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.

On Prime Minister Berlusconi

As many of you know, Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been indicted n charges of paying an under-age woman for sex and using his position to hide
it. Lately, the whole ordeal has begun to sound eerily similar to the Tiger
Woods scandal that rocked his personal life and career in late 2009 and early 2010.

It has become all too common for
high-profile figures to pursue extramarital sexual relationships, almost to the
point where it’s easy to get callous – almost nothing is really surprising
anymore. However, Prime Minister Berlusconi’s story is in fact a tragic one. As
seems to be a fairly common happening, Karima El Marhough, the woman Berlusconi
is alleged to have slept with told him that she was 24 when she was in fact 17.
Despite this, it is very difficult to vindicate Berlusconi at all. His career,
especially recently has been blighted by allegations that he has engaged in
inappropriate relations with women in the past, including one 18 year old
daughter of his friend.          

In April, Prime Minister Berlusconi
will go to trial and the issues currently discussed will be formally brought to
a head. But I would like to comment briefly on the actions that have put Prime
Minister Berlusconi in this situation in the first place. I’ll admit that the
Prime Minister looks very guilty, or at the least, not completely innocent. But
giving him the benefit of the doubt, it is evident that the Prime Minister
jettisoned prudence in his relationship with El Marhough. In the light of
previous sex scandals
, one would expect that Berlusconi approach every
subsequent relationship with an orientation towards chastity and sexual
integrity. Obviously he has failed to do so, and ultimately, even if by some
strange set of events is innocent, he has truly brought this tragedy upon