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Moran Applauds President’s Support of Gay Marriage

by Katie Pyzyk — May 10, 2012 at 9:20 am 2,224 171 Comments

President Obama made waves yesterday when he did and about-face and stated his support for gay marriage. He’s the first president to make such a declaration.

He made the comment in an ABC News exclusive, after having said for years he only supports civil unions and not same sex marriages.

“I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue,” President Obama said. “As I talked to friends and family and neighbors… at a certain point I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

The president said he believes the issue should continue to be worked out on the local level, in individual states.

On the local level in Arlington, Rep. Jim Moran (D) is voicing his support of  Mr. Obama’s announcement. He notes his record of actions to prevent discrimination, such as being a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, voting against the Defense of Marriage Act when it passed in Congress in 1996 and working to overturn the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

Here’s the statement he issued on the matter:

“President Obama’s comments today reflect the views of a growing number of Americans across the country. I welcome the President’s words, and those of members of his Administration, for their outspoken support for marriage equality.

“Marriage equality is an issue of basic fairness. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that “all men are created equal” and that everyone has a right to “the pursuit of happiness” – principles that surely cannot be achieved without the ability to marry the person you love. Religious institutions have the right to define and sanction marriages in keeping with their religions’ faith. But the federal government has no place in determining which types of state-sanctioned marriages to recognize.

“The President’s comments today represent an important turning point in the fight to end discrimination. President Obama has become the first sitting President to take this position, and he deserves credit for arriving at this decision. Much work remains to achieve the goal of true equality for all citizens. I will continue my efforts to ensure that all Americans, regardless of age, race, gender and sexual orientation, are afforded equal rights and protection.”

  • soarlslacker

    This is long overdue. If government is in the marriage business, then marriage should be open to everyone.
    Perhaps this will create an opportunity for religious folks to think about how personal religion is and how imposing their beliefs on others or using their beliefs to deny others civil rights, such as the right to marry, is inappropriate.
    The state of North Carolina—now a place to be avoided. Darn, Asheville is so nice.

    • JamesE

      Separation of church and state? What a stupid idea!

    • Sam

      Do you also avoid Virginia because of the Marshall-Newman amendment?

      • soarlslacker

        We’ve lived here 30+ years…way before the conservatives passed this in 2006. When evaluating places we might consider moving upon retirement, we look at several factors and one is…is the place so darn conservative that we would be uncomfortable living there? Arlington is the only we place we would live in VA. There is NoVa, and the rest of the state often appears to be living in the last century.

        • Teresa

          Amen! I would never live in any other part of Virginia for the same reason.

        • zzzSleeper

          I’m with you. I love Arlington, but doubt I could live happily in any other part of Virginia.

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    Yea!

    Oh, and in order to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage let’s outlaw divorce. Lock folks up for adultery too. Remembering that matrimony is an honorable estate, ordained of God, not to be taken lightly, or thoughtlessly AND in the FEAR of GOD. It’s till death do you part. God doesn’t like exceptions. Choose wisely.

  • Garden City

    Smart move on the President’s part. Get it off the campaign table early, and clearly delineate where both candidates stand. Obama: supports marriage equality. Romney: signed the NOM marriage pledge to advocate for and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning marriage equality.

    • drax

      And still there will be a few gay Republicans who vote for Romney.

      • SomeGuy

        Of course there will be. And what’s wrong with that?

        • Car-free diet

          Better to reelect President Obama who is focused on doubling the federal government’s debt during his term in office then to elect someone who might take the country off this fast-track to fiscal crisis.

          • drax

            Gosh, does Obama pass appropriations and tax bills?

    • JamesE

      Has Romney read the 14th Amendment?

    • Westover

      A necessary move by the President, to finally catch up to Romney and state what his opinion is. Of course, anybody with half a brain knew his position would be the opposite of Romney. That’s how politics go.

      This election is about the economy. They just split this fringe social issue and moved on.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Smart move? While I agree with his decision, this “smart move” absolutely reeks of politics. Wasn’t he against gay marriage just a few years ago? And now, suddenly, he’s all for it? What changed? So in other words, does he actually have personal convictions, or is he just pandering for votes?

      • Patrick

        What changed was that 1 in 6 Obama campaign bundlers are gay. Follow the money.

        • Car-free diet

          So crass! While you’re at it why don’t you point out that Obama is more dependent on money from Hollywood and the gay community this time around because he has alienated many other sources of campaign dollars, including labor unions which are investing much more of their campaign dollars at the state level.

          It was financially and politically craven of Obama, and all so obvious.

      • drax

        Does it matter whether it’s personal or pandering for votes? All that matters is whether he does the right thing, not why. If politicians never changed their minds due to pressure from the people, our democracy would move far slower.

        (For the record, he did support “civil unions” before this).

