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“The statute sucks,” Raben said. “It’s disgusting. We’ve opposed it from day one. We’ll continue to oppose it, but the Department of Justice is doing what the Department of Justice does, which is defend the statute.”

Nan Hunter, a lesbian Georgetown University law professor, also said the Justice Department “almost always defends the constitutionality of federal statutes.”

Raben said there are “tiny, tiny exceptions” to that rule “when the statute is otherwise unlawful,” but added that the number of cases in which this exception has been applied are small and “you could put all of those in a thimble.”

I look at the Obama administration’s defense of DOMA in court last week as, “we are stuck defending problems we didn’t create” which is something every president has to do.

To be honest, getting healthcare reform passed will help more LGBT people than reversing DOMA or DADT. I have no problem with DOMA and DADT reversals being scheduled for after healthcare. From a time management perspective, we need do the big rocks first, then use that victory to lead us through reversing DOMA and DADT.


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his analysis is incredibly slanted, though. For one thing, repeatedly saying "OBAMA said 'blah blah blah'" rather than even "Obama's justice department said 'blah blah blah'" is obviously a manipulation. And there is a BIG difference between saying "there is precedent for states to not recognize some marriages that are legal in other states, such as when some states allowed first cousins to marry and others didn't, or when there was issue regarding minimum marriage age" and saying "same sex marriage is the same thing as incest and child rape"

Law Dork and I aren't buying this. Firstly, because there is a strong case to be made that DOMA is unconstitutional. Secondly, because the DoJ has the latitude to have filed a brief that didn't overstate support for DOMA as strongly as it did.

Thirdly because the guy who got elected promising to bring change to Washington does not get to say we have to do it this way because this is how it's done.

Fourth because it would have taken no time more time to file a brief opposing DOMA, and would have taken even less time to file no brief at all.

Fifth because from Womens suffrage to civil rights to TLBG rights, the lesson of history is that if we wait for the "big rocks" to be moved first, our turn never comes. Our turn only comes when we make our rocks "big rocks."

only comes when we make our rocks "big rocks." ...or when the legislation or constitutional challenge moves a whole bag of smaller rocks. United we stand and all that. But mostly, yes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

So, I'm with you 100% on your take. I don't know why people thought he was really going to do anything for GLBT issues - a guy with a 10-year-long track record of doing precisely zero for GLBT communities in ultra-left Chicago and IL.

I think the fact that he took his telegenic self in front of a camera and admitted when asked that he didn't support Prop 8 got hopes up out of alignment with his record.

Or perhaps when he took his telegenic self in front of a piece of paper and specifically wrote that DOMA should be repealed, when he was running for Senate.


Yep. Anyone used to the Chicago machine politics knows how they're all pro-equality unless of course some group wants to actually, you know, get equality. But they spin a real good yarn, yes they do.

I'm personally in the "not drawing any conclusions until we've seen the dust settle (and the dust won't be settling until 2011 at the earliest" camp. However, a timely reminder:

The cossacks work for the Czar.

The executive branch is not a democracy, and officers of the executive branch have exactly as much or as little personal initiative as the executive cares to give them. If letting ex-Bush appointees pursue this agenda through the DoJ is below the Obama administration's threshold of concern, that too is an active policy statement.

I didn't expect to see DOMA repealed right away (or even in his first term) because doing it too soon would invite a repeat of the mess that resulted in DADT.

Having said that, I think the LGBT community and our allies need to keep up the pressure on DOMA. Obama and his administration can take criticism from their base. Not keeping up the pressure on DOMA invites more Prop 8s in states that don't have them already.

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