Arts & Entertainment
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 3/3/2011 (Issue 1909 - Between The Lines News)
Creep of the Week
Well, he did it. President Barack Obama announced his administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, essentially firing up the big Gay Bat Signal over America, letting gays know that it's finally safe to come out and wrest marriage away from the poor defenseless heterosexuals.
That DOMA is unconstitutional is really a no-brainer, but for too long the only people willing to say so were people with no power to do anything about it. Finally, there's someone in charge who isn't willing to let his justice department put on an anti-gay dog and pony show just to placate some right-wing assholes. The fact is, pro-DOMA folk already thought Obama was doing a shitty job of defending DOMA.
It's true, Obama just wasn't that into the whole thing. Probably because fighting to keep a law in place that discriminates against a specific minority in this country is kind of the antithesis of everything he campaigned on. Or maybe it's just because things are really messed up right now (Hey there, unemployment rate! Hi, rising gas prices. Afghanistan, how's it going? Hello budget deficit. Global warming, give your mom a kiss for me.) and the prez has priorities.
Thankfully, Congress also has priorities. And under the firm leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, we can rest assured that defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act is likely soon to be priority number one.
"I'm really disappointed in the President and the Department of Justice in the fact that they're not going to defend a law that Congress passed overwhelmingly. It's their responsibility to do that," Boehner told the Christian Broadcasting Network. "Now, it's happened before where administrations have decided they weren't going to go out and vigorously defend a law that Congress passed, but I really am disappointed in the President in his actions, but if the President won't lead, if the President won't defend DOMA then you'll see the House of Representatives defend our actions in passing a bill that frankly passed overwhelmingly."
I was unaware that in order for a law to be constitutional it just needed to be passed "overwhelmingly." I think that over the years the constitutionality of various laws has been decided on other criteria that's, you know, actually based on the Constitution. But those were probably activist judges.
Also, Boehner claims that Obama "won't lead," but isn't that exactly what the president is doing here? Doesn't being a leader sometimes entail making choices that run the risk of being unpopular because of one's own conviction? My guess is that's something pretty foreign to Boehner.
"It strikes me as something that's just as raw politics as anything I've seen," Boehner said. "Knowing that a lot of people who believe in DOMA are probably not likely to vote for him and, uh, pandering to the other side on this issue."
Yeah, that's got to be it. When in doubt, throw the gays a crumb so they keep votin' for ya.
Because Congress can choose to step in and defend DOMA without Obama, Boehner assures CBN viewers, "There are a lot of options on the table."
One of those options is that the House of Reps get their own attorney and defend DOMA in court themselves, an option that Rick "I have a messy Google problem" Santorum favors.
That's something Boehner has already considered. "I'd be very surprised if the House didn't decide that they were going to defend the law," he said.
As would anyone. I mean, how could we possibly expect a Republican-controlled House not to take this super juicy anti-gay bait? I mean, economy-schmonomy. Who cares about people out of work if the specter of two ladies getting hitched looms over our heads.
And who knows? Maybe DOMA is the only thing keeping our economy together. Perhaps Marriage Defending is a much larger sector of the economy than anyone realizes.