        • Quoth the Raven

          I agree – it matters that he does the right thing. So why didn’t he do the right thing in the last election? Oh, because his views “evolved”? What a bunch of you-know-what. Again, I agree with his position, but I sincerely doubt his views actually changed – he was pandering for votes then and he’s doing the same thing now. If the electorate changed and stopped supporting gay marriage, would his views change again?

          • drax

            Why didn’t he do the right thing in the last election? I don’t know. I don’t need to know. I just judge him and his opponents by what they say they’ll do, and how much I think they’ll stick to it, and vote accordingly. And then I do it again in the next election.

            If the electorate stopped supporting gay marriage, maybe his views should change again. Or maybe not. As long as he’s not flipping back and forth alot on many issues, it’s okay if he “evolves” a little.

          • Josh S

            The problem with the “oh his views “evolved” so obviously that means he is a man of low morals and no backbone” argument is that to make it you have to be a hypocrite. No one has not had the experience of changing their mind about something important. It’s called living.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Do you believe he changed his mind because his views changed, or because he thought he would get more votes this way?

            Or, did he “evolve” because his VP said something?

            Or (most likely, in my mind), he’s thought this way for some time and just didn’t say so during the last election.

          • sunflower

            you have to win the election first and foremost–it’s a bit of a catch 22

        • John Fontain

          +1.

  • Flip Flop

    BIG DEAL. The POTUS doesn’t really support gay marriage. He was just forced to switch his position because Biden vocally announced his support of it. Can’t have the POTUS and VPOTUS out-of-synch. Wake Up America!!!

    • Josh S

      No, I think he does but in the past was reluctant to say so for fear of alienating those in his coalition who are against it.

      • Quoth the Raven

        So he’s gutless? Or will he say anything to get elected, regardless of how he personally feels?

        • drax

          If that were true, he’d be saying all kinds of things that he’s not saying.

        • jackson

          Are you questioning the individual or the nature of politicians in general? Romney was pro-choice until a little while ago. And he wants to take credit for the auto bailout, although he was against it.

          Being the face of an entire party is harder than picking a radio station the entire office can agree on, “even the boss!”

          Obama and Romney have to be the WASH FM of candidates to appeal to the greatest number of people.

          Duh.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I suppose my comments are against politicians in general, not Obama in particular. Call me naive, but I wish politicians would actually tell us what they believe, and what they’ll support, rather than to just follow where the electoral winds are blowing. If you have a candidate who tells you only what you want to hear, how can you be sure what the candidate will do once he/she takes office? So I disagree that they have to appeal to the greatest number of people – that makes them insincere, and in some cases, outright liars.

          • drax

            That’s understandable. But hey, they have to be able to change their minds about something every once in a while.

          • Josh S

            And I think sometimes there is no reason to express an opinion about every issue. Events, including Biden’s comments, pressed his hand and made it the right time to express a view.

  • HamDil

    Have to agree with Moran. The government should not be determining which types of marriages to sanction. They should not be sanctioning any of them.

    • novasteve

      Unfortunately they are sanctioning marriages, so since they are ALL marriage between consenting adults would have to be legalized, including polygamy and incestuous marriage. I have a problem with people claiming they are for “marriage equality” but only fighting for same sex marriage. If you believed in equality, you would want equality for ALL, just not one group particular group that is currently denied it.

      • Patrick

        +100 The only person here that seems to understand what “marriage equality” actually means.

      • JohnB

        That is a slippery slope fallacy. There is something logically different between sanctioning only heterosexual marriage and sanctioning hetero and homosexual marriage. There is also something logically different between sanctioning marriage as an agreement between two people and sanctioning marriage between more than two people, or between a person and a non-human animal or object. We can have a discussion about why one form of marriage or another should be embraced or shunned by society and legally supported or outlawed by the government, but to state that all these forms of marriage are the same thing is intellectually lazy.

        • drax

          John,

          It’s not a slippery slope fallacy to declare that marriage should be equal, and then follow through on that by turning around and denying marriage to others.

          • jackson

            When women wanted the right to vote, did someone say “Where does it end? Why not give the vote to children and animals?”

            Yeah, stupid argument, and this is the same thing. You know no one is arguing that “marriage equality” means ALL kinds of marriage, and the straw man of someone trying to sue in court for the right to marry a goat is just foolish.

          • drax

            “You know no one is arguing that “marriage equality” means ALL kinds of marriage”

            But that’s the problem. What does it mean, and how do you know?

            You realize that this is exactly the argument of those who oppose gay marriage, right? That not ALL kinds of marriage are included?

            Why does equality include gays, but not others? Why should only two types of marriages, out of many possible ones, be the only ones? Marrying a goat is dumb, sure, but what about polygamy? That’s real. Wouldn’t “marriage equality for all” include those people? Why not?

          • novasteve

            If you use terms like “marriage equality” you MUST support the right to marry of all consenting ADULTS, otherwies you do not believe in marriage equality.

          • iiandyiiii

            “If you use terms like “marriage equality” you MUST support the right to marry of all consenting ADULTS, otherwies you do not believe in marriage equality.”

