NYTimes Criticizes Obama On DOMA

NYTimes Editorial:

The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights.

. . . The administration has had its hands full with the financial crisis, health care, Guantánamo Bay and other pressing matters. In times like these, issues like repealing the marriage act can seem like a distraction — or a political liability. But busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.

Read the whole thing. It was disturbing to see apologias for this distressing action by the Obama Administration featured in many of the leading "progressive" blogs. The Times gets it right. The Obama DOJ has been incredibly disappointing to date.

Speaking for me only

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    Reid: (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:31:19 AM EST
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaking at a press conference Monday said he has no plans to introduce a bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" in the Senate.

    "I haven't identified any sponsors," he said. "My hope is that it can be done administratively."

    -Advocate (h/t Pam)

    Obama has simply been disgusting on this issue.

    I am fierce advocate for equality for gay and -- well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.

    Yes, it is a secret.  Because you haven't done jack on gay rights except put out this offensive brief and invite an offensive minister to your Inauguaration.

    I recall with irritation all the blog defenses of the Warren invite.  Yeah, that was really helpful in the end wasn't it...

    The dictionary definition of "fierce". (none / 0) (#6)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:08:49 AM EST
    I wonder what Obama thinks it is? At no point did he say he was "pro-gay"--totally awkward sounding but you can't hide behind any semantics if you say it like that.

    The mention (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:52:04 AM EST
    in the article of the potential excuse of "not having time" bugs me.  The excuse may have held water, except that their DOJ certainly had time to fill this brief with what I could only describe as right-wing hate-speak.  This certainly didn't feel like a low priority brief.  If only they'd spent the time on helping rather than hating.

    But the rest of the article holds true.

    No time?? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:11:34 AM EST
    There are literally HUNDREDS of lawyers at the DoJ - it's not like Obama has to sit in the Oval Office and write the briefs.

    What a crock.


    He can have the equivalent of congressionalwips... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:13:50 AM EST
    ...sit on these lawyers so that these briefs are not written.

    I meant (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:18:03 AM EST
    That the DoJ lawyers could research and write briefs opposing DOMA, instead of being lazy and using old talking points and then saying "We don't have time for this fight."

    It took the Times four days to speak out.... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:50:23 AM EST
    ...but I guess better late than never.

    Obama was and still is a fraud on important social issues.  He does not support gay and women rights and it's going to show more and more as his days pass.

    When the economic policies fail, then everyone will begin looking at these other issues and there are going to be a lot of very annoyed people.

    It took them a few days (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:13:54 AM EST
    but that editorial was outstanding and hit all the important points.  I was very happy to read it and can only hope that they are reading it in the WH.

    Yeah, it's better that they hit this week's (none / 0) (#20)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:26:55 PM EST
    news cycle. Obama's timing had it buried in the end of week blowoff right after the Ahmaidiot election.

    WIngnuts of the Left (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by pluege on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:07:07 PM EST
    It was disturbing to see apologias for this distressing action by the Obama Administration featured in many of the leading "progressive" blogs.

    Many of the so-called "progressive blogs" are just wingnuts on the left - they have the same us vs. them outlook at the disgusting psychotic crackpots on the right. No real difference on the left except who they booster for.

    except... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:19:03 PM EST
    ...there's a pretty regressive element denying gays marital rights. History wil not be kind to Obama on this issue.

    Live in denial old chum.


    I suspect (none / 0) (#19)
    by itscookin on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:09:54 PM EST
    that if he continues in the same vein, history will not be kind to Obama. Period.

    Yup, the NYT gets it (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:43:05 AM EST

    More disturbed by the AMA speech. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:06:01 AM EST
    At least some of the discrimination aimed at LGBT (healthcare access) people would be ameliorated with a single payer scheme.

    Obama already said that he doesn't intend to nationalize, or start single payer and that he'd cap damages for malpractice.

    The public option isn't be actively promoted on NPR by Sebelius or Durbin in their "retort" to Mitch McConnell and the AMA funded GOP gang who are now spreading the Luntz Memo.

