Monday, August 17, 2009

Death to DOMA Says Obama

Finally, we impatient and self-righteous sorts can ease a bit. Speaking through a U.S. Justice Department filing today, the allegedly civil-rights oriented President made it clear that DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act) must go.

A filing in U.S. District Court in California, Smelt v. U.S., continues to ask for dismissal of a suit by a gay couple wanting to overturn DOMA. Yet, as the Washington Post notes, "the filing itself made clear that the administration 'oes not support DOMA as a matter of policy, believes that it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal.'"

That's kind of a mealy mouthed way to get at it. Then again, Obama is a lawyer.

The AP filed a detailed report on the current developments. The separate statement is available at Pam's House Blend. Obama's phrasing was refreshingly unequivocal for him:
Today, the Department of Justice has filed a response to a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged. This brief makes clear, however, that my Administration believes that the Act is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress. I have long held that DOMA prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. 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.
It's about time, past time really. May this toll the first death knoll on Bill Clinton's biggest legislative blunder.

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