            This is immensely stupid- for two reasons:

            1. This is just playing games with definitions. “Equality” has meant different things throughout history- the people using that term have obviously made their position clear on this issue.

            2. Who cares? Many of us support “gay marriage”, or “same-sex marriage”- it doesn’t really matter what term we use. We want to make sure committed gay couples have the same rights that committed heterosexual couples have, as a couple.

          • Jackson

            In that case let’s vote to define marriage as two consenting human adults, no closer than first cousins.

          • Josh S

            No you don’t.

          • JDSmith

            This “access to rights” thing is such a red herring. What they want is access to governmental constructs that hetero couples have access to.

          • drax

            No, equality means something important. It doesn’t mean “marriage for only two kinds couples, but not the rest.”

            The term you use matters a great deal too. Don’t abuse such an important word.

          • drax

            JD – yes, and when the government provides one “construct” it must provide it for everyone, i.e. “equal protection of the laws.”

            The law in Virginia once defined marriage as between a man and a woman of the same race. That was ruled unconstitutional.

          • JohnB

            Drax,

            It is a slippery slope fallacy for novasteve to equate heterosexual marriage with homosexual marriage and both with polygamy and incest because there are obviously differences between them just like a Ford Focus and Ford Mustang are both Fords and Cars, but are clearly different. Opponents of legal recognition of homosexual marriage would argue that there is something inherently different about a marriage between a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple and they would be right. They then fail to recognize differences between homosexual marriage and polygamy or bestiality or incest. The question is not if there is something different, but whether that difference warrants a separate classification under our legal code. I think a more productive national conversation would be to discuss those differences and why people believe that they either should or should not warrant separate classification under our legal code. Extending the car analogy, both the focus and the mustang require a driver’s license to operate on public roads. The law separately classifies commercial vehicles and motorcycles and requires different driver’s licenses to operate those machines even though they are still vehicles. The law separately classifies monster trucks and bans them from operating on public roads. It is the differences in these vehicles that bear inspection to determine if they should be treated the same or differently under the law, not the similarities.

          • drax

            “It is a slippery slope fallacy for novasteve to equate heterosexual marriage with homosexual marriage and both with polygamy and incest because there are obviously differences between them”

            I agree. But the point is that the term “marriage equality” doesn’t make any differences between them. That’s his point. If you believe in equality for all, you can’t turn around and exclude others from that.

        • Josh S

          The slippery slope fallacy would apply in this situation if someone opposed to gay marriage said that if we allow gay marriage then we’ll have to allow incestuous marriage and polygamous marriage as well. Since Steve-o is pretending to be in favor of all of those, he’s not using a slippery slope fallacy. (He is attempting to stir up argument by staking out an absurd position and waiting for the fur to fly…..)

      • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

        Hmm. But isn’t there polygamy and incest in the Bible?

      • Max

        The concern over polygamy is that it’s often under coercion and the wives are mistreated. As long as the people are adults in agreement with each other who am I to deny them happiness?

      • ShirliMan

        Heterosexuals can choose the one (at a time) consenting adult they want to marry. Homosexuals cannot. There is the inequality.

        Polygamy is different. Currently, no one can marry multiple partners. It is not something that is allowed for some, but not for others. I’m not saying I’m for or against it, just saying it is a different issue.

        Sure, some would say that homosexuals do have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex. But that is not the person they love. And if they would rather a gay person marry someone they don’t love, then so much for the “sanctity of marriage”.

        • drax

          Polygamists cannot choose the consenting adult they want to marry (a second or third or whatever wife). No difference.

    • WeiQiang

      Well, I suppose we could choose:

      No legal benefits/obligations accruing to married couples; like taxes, estate property, custody, divorce and all the rest.

      Equal benefits/obligations accruing to married couples.

    • Marie Antoinette

      Egads! Moran, a staunch Democrat, saying that the government should not be involved??? Oh the irony. LOL. Thanks for the laughs!

  • ARL

    this was a lame attempt by the president in support of gay marriage. he perhaps expressed his personal feelings, however he proposed nothing in terms of actual reform, and basically put it out there that it was a state issue. romney has taken the same stance on gay marriage, for the record. it is a decision left to the states. this is just obama trying to score a few points with his base.

    • novasteve

      What can the President do re: marriage given it’s a state issue? He doesn’t make federal laws, even if they were constitutional. Until DOMA is struck down as unconstitutional,he’s obligated to enforce it.

      • drax

        Obama has already decided DOMA is unconstitutional and is no longer defending it in court. He is not obligated to enforce it unless someone else sues and forces him to.

        • novasteve

          It’s not he President’s role to determine if legislation is constitutional or not. That role is for the courts. So he’s violating his oath of office by doing that, which is an impeachable offense.

          • Corey

            Aren’t you supposed to be a lawyer? He didn’t declare it unconstitutional, he just believes it to be unconstitutional and has directed the justice department to stop defending it in court. Which is his prerogative as President.

