Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DOMA One Step Closer to an Inevitable Demise

The Attorney General will no longer support the ridiculous and offensive to any normal human being Defense of Marriage Act. And not a moment too soon. It's mind-boggling that in the XXIst century a country like the US should cater to a small group of crazed religious fanatics by passing silly pieces of legislation such as DOMA. This is from the Attorney General's statement::
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA.   The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional.  Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.   Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional.   Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law.   But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
Finally, this Administration has stopped insulting all of us by supporting the Defense of Marriage Act whose only value lies in placating the crazy religious fanatics who can't stop policing other people's personal lives for lack of their own.


Rimi said...

An American legal scholar needed! How can the Executive continue to enforce a law if the Judiciary disavows it? Or is the Attorney General speaking in a personal capacity?

I'm confused because in our democratic structure, it is upto the Judiciary entirely to repeal parts of older laws or laws in their entirety. Recently the Delhi High Court added a section to the received British law against 'unnatural' sexual intercourse to categorically exclude all forms of non-heterosexual intercourse. Some members of the Catholic Church, Islamic clergy and neocon Hindus, who were also elected members of the parliament, were furious. But their opinion was superfluous legally, and ignored. Isn't that how the system works?

Pagan Topologist said...

It is the Attorney General's job to decide which issues to pursue, and which laws to enforce most vigorously, given limited resources. Technically, the president cannot overrule the AG on this, as I understand it, but can fire him or her if there is a major disagreement.

Tom Carter said...

It's always been clear to me that DOMA fell afoul of the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution, and the courts have agreed. Section three is also going down because it pretty clearly usurps state power.

I don't think it's just a few crazy religious fanatics who support DOMA -- there are more than a few out there, and they aren't all "fanatics." Maybe my problem is that I can't see it in a religious context, but I can't understand why people get so excited about gay marriage.

Clarissa said...

Might be the exact same reason why they get so excited about straight marriage. :-)