Defense of Marriage Act

Rick Perry's Confusing Stance On Marriage Equality And States' Rights

Earlier this summer presidential candidate Michele Bachmann raised eyebrows with her incoherent argument that she supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban same-sex marriage nationwide, while agreeing that states have a right to have their own laws on marriage under the 10th Amendment. Now, Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to be taking a similarly confusing and contradictory view on states’ rights.

When asked about New York’s new marriage equality law, Perry said it was “fine” with him because of the 10th Amendment’s protections for different state marriage laws. He was quickly praised by the gay conservative group GOProud but faced immediate criticism from social conservative activists and presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Now, it appears that Perry is taking the Bachmann position by supporting both the sweeping and discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment and states’ rights to have different marriage laws under the 10th Amendment. The Austin American Statesmen reports that Perry’s spokesman is now “confirming Perry's support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman”:

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the conservative Liberty Institute, said he heard from concerned conservatives around the country who wanted to know what to make of Perry's remark.

"He probably could have used a much better term," Shackelford said. Shackelford, whose Plano-based group pushes for limited government and promotes Judeo-Christian values, said he has been telling callers that Perry has long favored an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.



Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, said the governor's social conservatism remains steadfast.

Miner said people who know Perry understand that two things he feels strongly about are states' rights and the institution of traditional marriage.

"Nothing has changed with the governor's philosophy here," he said. Besides confirming Perry's support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, Miner pointed to the governor's state record. Perry supported the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and a state constitutional amendment defining traditional marriage, Miner noted.

AFA: Marriage Equality Means "You Abandon God"

The American Family Association’s research director and American Family Radio radio talk show host Ed Vitagliano criticized Democratic congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality, saying that “you can only discard the traditional institution of marriage if you abandon God and abandon our Judeo Christian heritage in this country.”

According to Vitagliano, Lewis was wrong to cite the civil rights movement to defend his support for equal rights for gays and lesbians: “If you want to cite God for eliminating slavery and Jim Crow laws, you cannot then thumb your nose at the same God who obviously created men and women and created us to maintain the race through having children, and thus being married. So with all due respect, Congressman Lewis has read the gay playbook and has bought the arguments, without thinking them through, or perhaps he just needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Later in the program, Buster Wilson, the managing director of AFR, said that gay and lesbian couples who faced discrimination as a result of the Defense of Marriage Act only had themselves to blame, arguing: “that of course is tragic for anyone to go through, but as I read all that and heard about all this and how terrible DOMA is because it has violated all these rights and caused all this trouble, I just kept thinking, you know there is consequence for wrong living.” He went on to say that “homosexual lifestyles and homosexual marriage relationships are not right, and so there are consequences for living in a way that society has said for over 5,000 years is the wrong way to live.”

Congressman Tim Huelskamp: 85% Of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that the public is behind the GOP’s effort to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because “85 percent of Americans” oppose marriage equality. Discussing a Senate bill that would repeal DOMA, Huelskamp said: “Eight-five [sic] percent of Americans say, ‘We support traditional marriage,’ and the Senate does the opposite.” Polls show that the majority of Americans support equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians and believe that DOMA should be repealed. Huelskamp did not cite which survey he was referring to. The congressman also claimed that the Obama administration was promoting a “really radical agenda,” pointing to a proposal that would have allowed Navy chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in states with marriage equality.:

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved two amendments to the Defense Appropriations Bill that affirm congressional support for traditional marriage and religious liberty. Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) offered one measure Thursday night that would prohibit the reemergence of a recently rescinded Navy directive that would allow Navy chaplains to perform same-sex "wedding" ceremonies. "We need to protect the rights of our pastors from this really radical agenda that's coming out of this White House," he contends.

The Navy chief of chaplains announced earlier this year that military chaplains who desire to perform weddings for same-sex couples would be allowed to do so following the repeal of the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." The directive says chaplains could perform such ceremonies in states where homosexual "marriage" is legal.