          • novasteve

            So you think a conservative president could do that about laws protecting abortion clinics if he thinks it’s unconstitutional, he just will decide not to defend it despite it being his job to defend federal laws, because he’s the CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the country?

          • Max

            What laws are there protecting abortion clinics? States seem to have no trouble stripping people’s ability to obtain safe, legal, and constitutionally protected procedures, and Obama isn’t doing anything about that.

          • novasteve

            I was just providing an example of some law a conservative president wouldn’t agree with. They aren’t free to just decide not to defend the law because they disagree with it.

          • Corey

            In fact, Steve, they are. There’s nothing in the constitution that compels administrations to defend existing law in court.

          • novasteve

            There’s nothing in the constitution either about the Air Force or Abortion.

          • drax

            Yes, of course.

            A president MUST NOT enforce unconstitutional laws! Just because Congress wants to violate the constitution doesn’t compel him to do so.

          • Corey

            National defense is in the constitution and a court has ruled that abortion is a constitutional right.

            Has a court ruled that Presidential administrations must defend federal laws when challenged in court?

          • Marie Antoinette

            Corey…wait wait…so a presidential prerogative is to be able to pick and choose which laws to enfore? no, sir. Wrong.

          • drax

            No, it would be a violation of his oath of office to uphold the Constitution if he DID enforce a law that violates the Constitution.

          • novasteve

            It’s NOT the president’s job to determine the constitutionality of laws. It’s up to the courts to do that. All laws, even Obamacare, have the presumption of constitutionality until the courts say otherwise. The COURTS make this determination, not anyone in the executive branch.

          • Andrew

            I think steve’s point is that it is not the president’s job to decide what does or does not violate the constitution.

          • drax

            It’s impossible for the president to do his job without deciding what does or does not violate the Constitution.

        • Quoth the Raven

          I didn’t know the President had the power to selectively enforce Congressionally passed laws. Where is that in the Constitution?

          • drax

            Response to both of you:

            It is ABSOLUTELY the job of the President to interpret the Constitution! He MUST in order to do his job. He is not bound to follow a law he thinks is unconstitutional. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution just like judges do. The judicial power to overturn laws as unconstitutional is based on nothing more than that oath. The same goes everyone else who takes it.

            That goes for everyday citizens too. If a law is unconstitutional, such as a law denying you certain rights, you refuse to obey it, and you appeal to the courts for relief.

          • Quoth the Raven

            So you’re saying that the President has the right to refuse to enforce the laws that Congress passed (and that a President) signed, based solely on his personal belief that the law is unconstitutional? That’s absolutely, ridiculously false.

            And for “everyday citizens”, you don’t have that right either. If you break a law with which you don’t agree, and you get caught, you will get punished. If the courts later decide that law is unconstitutional, you get relief. But otherwise, your personal views are irrelevant.

          • drax

            It’s completely true.

            The only reason you think the courts have the exclusive right to interpret the Constitution is because they usually get the last word, since disputes usually end up there. But a president may certainly determine that a law violates the constitution and refuse to follow or enforce it. He MUST. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

            If you break a law and are sent to prison, and you say it is unconstitutional, and a court agrees – YOU WILL BE SET FREE and your punishment reversed. If your personal views were irrelevant, you wouldn’t be appealing to a court to be set free in the first place.

          • AllenB

            There’s a difference between enforcing the laws and defending them in court. The president does have to enforce the laws but he/she does not have to defend them in court if they think they are unconstitutional.

          • drax
          • Keith

            Somebody needs a refresher course in the separation of powers.

          • Corey

            Right, the separation of powers, including the power to direct the Justice Department to stop defending a law in court.

          • Quoth the Raven

            So he’s “enforcing the law” but he’s not defending the law in court? That’s a distinction without a difference.

            Art II, Section 3: “…he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”

            Please explain how this means that a President can choose which laws to defend and which laws will be ignored?

          • drax

            A law that is unconstitutional is not really a law.

            Suppose a law is passed to put all Christians in jail and their property taken by the government. Some Christians end up in jail, and they appeal to the courts, and the law is overturned and they are freed.

            Does that mean they deserved to be in jail until they were freed? Does it mean they shouldn’t get their property back since the law was in effect when it was taken? No. The law was never a valid law. It should never have been enforced.

          • drax

            For even more further reading:

            “The Executive’s Duty to Disregard Unconstitutional Laws”

            http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1557173

            “…the Constitution never empowers the President to enforce unconstitutional statutes. He no more has the power to enforce such statutes than he has power to enforce the statutes of Georgia or Germany. Second, the President’s duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution requires the President to disregard unconstitutional statutes. When the President enforces a statute he regards as unconstitutional, he violates the Constitution no less than if he were to imprison citizens without hope of trial. Third, the Faithful Execution Clause requires the President to choose the Constitution over unconstitutional laws, in the same way that courts must choose the former over the latter. Consistent with these understandings, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson argued that executives could not enforce unconstitutional laws. Indeed, President Jefferson halted Sedition Act prosecutions on grounds that the Act was unconstitutional. According to Jefferson, his duty to defend the Constitution barred him from executing measures that violated it.”

