Obama administration to argue for gay marriage in Supreme Court case

The US Supreme Court next month hears arguments in a case challenging the ‘Defense of Marriage Act.’ In a brief filed Friday, the Obama administration asserts that DOMA discriminates against gay and lesbian couples in violation of the US Constitution.

By Brad Knickerbocker | Christian Science Monitor – 1 hr 17 mins ago

The Obama administration has taken another important step in its advocacy of same-sex marriage, weighing in on an important case to be heard in the US Supreme Court next month.

The essence of the administration’s argument is that the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the US Constitution in defining marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman – specifically Section 3 of DOMA, which bars recognition of same-sex marriages in the granting of federal benefits including Social Securitysurvivors’ benefits, immigration, insurance benefits for government employees, and filing joint tax returns.

In the Justice Department brief filed with the Supreme Court Friday,Solicitor General Donald Verrilli writes that DOMA’s Section 3 “targets the many gay and lesbian people legally married under state law for a harsh form of discrimination that bears no relation to their ability to contribute to society.”

“It is abundantly clear that this discrimination does not substantially advance an interest in protecting marriage, or any other important interest,” Mr. Verrilli writes. “The statute simply cannot be reconciled with the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Constitution therefore requires that Section 3 be invalidated.”

The administration made it clear during the latter half of Mr. Obama’s first term that it would not continue to defend DOMA in the court cases where it’s been challenged. Taking up DOMA’s defense has been the “Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group” in the US House of Representatives, directed by Speaker John Boehner to take the place of the Justice Department in arguing court cases on behalf of the controversial law.

The House brief filed last month asserts that the same-sex marriage issue should be left to the democratic process and that gays are quite capable of pursuing their rights in those venues, according to a Politico analysis.

“Gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded, and best-organized interest groups in modern politics, and have attained more legislative victories, political power, and popular favor in less time than virtually any other group in American history,” the House brief says.

Homosexual conduct has a history of being prosecuted as criminal in the United States. And although same-sex marriages now are legally recognized in nine states and the District of Columbia, many more states still have laws aimed at gays and lesbians – including restrictions on the adoption of children, banning gay marriage, and refusing legal benefits to same-sex couples.

“Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law under equal protection principles,” the Solicitor General writes in his brief.

The Supreme Court next month also is scheduled to take up California’s Proposition 8, which provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized” in the state. Both Prop. 8 and DOMA have been declared unconstitutional by lower courts.

It’s unclear whether the Obama administration will weigh in against Prop. 8 as it has with DOMA.

“Next week I think we will see the government urging the same standard of review be used to overturn Prop. 8, and with it, all anti-gay-marriage laws,” Richard Socarides, a gay rights advocate and White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Politico. “It’s clear from the administration’s DOMA brief that they understand and now embrace its connection to the Prop. 8 case. The discrimination evidenced by Prop. 8 itself is cited to support the standard of review urged by the government to strike down DOMA.”

The DOMA case involves Edith Windsor, who lived with her partner Thea Spyer for many years. They were married in 2007 in Canada, returning to their home in New York where their marriage was recognized by state law. But when Ms. Spyer died in 2009, Ms. Windsor – because of DOMA – was forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes that the surviving spouse in a heterosexual marriage would not have to pay.

As he has said, President Obama’s position on gay marriage has “evolved” in its favor.

In his inaugural address last month, he said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Polls show a clear shift in public acceptance of same-sex marriage, especially among under-30 Americans – 63-35 percent approve, according to a Quinnipiac University poll in December. For all age groups, Gallup puts the number at 53-46 approval.

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6 Responses to Obama administration to argue for gay marriage in Supreme Court case

  1. Pingback: Attorney: Obama’s goal is to criminalize biblical view of marriage « vineoflife.net

  2. debbymanynations says:

    Reblogged this on cedarridge2007.

  3. “The essence of the administration’s argument is that the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the US Constitution”. Yeah, um, when did Obama start caring about the constitution? I mean, he just LOVES to send all those drones after innocent, U.S. citizens to KILL them. Call me crazy, but isn’t MURDER a REALLY big no-no? I believe that he’s just doing this because this just goes along with what the cabal wants in reference to trying to exterminate roughly 90 percent of the human population on this planet.
    As was mentioned by white feather, most people don’t care about gay people getting married, and the cabal most likely knows this. So, in their warped and twisted minds, the cabal thinks that they can make their puppet Obama carry out their twisted agenda without people caring about it. They also probably think that the more gay people get married, the fewer children there are. However, one thing that the cabal just doesn’t get is that humans will ALWAYS have kids, and there are STILL a whole bunch of people out there just chomping at the bit to have kids. Just look at the situation in China. Chinese people are, in secret, trying to have more than just one child (against the government’s one child rule) if their one child that they already have is a girl. Males are very important in their society.
    See, what the cabal doesn’t get is that people HAVE AND WILL CATCH ON TO WHAT THEY ARE DOING. One very good thing about people is that they are now learning not to care about gay people getting married. I mean, who cares who people marry as long as they’re happy and it’s not bothering you? Live and let live, that’s my motto. Our indifference in reference to people getting married to whom they want is actually a very good thing, because I believe that it will lead to a situation of balance. Balance is how the world functions correctly, and when the world is out of balance that is when bad stuff happens.
    The same thing is happening with heterosexual and gay people. A balance between these two groups (which the cabal doesn’t want, by the way) is happening and we are learning to be more accepting of each other. I would like to think that sometime in the near future, the choice of whom we marry will be as accepted, common place and unremarkable as what food we choose to eat. As I said earlier, this is just Obama being a puppet for the cabal. He’s probably doing this because of all the threats that they made to him, and he doesn’t want to see those threats carried out. There’s a saying that suits this situation, and I think that I should mention it now: a hero may die once, but a coward dies a thousand deaths. Just look at people like JFK…he died because he was trying to do the right thing for this country. Moral courage (especially by people like Obama) is very, very rare, is it not?

  4. white feather says:

    Since most people no longer care if someone is gay or who gets married, making it useless as a way to control important people, I don’t see this as a huge move on his part. Meanwhile his Monsanto FDA appointment Michael Taylor continues to poison the food supply with one GMO attrocity after another.

  5. The Prime Creator gave us free will to be free.Free to be you and to love all.This is good news we will see. love to All and I mean All Huggie

  6. tonyfield1 says:

    Freedom lovers can’t fight for the US Constitution and at the same time try to suppress Love between two individuals, in whatever way two consenting adults select to to manifest it. That is just absurd.

    At the same time, how convenient for TPW to selectively and publicly argue for a cause they know individuals are already accepting as a normal evolution in society, and in greater numbers, to only try and create further public division.

    They know trends, and when society’s acceptance tipped the scales in favor of gay rights, TPW most conveniently selected to take up such challenge, when it should have been done a long time ago to ensure the freedoms if all.

    At the end, based on their Constitutional and freedom protections track record, do they truly care? I highly doubt it.

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