Obama makes explicit his objection to the Defense of Marriage Act

The Washington Post reports:

President Obama made clear that he favors the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], and intends to ask Congress to repeal the 13-year-old law that denies benefits to domestic partners of federal employees and allows states to reject same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Obama has long opposed the law, which he has called discriminatory. But his Justice Department has angered the gay community, which favored Obama by a wide margin in last year’s election, by defending the law in court. The administration has said it is standard practice for the Justice Department to do so, even for laws that it does not agree with.

For the first time, the filing itself made clear that the administration “does not support DOMA as a matter of policy, believes that it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal.”

Obama and his senior advisers have made that statement before, but never in a court brief. In addition, Obama issued a statement noting that, although his administration is again defending DOMA in court, “this brief makes clear…that my administration believes the act is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress.”

“While we work with Congress to repeal DOMA, my administration will continue to examine and implement measures that will help extend rights and benefits to LGBT couples under existing law,” Obama said in the statement.

Obama extends a few partner benefits to lesbian and gay federal employees

Jennifer Chrisler [left] sent an email to members of Family Equality Council to describe her experience in the Oval Office with President Obama. She was present when he signed a Presidential Memorandum – extending certain domestic partner benefits to federal employees.

She writes: “All American families face challenges, but our families encounter unique obstacles when trying to protect our children and our partners. The language in this memo signed by President Obama addresses some of those complex realities,” Chrisler said. “President Obama’s actions will help thousands of committed, same-sex couples working for the federal government ensure their families’ security. While today’s memorandum falls short, it does move us forward. There is much more work to be done to recognize the wide diversity of families that live and work in this country, including families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration in the future as it takes the next steps to ensure equal protection and treatment of all American families.”

Barack Obama’s message to lesbian and gay parents

“We have to do more to support and strengthen LGBT families. Because equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it’s about whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom.” – Barack Obama

Civil rights blogger – Jamie Citron – has posted an exchange between Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council, and Barack Obama.

Chrisler wrote to Obama because of Senator McCain’s recent confusing comments on LGBT adoption. She asked about a “plan to recognize, respect, protect and celebrate all of the loving families you seek to represent…”

Here’s part of Obama’s response: “We know that the cost of the American dream must never come at the expense of the American family. For decades we’ve had politicians in Washington who talk about family values, but we haven’t had policies that value families.”

You can visit Barack Obama’s website, and read the entire exchange.

Newest poll results: Majority of Americans support civil unions for lesbian and gay couples

ABC News is reporting that 55 percent of U.S. voters favor allowing same sex couples to form legally recognized civil unions – providing the same rights as heterosexual married couples in health insurance, inheritance and pension coverage.

This is an increase from 45 percent in an ABC/Washington Post poll in 2006. The previous high was 51 percent in 2004.

All leading Democratic presidential candidates support civil unions – and Rudy Giuliani is the only Republican candidate to side with the idea.

The most recent ABC/Post poll also found that more people under 30-years-old support civil unions when compared to seniors.

Support is highest in the East and West – and much lower in the Midwest and South. Caucasians are more likely than African Americans to support civil unions. And women are more favorable towards the idea (59 percent) than men (51 percent, and 47 percent among married men).

11 thoughts on “Obama makes explicit his objection to the Defense of Marriage Act

  • November 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    While civil unions aren’t the same as marriage, they are a step in the right direction. I feel that gay and lesbian people will soon be able to marry…it may just be a matter of time.


  • November 10, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    A state-sanctioned union is called a ‘marriage’ but it has nothing to do with religious rules. It is merely a business relationship, as there is no punishment for breaking the vows.

    If you want a state-sanctioned joining, everyone should get a civil union which allows them all the privileges associated with today’s “marriage”. If the religious want to inject their god beliefs into it, they can get an additional, non-legally-binding, ceremony at a tax-exempt church. You’re welcome.

  • November 11, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I doubt it’d fly in today’s political climate, but it would certainly seem to meet all the major objections based on religious principles (or those using such as a pretext), not to mention preserving the state/church separation.

  • November 16, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Five nations have it completely and absolutely right (pun intended). Marriage equality is a secular definition. The city clerk’s office says Marriage Licenses and not Civil Union Contracts.

    Marriage Equality requires the need for one definition where two human beings, of opposite or same sex, contract to marry each other and often decide to raise families. That is the definition of thirty one years, four years of legal marriage not recognized in my nation, and a five year old son together.

    Why does anyone expect us to take permanent second tier rights and privileges. Separate but equal is blatant bigotry.
    I will accept a civil union contract if every heterosexual surrenders their marriage licenses and certificates and gets one too….. No takers, I thought so…

  • November 16, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    I wish there was a petition circulating that mirrors your sentiment. I would wait on line indefinately to add my signature. Well said. I hope more people say the same thing!

  • August 3, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Barack’s a wonderful man. A few weeks ago while driving to work I was inspired with this idea about him: He’s a trojan horse full of what America needs to heal, to move on to our true beautiful destiny as a very great nation that will help heal the entire planet. Greatness doesn’t mean military power or religious affiliation. It refers to our nation’s spiritual maturity, and how we express it. It refers to the degree to which we do whatever is necessary to bring about prosperity, true justice for all, and happiness for all beings. If we elect him, we’ll be taking the next important step toward our spiritual destiny.

    Our Declaration of Independence affirms that all people have “inalienable rights.” No presidential decree, act of Congress, or voter referenda can interfere with rights that are “INALIENABLE,” which means irremovable. To do so is illegal and monstrous from the start. Look up the meaning of the word “inalienable.” Go read the Declaration of Independence. What voters think doesn’t matter, because they have no authority to interfere with rights that are sealed and guaranteed. If they don’t agree with that, then they should reconsider whether they want American citizenship. Citing poll results to cozy people up to the idea that gays should have rights may be very well-meaning, but they still don’t change the fact that all Americans have certain universal, natural born rights, God-given, not society-given.

    Madison Reed

  • November 5, 2008 at 5:08 am


  • November 4, 2008 at 2:36 am


  • September 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    y cant ppl just understand that if 2 ppl r happy then n can make a responsable decision to get married then they should. this is a decion they make on there own. if a guy loves another and they want to get married n b together 4 the rest of there lives whats wrong with that. i belive that its not ur place to tell them not to. thats like gay ppl saying that straight ppl shouldent be together n shouldent get married. how would u feel if that was the case. thats y i feel that obama is better because he understands that and i think that all ppl should just sit back get over them selves n stop being judgemental of gay ppl its wat ever k thats who they r. i have a gay uncal that i love more then anythin and i dont think that its fair that they have been together 4 21 yrs n only can get a demestic partnership they deserve the right of marriage. and legaly they r cus by law after living together 4 mor then 3 years u r considered a married couple. i may only be 16 but i have been around to this bs my whole life like everyone els and every year i feel more and more strongly against this and the ppl who thinks its wrong……..

  • October 8, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    seems to be more understanding.. more family oriented.
    like he understands that kids need two loving parents, and a family support system and it doesn’t matter if they are same sex.. as ill informed as most people are in this country about lesbians and gays, its no wonder that mccain is getting the support from back woods, middle aged, closed-minded assholes! lol

    thats my two cents for now!

  • December 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm


Comments are closed.