          • LawStar

            That article has nothing to do, really, with what this discussion is about.

          • drax

            It has everything to do with what we’re discussing. Wow.

          • LawStar

            Nope, ‘fraid not. Internet lawyers [shakes head]

          • drax

            It’s kind of silly to claim that an article titled “The Obama Administration’s Decisions to Enforce, but Not Defend, DOMA” has nothing to do with the Obama Administration’s decisions to enforce, but not defend, DOMA.

          • Josh S

            Yikes.

            Laws are laws until they aren’t.

            The President, as head of the executive branch, carries out the laws. If he thinks the law is unconstitutional, it’s just his opinion until the Supreme Court rules one way or the other. He cannot decide not to enforce a law that he “thinks” is unconsitutional. That would be abuse of authority. But he can certainly make a strategic decision to not spend a lot of time and resources enforcing a particular law. These kinds of decisions are made all the time – witness the number of food inspectors the USDA must make do with to monitor the nation’s food supply, for example.

            The president is bound to follow the law. He can’t pick and choose. But following the law and deciding how to deploy limited resources are two different things.

          • drax

            Yes, he may absolutely refuse to uphold an unconstitutional law. He MUST.

            To enforce an unconstitutional law is to violate his oath to uphold the Constitution.

            Back to my hypothetical: if the president went along with a law that jailed all Christians, would that be “upholding the Constitution”? The president is bound by the Constittuion, which is above the law, and when the two conflict, the Constitution wins. That’s true whether the question confronts a court or the president. The president can’t just punt it to the courts, he must follow his oath.

          • drax

            You’ll be interested to learn that Thomas Jefferson refused to enforce a blatantly unconstitutional law (the Sedition Act) and wrote that his oath of office required him to refuse. It’s not a new idea. And this was before Marbury too.

          • drax

            Oh, by the way, QtR – where in the Constitution does it say the courts have the power to overturn unconstitutional laws either?

          • Quoth the Raven

            As you well know, it doesn’t. But it does come from Marbury v. Madison, which, to my knowledge, has never been overturned, and has never been subject to a later Congressional act that says it’s wrong. Both are possible, but neither has happened.

            But the Constitution does say that the President shall “faithfully execute” the laws. And that hasn’t changed, has it?

          • drax

            And Marbury said courts must overturn unconstitutional laws because judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution – as does the president.

            As for faithfully executing the laws, the point is that an unconstitutional law is not a valid law, and should never have passed in the first place.

            Would you expect the president to faithfully execute a law that required all churches to be shut down and all Christians thrown in jail? That would be a blatant violation of the First Amendment, something that the president swore an oath to defend.

            Any branch of government can sometimes violate the constitution, and any branch can refuse to go along with that.

          • Quoth the Raven

            And Marbury also says that it’s the job of the courts to determine constitutionality. It is not the job of the President.

            Josh S brings up a good point about resources (see consistently underfunded EPA), but that’s not what happened here. Here, a President decided and announced that he would not enforce a law. It’s more than just a resource allocation question.

            And to me, drax, you weaken your argument with an obviously over-the-top example. Can you really believe that Congress would pass such a law? Spare me the “Sure I could because they’re crazy!” argument. Such a law wouldn’t happen. DOMA is a lot more nuanced, however wrongly you, or the President, believe it to be. And no one goes to jail over DOMA.

          • drax

            No, I don’t think Marbury says that it is the job of the courts only. Not at all.

            I used an over the top example to make the point. It’s a hypothetical. I can’t believe you don’t understand that. But a “less” unconstitutional law is still unconstitutional.

            So if you agree that the president shouldn’t follow such an extreme law, then you agree with me that he must not follow unconstitutional laws. The idea that you think it’s perfectly fine to violate the Constitution simply because nobody goes to jail is kind of disturbing.

          • AllenB

            The president DID NOT announce that he wouldn’t enforce DOMA. The federal government is not granting federal bene’s to any same sex couple. The president decided that he will not defend DOMA in court. That is a huge difference, whether or not you choose to see it that way.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Drax, thanks for thinking I’m “disturbing”, especially after putting words in my mouth. My point was that it’s not perfectly fine to violate the Constitution. My point was that your example isn’t helpful because it’s simply too extreme. So yes, I do understand that you were using a hypothetical. But I don’t agree with you at all. The President’s job is to “faithfully execute” the laws. It is not to refuse to enforce those he finds unconstitutional.

            And AllenB, please explain the difference between not enforcing DOMA and refusing to defend DOMA in court. Because I don’t see the difference.

          • drax

            What’s the difference in this case? There’s not enforcement of DOMA other than defending it in court, I don’t think, but I could be wrong.