Huelskamp believes President Obama continues to stand in the way of traditional marriage initiatives.

"Democrat leadership has decided to take on the Defense of Marriage Act again," he notes. "Seventy-five to 80 percent of Americans say, 'Hey, balance your budget.' The Democrats will not do that. Eight-five percent of Americans say, 'We support traditional marriage,' and the Senate does the opposite as well," the Kansas congressman laments. "So that's the latest there. The president continues to...refuse to defend DOMA, [as does] the attorney general.... We've been fighting them on that, and Congress is standing up for traditional marriage."

Perkins: "We're Not in Peoples Bedrooms," Gays "Have Thrust Their Bedrooms into the Public Square"

On Washington Watch today, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins criticized Democratic efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which discriminates against gay and lesbian couples, and accused gays and lesbians of “thrust[ing] their bedrooms into the public square.” Perkins went on to say that opponents of gay rights should be proud that they “have compassion and love for those who are bound up in that destructive lifestyle of homosexuality”:

Look, we’re not in people’s bedrooms. What they have done is they have thrust their bedrooms into the public square and are forcing a redefinition of marriage, and forcing Americans to condone their behavior. But even the Democrats see this, that there is no support across America to redefine marriage. Folks, I just want to encourage you to continue to stand up for traditional morality, for natural marriage. Yes, we have compassion and love for those who are bound up in that destructive lifestyle of homosexuality. But we do not have to shrink back in silence and allow them to redefine marriage and to reshape our culture.

Who's Who in Today's DOMA Hearing

Cross-posted on PFAW blog

Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights:

CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena:

• Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, demanding the discriminatory policy’s reinstatement.

• The group claims anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth in schools amount to “homosexual indoctrination” and “promote homosexuality in kids.”

• The group insists that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over its refusal to defend the unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is backed by the far-right Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch- backed Castle Rock Foundation, all well-known right-wing funders.

• George Weigel of EPPC wrote in June that “legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause.”

• Ed Whelan spearheaded the unsuccessful and widely panned effort to throw out Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision finding California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Walker was in a committed same-sex relationship at the time of the decision.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dedicated to pushing a far-right legal agenda:

• The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."

• The ADF claims 38 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections in the name of “free speech” and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which allowed the Boy Scouts to fire a Scout Leader because he was gay.


FRC: Pray For Bachmann's Ex-Gay Clinic

The Family Research Council has been adamantly defending the clinic founded by Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband since an undercover investigation revealed that the clinic was practicing discredited ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy. The Religious Right group, which recently urged people to pray for countries that criminalize homosexuality, wants members to pray for anti-gay laws and clinics that offer “help for homosexuals to break free from addiction to homosexuality.” The FRC writes in its latest prayer alert:

Christian Counseling under Assault – This week a homosexual activist group reported findings from their undercover “sting” operation at Minnesota Christian counseling clinic owned by Republican Presidential candidate Michelle Bachman and her husband, Marcus. Sympathetic national media seemed shocked that the Christian counseling center offered help for homosexuals to break free from addiction to homosexuality through faith in Jesus Christ. Where will the homosexual assault on religious liberty stop?

May God open the eyes of all Americans to the truth regarding natural marriage and sexuality vs. homosexuality as well as homosexual rights vs. religious liberty. May officials at every level stand up for natural marriage and sexuality. May the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and state marriage amendments be upheld in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. May our military men be protected from the introduction of homosexuality into their ranks. May we all stand up for our First Amendment freedoms! (Ps 82: all; Is 42:6-7; Mt 19:4; Rom 1:24-28; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 2 Tim 2:24-25)

Randall Terry Kicks Off Presidential Campaign With Iowa Ads

Last year, Randall Terry hit upon the idea of running for president in order to exploit a loophole that would allow him to air graphic anti-abortion ads on television.

Today, he announced that his first campaign ad would begin airing in Iowa, though it is mostly just a standard political ad:

Barack Hussein Obama is the worst President in our history.

