Gay rights: Obama's broken promise
The economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the continued spread of swine flu seem to be more than enough problems to keep Obama's administration busy. Still, this does not mean that other issues can be pushed aside for the time being.
In his presidential campaign Obama promised to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) which denies federal benefits to same-sex marriage couples and protects the rights of states to not recognize same-sex marriage. However, so far the Obama administration has not only not done anything to achieve such a repeal but has officially defended the law when challenged in court. From a legal standing this defence of the DOMA is understandable as the Department of Justice is required to defend existing legislation. Yet, the manner in which this has been done has not only upset gay rights activists.
"The brief insists it is reasonable for states to favor heterosexual marriages because they are the “traditional and universally recognized form of marriage.” In arguing that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages under the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece."
This comparison of same-sex marriage with incest has led to an outcry amongst many supporters of same-sex marriage. Many are starting to question Obama's commitment to what he promised during his presidential campaign.
"Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, said, “I cannot overstate the pain that we feel as human beings and as families when we read an argument, presented in federal court, implying that our own marriages have no more constitutional standing than incestuous ones.”
Even if the administration has to defend the DOMA until a possible revision there is clearly no need to do it in such a hurtful way, also since it undermines the credibility of the Obama administration in general.