          • AllenB

            Of course it’s being enforced. Part of DOMA says that the feds will not issue any bene’s to same sex spouses, even from states where same sex marriage is legal. No same sex couple can file a tax return jointly, no same sex widow can collect SS survivor bene’s, and plenty more.

            Read up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act

          • drax

            But if any of those people were to sue the government over those restrictions, then it would be down to…defending it in court.

        • Car-free diet

          Wrong, he is obligated to enforce DOMA. DOMA is the reason why the Obama’s government is refusing to provide health benefits coverage to the same-sex spouses of federal employees even though these same-sex couples are legally married under state or DC law.

          Get your facts right for once.

          • drax

            If Obama is not “defending” DOMA in court, but he is “enforcing” it, if a same-sex couple sued for equal benefits or something like that, it would be an “enforcement in court” issue, wouldn’t it?

          • Josh S

            Come on.

            Enforcing it in the sense of carrying it out. The bureaucrats do what the law tells them to do. The President doesn’t stop that. But, he does instruct the Justice Department to not defend the law should someone bring a lawsuit questioning its Constitutionality.

            Again, he can’t KNOW that a law is unconstitutional until a court rules it as such. So therefore, he can’t be upholding the Constitution by refusing to implement a law that he THINKS is unconstitutional.

          • drax

            And I just explained how there’s no real difference, except for the timing. An unconstitutional law is unconstitutional from the day it is passed, not just when a court declares it to be.

            He most certainly CAN know that a law is unconstitutional before a courts says. He can read the Constitution, just like judges do. He MUST.

            There is nothing special about courts and the Constitution. The other branches of government are just as bound by it, and required to interpret it. The only reason everyone thinks the courts have exclusive power to interpret it is they end up settling most disputes over it and get the last word.

          • FDR

            It’s so cute when you “two” argue with yourselves.

          • drax

            I know, right? How could anyone not see that we’re the same person?

      • novasteve

        The President, as the head of the executive branch, is OBLIGATED to enforce all federal laws,and to defend all federal laws from legal challeges. That’s his JOB. That is what he was elected to do. If he’s unwilling to do that, then he should resign.

        • drax

          The president’s job is to uphold the Constitution.

          • novasteve

            No, it’s to enforce the laws, limited by the Constitution. The President swears to defend the constitution. You don’t defend it by violating your role in the constitutional system, by refusing to defend laws you don’t think are constitutional, when that’s the role of the courts.

          • drax

            You sure as hell don’t defend the Constitution by violating it, Steve.

          • Andrew

            What do you mean by “uphold” the constitution and where does it say it the job of the president to do so? The presidential oath of office says “defend the constitution”. Every member of the military and federal employee also makes an oath to defend the constitution.

          • drax

            It’s “preserve, protect and defend.”

            I’d say that includes upholding.

            To me, it means he must follow the Constitution and refuse to go along with anyone who doesn’t.

        • Corey

          Go ahead and cite a source for the bit about “defending federal laws from legal challenges”, steve. You’re wrong.

    • novasteve

      Also, the group that voted something like 97% in favor of him, african americans, overwhelmingly do not support gay marriage, though i dont’ think this will stop them from voting for him in november.

      • drax

        This poll says blacks and whites are no different in their rate of opposition to gay marriage – about 2 to 1 against.

        http://www.pewforum.org/PublicationPage.aspx?id=647

        • novasteve

          I just heard that something like 52% of americans favor legalizing gay marriage. So how is this poll accurate?

          • drax

            Oops, because it’s from 2003.

            The point was that whites and blacks had equal numbers.

            Here’s a news report referring to more recent polls, showing the trend:

            “…a Pew Center poll released in April showed that the African-American community has softened in its opposition to gay marriage: In a 2008 survey, 67 percent of respondents said they didn’t approve of it, but in 2012 that number had dropped to 49 percent.”

            http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76133.html#ixzz1uThZA6g9

            So blacks no longer “overwhelmingly” oppose gay marriage. They are evenly divided.

          • Josh S

            Which might be a clue about the change in public position.

  • Ted

    The one group that won’t let itself be thrown under the Obama campaign bus, GLBT Americans. Hooray for them.

    • AllenB

      Damn straight…oops, I mean, right.

  • Pablo

    Gay folks should have the right to be just as miserable as straight married folks.

    • soarlslacker

      Great Chris Rock line!

  • Max

    Good decision by both of them to support equal rights. Let’s be honest, I doubt Obama will take much of a hit on this. Those that were vehemently opposed to marriage weren’t going to vote for him anyway. On the other hand, this will probably garner him some votes among his base and youth (albeit an inimportant voting block).

    Hopefully Webb and Warner catch on soon.

    • novasteve

      Huh? AFrican Americans, who overwhelmingly (like 95% +) voted for Obama are also overwhelmingly against gay marriage.

      Do you remember Proposition 8 in California? Blacks came out in record numbers to elect obama and ban gay marriage in California.

