Justice Defends Marriage
Special Report - June 22, 2009
The United States Department of Justice has filed a brief defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against a lawsuit in federal court that demands federal benefits recognizing same-sex “marriage.” The DOJ’s 54-page motion asked for the suit to be dismissed. It went on to outline DOMA’s history and state that the question is not “whether a same-sex couple may marry within the United States,” but rather “whether the federal government and State governments that do not recognize gay marriage should be constitutionally required to extend to them the benefits and privileges that they extend to traditional marriage.” The brief concluded that “there is no constitutional right to State or federal financial benefits,” therefore, “Under the law binding on this Court, the answer to these questions must be no” and DOMA is a “valid exercise of Congress’ power.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that a Department of Justice statement by spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler included a commitment by the Obama administration to continue to defend DOMA as current statute against legal challenges “until Congress passes legislation repealing the law.”
On June 17, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum extending marital benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. However, according to the President’s statement “this Presidential Memorandum is just a start. Unfortunately, my Administration is not authorized by existing Federal law to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That's why I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It's discriminatory, it interferes with States' rights, and it's time we overturned it.”
DOMA protects states that do not allow same-sex “marriage” from having to recognize those marriages from the six states currently allowing same-sex “marriage.” Currently, 30 states have constitutional protection of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. North Carolina is the only state in the South without a Marriage Protection Amendment in its Constitution.
“The Obama administration’s much-repeated commitment to over-turn the federal Defense of Marriage Act stresses the time-sensitive necessity for North Carolina’s legislators to act on the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment and allow the people of North Carolina to vote on this amendment,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “If Congress repeals DOMA, then without a State Constitutional amendment, North Carolina will have same-sex ‘marriage’ foisted upon her citizens, and families all over the state will have to live with the consequences.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.