Why the Obama Administration is wrong about DOMA

As many
of you know, last week, President Obama’s administration struck down the 1996
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which barred any federal recognition of
same-sex marriage.  While President Obama
has always insisted (and continues to insist) that he favors only civil unions for homosexual couples, with the support of
Attorney General Eric Holder, the president’s administration has deemed DOMA unconstitutional.

the popularly touted reason that DOMA unfairly discriminates against homosexuals,
Holder described the administration’s decision as ‘appropriate, and unique, but
not unprecedented’

the language of Holder’s opinion on DOMA I think reveals a misunderstanding
concerning the reasons it was originally passed; reasons that show it is a
legitimate and ultimately constitutional legislation. The traditionalist’s
stance against gay marriage has been once concerned with an understanding and a
protection of the nature of marriage, as outlined and explicated in a great deal of articles and papers. A summary of the defense of
traditional marriage isn’t necessary here; what is crucial is that this defense does not choose to discriminate against a
certain group of people. Unlike discriminatory laws and attitudes such as the
ones that prevented African-Americans and women from being able to vote and
participate in the public forum, laws that defend traditional marriage seek to
arrive at the essence of What Marriage Is.

Just as
any just law rules against certain actions (people who steal are sent to jail)
and not against certain people (we don’t punish people who are born with a
natural inclination towards theft), so does DOMA rule against actions and not
people. As such, it does not discriminate against homosexuals at all. I feel that this is what
Holder and the Obama administration miss when they describe DOMA as
discriminatory. Rather, DOMA takes a rigorously defined understanding of
marriage and restricts the federal government from challenging this definition.

One thought on “Why the Obama Administration is wrong about DOMA

  1. Another related proposed bill before Congress is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees.

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