      • drax

        So you think blacks will vote for Romney? Or stay home over gay marriage? I doubt it.

        As I noted above, opposition to gay marriage is not quite “overwhelming” among blacks – it’s about 2 to 1, the same as whites.

        • votingstatsarefun

          lots and lots of blacks dont vote as it is – BHO benefited from unusually high black turnout in 2008. Its not at all beyond the realm of possibility that this WILL lessen black turnout.

          Certainly thats as real a consideration as gay campaign donors. Im sure the WH thought through the political implications, but this is far from an obvious winner for them.

      • soarlslacker

        I seem to remember that a morman religious group put millions into this CA prop issue.

    • Patrick

      “Those that were vehemently opposed to marriage weren’t going to vote for him anyway.”

      Um not quite. The Black population of this country has proven in vote after vote they don’t support same-sex marriage. Barry is counting on those votes if he is to have a chance in VA or NC.

      • SteamboatWillie

        The recent Washington Post article on the VA Senate race cited black support for Obama at 97 to 1 over Romney, so I doubt Romney makes any headway there. Of course, I’m sure the GOP is hoping that Obama’s announcement will dampen turnout of black voters, because the party is doing everything it can to make that happen already.

        • novasteve

          That’s why you’re going to see virtually all blacks in MD vote for Obama in November, and the large majority of them on the same ballot will vote to repeal the MD same sex marriage law. Like in California in 2008.

          • DCBuff

            Steve, just a thought: MD is not in play in the presidential election, it is a gimme for Obama. VA and NC and PA and Ohio are all in play, and this issue has implications for voter groups in those states. And yes, in MD many folks who will vote for Obama will also vote to repeal the MD law.

        • iiandyiiii

          I think it’s more likely that Obama’s declaration will change minds about gay marriage. If someone that many folks revere states an opinion they disagree with, they might just re-examine their own opinions- not just suddenly stop supporting the man they revere.

          • Andrew

            You really think people are going to change their mind about such a heated issue because of what Obama said? What if Obama said he is pro-life all the sudden? You think anybody will change their mind?

            (not comparing same-sex marriage to abortion…just both heated issues)

    • Arlington, Northside

      He just further alianated a lot of Democratic Catholics.

      • jackson

        Shrug. Some Christians don’t consider Mormons to be Christian at all, but a cult.

        • drax

          And they think Obama’s a Muslim. It will be funny to watch their heads spin around this fall.

  • Patrick

    “Religious institutions have the right to define and sanction marriages in keeping with their religions’ faith.”

    But they dont have a right to deny paying for abortions even though it does not keep with their religious faith? Love the consistency Moran.

    • Max

      Huh? Since when are churches paying for abortion?

      • drax

        Since Patrick mixed up abortion and birth control when thinking about the recent controversy over insurance mandates.

        • Max

          Oh. In that case he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, especially since religious institutions were given an exception.

        • WeiQiang

          A friend of mine is a doctor who recently did rotations at a local Catholic hospital. While the hospital itself or its medical staff doesn’t conduct certain objectionable practices, it leases space in the hospital to distinctly separate medical practice groups that do. This is common practice.

          • Max

            Hospitals, and the people working in them, are not responsible for maintaining their faith. They are responsible first and foremost to their patients.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I know this is off-topic, but what does “not responsible for maintaining their faith” mean? Of course they’re responsible to their patients. But to ask them to do something that is contrary to their faith is a problem.

          • Max

            I worded it in a strange way but you’re absolutely wrong about that. If a physician sees an ill patient it’s his or her role to heal her patients in the way that shes been educated. That should not change from person to person. If a patient showed up to the ER with ketoacidosis and the physician simply prayed for the patient, she would go to prison. Similarly, I find it wrong for pharmacists do deny their patients of birth control or morning after pills for religious or personal reasons. If you enter any profession, you are bound to honor it. If that profession conflicts with your religion, you need to find a new profession (or better yet, quit religion and live happily).

            Similarly, a catholic priest is there to serve members of his community. A catholic priest is not bound by his profession to marry to men. A judge, however, is bound to those standards. So if a judge in New York refused to marry a gay couple for personal reasons, he should find a new profession, move to a place where he can continue to discriminate, or find a new religion that allows him to do his job.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Max, I don’t disagree with your examples in any way. What I meant was for elective things, rather than emergency things. And while an ER patient can’t exactly get up and go find another ER doc, someone looking for birth control can easily find another doc to prescribe them, so I don’t have a problem with a doctor refusing to do that.

            If a plastic surgeon was opposed to breast implants, should he/she be forced to do that procedure? Or, could he/she merely send the patient somewhere else? Sort of the same thing here.