    Sadly The Luntz memo is merely a copy of the Obama Iowa primary Healthcare campaign anyway.

    fascinating (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:07:17 AM EST
    the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece

    does that mean they would recognize one between a aunt and a nephew?

    this is pretty disgusting.  so disgusting in fact I bet they do some walking back soon.
    last night on teevee Howard Dean said they would "have" to do something about this.  I think that may be true.

    Obama will give the (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:17:17 AM EST
    greatest speech evah on gay rights while he continues pursuing the policy in the current brief.

    After all, people give much more credence to speeches than they do to actions as proven in the 08 election cycle (McClurkin etc.).


    I think an Obama speech on this right now (none / 0) (#21)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:48:07 PM EST
    would be the greatest thing evah. His followers still listen to him and accept and repeat his words. He has enormous sway with black church leaders, who are one of the major culprits behind miscommunication of Obama's stated opinions about LGBT rights.

    In fact, he's one of the few people who can delineate the similarities between the same-sex marriage movement and the black civil rights movement, as long as he doesn't try to compare gay oppression to racism. But if he sticks to constitutional reasons for equality and presented a true history of marriage, including the legal and social changes over time (polygamy to monogamy; no divorce to male-controlled divorce then to full divorce; miscegeny to court ordered race-blind marriage; even ownership of women to legal equality between sexes) a lot of moderates would back of the "traditional marriage = one man one woman" claim.

    Obama's one of those rare leaders who can actually change conservatives' opinions on social issues.


    Obama might be one of those rare leaders (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:17:56 PM EST
    who COULD change opinions on social issues. Unfortunately, words followed by actions that generate positive outcomes does not seem to be the avenue that he is pursuing. In fact, quite the opposite. Current actions indicate that his SOP is to pacify the gay community with a speech and then have his administration continue supporting anti-gay rhetoric and legislation that have negative consequences.

    Seems deliberate. (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:39:59 PM EST
    President Obama has been provoking the gay community since his inauguration with the selection of the Reverend Rick Warren for the invocation.  Campaign signs (such as highlighting Donnie McClurkin in a gospel sing) were overlooked in deference to Obama fervor. Additional slack would continue to be granted until the administration's sunset with kind words about gay women and men in speeches from time to time. The new "Log Cabin Democrats" wolud be more than happy to justify and rationalize the mismatch between words and deeds.  But, but gay niceness, apparently, was not playing into the grand plan for the Democratic party makeover wherein god, guns and gays have been an electoral nemesis.  And, this deals with the gay part.  

    I've never expected... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 05:56:22 PM EST
    ... that Obama was going to be some Profile in Courage who was going to burn off his political capital on gay rights issues when he has so much else he's trying to achieve. But I am surprised he hasn't been willing to do even fairly small things that wouldn't have cost him much - while DOMA might still be politically controverial, I think he could sell people on a lifting of DADT without much risk if he chose to do it. But at this point if I were gay I'd be reading his message as "Where else are you going to go?"

    They better (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:49:28 AM EST
    walk this back.

    How stupid can they be?  Even Republicans are lightening up on the anti-gay stuff.  It is quickly becoming a political loser.  Time for this pol to start acting like one and responding to his base.

    It's very disgusting, and increasingly tiring.  


    what? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:09:45 AM EST
    The brief also maintains that the Defense of Marriage Act represents a "cautious policy of federal neutrality"

    what I mean is WTF?

    Yes, it is neutral as well, (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    according to the brief, since everyone still has the right to get married--to the opposite sex.  Finally, finally the NYT addressed this case, and maybe we will get something other than dead air from the White House.  

    But only (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:24:52 AM EST
    if you don't obtain the opposite sex status by sex change.

    Littleton v. Prange was interesting.  A man gender-changed to woman (Please excuse me if I didn't get the politically correct terminology here.  My intentions were good) and then married.  When her husband died, she sued the doctor.  The court held that because she had a Y chromosome, the marriage was invalid...even though she was now by all intentions a woman..... and she had no standing for suing the doctor.

    But her case apparently paved the way for trans-gender same sex marriages in Texas.  Don't you love irony?

    And of course, don't think that this comment is anything more than an aside.  I'm not arguing that the Obama DOJ, with their literally Bush-appointed lawyers writing these briefs are anything but pond scum on this issue.

    I just thought it was an interesting exception to the argument "but they can all marry, as long as it's the opposite sex!"  Define opposite...