose to live  your life that way though,do it behind closed doors and don't shove it down the throats of those who oppose it. If being gay was normal, it wouldn't be so controversial.

What is wrong is people that know nothing... what is wrong is that some people don't know how to mind thier own business and let others live as they please... and what is wrong... well, is plain ignorance.

What is wrong, is not allowing two people who CHOOSE to live as they please... to do as they please... and if one should get sick one day, the partner SHOULD have all right to make decisions for them.

Marriage is a union.. this is nothing about religion. Don't push your agenda and beliefs on others... this is a free country and people should have the right to choose THEIR OWN way to live.... its no one elses business.....

Jamie1972
by on Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:29 PM

why is it ok for homosexuals to adopt children but not marry? i have always been under the assumption that I live in America. Where there is equal rights for all. I am so for ppl to marry ppl no matter what their race,relgion or sexual prefernce may be. seriuoly if gay marriage became legal do you think the sky is going to turn orange and trees start sprouting Willy Wonka Candy? please give these ppl the same right, happiness,love and everything that we all have.

Blueroses_78
by Member on Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Ooh! Willy Wonka candy.....*drool* *lol*


Good one. And good point as well!


Quoting Jamie1972:

why is it ok for homosexuals to adopt children but not marry? i have always been under the assumption that I live in America. Where there is equal rights for all. I am so for ppl to marry ppl no matter what their race,relgion or sexual prefernce may be. seriuoly if gay marriage became legal do you think the sky is going to turn orange and trees start sprouting Willy Wonka Candy? please give these ppl the same right, happiness,love and everything that we all have.


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