          • Max

            Well if a plastic surgeon was opposed to plastic surgery they obviously shouldn’t go into plastic surgery obviously. With people searching for birth control, they often do not have any other means of obtaining it (like in rural areas with few doctors or pharmacies, or lack of coverage outside a religious hospital, etc. etc.). Obviously there will be exceptions, but that shouldn’t be because of one’s religion or personal beliefs. Anyway, this is way off topic, but since it started, I’ll bring up the case of Catholic hospitals.

            In the past, if Catholic hospitals admitted pregnant women they would treat them only in ways that could not harm the fetus. Similarly, if the woman’s life was in danger (eg. HELLP or pre-eclamsia) and the only way to save the woman’s life was to terminate her pregnancy, they’d let the pregnant woman die and also let the fetus die, an act otherwise known as “being a good Christian”.

            A few decades ago this issue came up and ERs were told that if they wanted to continue to receive federal funding they would have to save a woman’s life even if that meant terminating her pregnancy. Some relented and gave up their hospitals entirely because they would not agree to those conditions. Some adjusted. Unfortunately, pregnant women are still put at a disadvantage because some people will refuse to treat them for personal reasons, and I think those people are a disservice to their profession. Here’s some information (warning: biased) about it still going on. http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/10/17/the-let-women-die-bill-of-2011-hr-358-forces-women-to-play-russian-roullette-in-their-hospital-emergency-roo0

          • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            hospitals and other medical facilities that are affiliated with a particular religious group do not necessarily only hire people who also claim membership in that same group. i work in a medical facility that considers itself baptist. i am not baptist. i’m not a christian of any kind. and my obligation is not to any church or clergy but to my patients, and to treat them within the scope of my practice as i am bound under my professional licenses.

          • WeiQiang

            I’m not disagreeing with you, but the recent contraception kerfuffle with the bishops illustrated that some faith-based health providers [or their frocked overlords] made the case to legislators that they should be permitted a “conscience exception”. My point is that the system already accounts for doctrinal conflicts. Catholic healthcare administrators already accomodate ‘unapproved’ procedures – being responsible to their patients – by allowing outside entities to serve patients in the same facility.

            The next desperate step is something like Texas. Defund healthcare providers because they have an affiliation with an abortion provider.

          • Max

            Interesting. That seems like a logical manner to reconcile their differences.

          • drax

            The issue was requiring them to provide birth control in their health insurance coverage for employees though.

          • WeiQiang

            I know that and you know that, but rhetorically and legislatively, the ‘conscience’ clauses popped up anyhow.

  • Rebecca

    Talk is cheap. Repeal DOMA. Even if NC passed gay marraige, it’s irrelavant because DOMA would keep it only to NC. If the couple moved to our fair state of Virginia, it would be recognized.

    Repealing DOMA is key.

    • Corey

      I agree, but that requires three fifths of congress. Never gonna happen, at least not any time in the near future.

      • drax

        DOMA is just a law. It can be repealed by simple majority vote.

        • Corey

          Yes, but you need a supermajority – 60 senators – to have a floor vote.

          • drax

            Ah, okay.

        • Corey

          Should have been clearer, you need 3/5 of the senate, not congress

          • Arlington, Northside

            Currently not going to get half of the House to vote to over turn it either. Even with a Democratic controled House you did not have the votes to over turn it. Traditional Marrage still means a lot to the older crowd, no matter the party affliliation.

          • drax

            Yes, remember that Clinton signed it too.

          • Josh S

            Of course Senate rules can be changed.

  • Always Right

    Maybe there is some truth in the story about POTUS and Larry Sinclair afterall.

    • Corey

      Disgusting.

    • Josh S

      Juvenile.

    • Tabs

      I knew someone would bring that up. Have you SEEN that Larry Sinclair? Who’d go down on that? Yeeeuck!!

  • http://purple.com/purple.html Captain Pup McPuppo

    i’m a gay wolf *howls*

  • B-Rad

    meh, one man’s opinion. Whatever.

  • novasteve

    Come on, this entire thing is a democrat distraction from the economy, because Obama knows he’ll lose on the economy, he needs to focus on social issues. Look for more “war on women” stuff as well, anything to get your attention away from the economy.

    • Tuttle

      It’s totally safe cover for him to say it now, too. Like he’s going to lose a lot of votes because of it. Right!

    • Max

      Says the person who brings up how many guns he wants to own whenever someone talks about his automatic transmission car.

  • Your Mom

    It’s an opinion. I’m conservative in nature and have no problems with gay marriage. I’m just sick of politicians skating in fear of saying the wrong thing. At least it was a ballsy opinion which is rare in this political climate.

  • stevearlington

    When your married – you get more tax benefits. Every year you file you can claim married instead of single, but in addition to that – If you pass away, your estate moves tax free to your spouse (you get the marriage deduction at the death of the spouse). However, if your in a gay relationship and one of the partners dies; guess what – since your not married your partner has to pay estate taxes (as high as 50% tax on your estate over 5M). My friend who this happened to in CA was years ago when the limit was lower (at 2M) and had to sell two properties to get the cash to write a estate tax check to the government.

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