The President’s announcement, Wednesday, February 23rd, that he will no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was shocking to millions of Americans. Yet his timing was not just an act of personal conscience, it was done in concert with the deliberations of the Maryland State Senate which meets in Annapolis less than a 45 minute drive from the White House. His statement was timed to say to ambivalent senate members that there would be â€œpolitical coverâ€ from the Justice Department and the oval office if they legalized same-sex marriage.
Predictably, many wavering Maryland state senators were emboldened to vote to change the definition of marriage, despite the fact that most Marylanders are only in favor of traditional marriage. These lawmakers, like those in the state of Maine a couple of years ago, have been masterfully lobbied by same-sex marriage activists in military-like precision. Both the carrot and the stick have been masterfully used in Maryland, resulting in some legislators believe that they are making “history” while others are simply attempting to hang on to their seats. Therefore, the very next day — Thursday, February 24th (one week after Valentine’s Day) — the undecideds and fence-sitters simultaneously â€œcaved in,â€ passing a same-sex marriage bill in their senate.
The decision of the president to halt the enforcement of DOMA will have other effects as well. Immediately, it will prevent 5 cases, which are in the wings, from having the protection they rightfully should have. More specifically, Attorney General Holder wrote to congressional leaders that President Obama has instructed that the defense of DOMA should be withdrawn immediately in two pending cases: Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management (United States District Court for the District of Connecticut) and Windsor v. United States of America (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York). This means these cases may be adjudicated unfairly because of the bias of the nation’s highest level â€œprosecutors.â€
The justification for the president’s interference with the due process of law is his belief that the law is â€œunconstitutional.â€ The irony of this analysis is that the administration is violating constitutional responsibility to uphold the laws of the land. Worse than the mere abdication of responsibility is the fact that the president is manipulatively eviscerating the legislative branch of the government, while preventing the constitutional operation of the judicial system. For someone who complained about his predecessor over-reaching the powers of the office, President Obama seems to have lost respect for his â€œpolitical bibleâ€ — the constitution. He obviously feels he can play with its meaning and abridge the rights of one group in order to advance the â€œrightsâ€ of another.
This change in policy is echoes the actions of southern prosecutors during the height of the civil rights movement when they refused to prosecute the people who lynched and tortured blacks. The injustice was so bad in the ’50s that men like my father were threatened, beaten, or worse just for attempting to register blacks to vote and exercise other constitutional rights. In the spirit of Bull Connor of old, the president seems willing to violate the constitution when it suits his purposes and his vision for America. He was not given an electoral mandate for his current course in America. The nation expected a bridge-building advocate who would bring a higher, more noble spirit to the Oval Office.
Whatever happened to the idea of serving the people?
The public is obviously supportive of equal rights for gay; 60% of them even were in favor of reversing â€œdon’t ask, don’t tell.â€ The public, however, is not in favor of gay marriage as a civil rights issue. Therefore, they do not want it changed. The president who claims to be a â€œunifierâ€ of people is choosing to impose his will on the people instead of taking the time and energy to create â€œchangeâ€ the true constitutional way.
I agree with Texas Representative Lamar Smith who said, â€œThis is the real politicization of the Justice Department — when the personal views of the president override the government’s duty to defend the law of the land.â€ In light of decisions like these, people from all walks of life are wondering, Just what are the president’s core values? Matt Staver of the Liberty Council made the following statement, â€œToday President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history.â€ I believe Staver’s words are true.
An equally important observation is the fact that President Obama may go down in history as the Anti-Marriage President. Despite his Fatherhood Initiative and his emphasis on developing strong families, he has chosen to aggressively support public policies concerning marriage which would destroy the foundation of the institution. Marriage, at its root, is not an individual civil right to be enjoyed by all. It is, however, an ancient institution which must be preserved and promoted. The president\’s claim that the DOMA legislation is unconstitutional is no more than a crass political move to garner the support of his ardent followers in the radical gay community. What the president has obviously not taken into consideration is: 1.) the impact that legalizing same-sex marriage nationally will have on the education and socialization of primary school children, 2.) the impact of the legalization of same-sex marriage upon the unions in the black and Hispanic communities, and 3.) the long term, political consequences to his 2012 campaign of showing the hypocrisy of the pro-marriage statement he made in the 2008 race.
It’s time for people of all races to rise up and let their voices be heard. If you disagree with the president about marriage, call and/or e-mail your congressmen and senators. Let them know that you expect them to protect marriage, the sanctity of human life, and freedom of religion.