He's at war with our founding principles of life and liberty.

His bailout of Wall Street, and socialist agenda have enslaved our children to debt…to China.

His addiction to Arab oil funds Islamic terrorists, while he leaves billions of barrels untouched in ANWR.

He chose a government shutdown, paid our soldiers late, rather than defund Planned Parenthood.

He cast aside the Defense of Marriage Act.

And is guilty of the slaughter of unborn babies - defying the Commandments of God.

Who will stop this madman? The establishment? John Boehner? Mitt Romney?

I'm asking for your vote in the Iowa Caucus against Obama. I can defeat him here...if YOU put principle ahead of party; life and liberty, ahead of comfort...and slavery.

I'm Randall Terry, and I approve this message.

But, true to his main goal, his campaign website does contain several "prototype" ads featuring graphic images that likely intends to run in the future.
 

Hartzler: Gay Marriage Is Like Incest, Letting Three-Year Old Children Drive

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) built her political career on opposing gay rights: she spearheaded the Missouri campaign to enshrine discrimination in the state constitution and since her election to Congress last November has fought to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Yesterday, Hartzler addressed Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit in Washington on why young people should oppose marriage equality.

Joined by Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly, Hartzler compared gay marriage to polygamy and incest, and later argued that we shouldn’t give equal marriage rights to gay couples just as “it’s not a right of a three-year old to drive a car.”

Watch:

Opposition to marriage equality was a major theme at the conference, due in part to fears that young people disproportionately favor legalizing gay marriage. Participants even received a pamphlet “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage” from Jennifer Roback Morse of The Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage. The pamphlet harshly criticized gay families as “unjust and cruel to the child” and argues that “we will not be able to maintain a free society” if gay marriage is legalized.

FRC: Help Us Stop "The Forced Indoctrination Of Our Children By Homosexual Activists In Classrooms"

Tony Perkins is calling upon activists to donate to the Family Research Council’s political arm, FRC Action, in order to help stop “anti-family forces.” Perkins describes FRC’s work in trying to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and stop marriage equality and the “forced indoctrination” of students. He also brags about the organization’s influence within the House GOP and warns of looming “death panels” as a result of the health care reform law. Later this year, FRC Action will host the 2011 Values Voter Summit, with GOP leaders like Rick Santorum, Eric Cantor, Ken Cuccinelli and Steve King, along with activists Mat Staver, William Boykin, Bill Bennett, Brent Bozell and Gary Bauer, already scheduled to speak.

Perkins writes to members:

Just days ago after Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) successfully forced the Navy to do an about face on same-sex marriage on naval installations, he credited the FRC Action team for bringing attention to this unlawful directive.

This is just one example of the crucial work our team does day in and day out on Capitol Hill and in the media around the country.

So I hope friends like you respond to our need for funds. Pro-family members of Congress are depending on FRC Action like never before. We cannot do "less than enough" to support them. Here's why . . . Doing "less than enough" can mean America gets ObamaCare and "death panels" rather than compassionate health care from conception to natural death.

"Less than enough" can mean we get homosexual "marriage" and the forced indoctrination of our children by homosexual activists in classrooms.

"Less than enough" can mean we get an out-of-control Washington elite who keeps spending our children's money on bigger government and saddling them with a mountain of debt.

I know you're a pro-family champion who simply isn't willing to settle for "less than enough."

Colson: Gay Equality Will Destroy Democracy

Chuck Colson is warning Americans that gay-rights supporters are on their way to destroying democracy. With their “un-democratic schemes” and “a scorched-earth policy,” Colson claims that the gay-rights movement is not only the most serious menace to religious liberty but is also the gravest threat to “the democratic process and the rule of law.” Colson points to the decisions by the Department of Justice and the law firm King & Spalding not to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to put the deportation of gay foreigners married to Americans on hold, and a Navy memo (which was withdrawn) to allow same-sex marriages on bases. Colson writes:

Gay-rights groups have begun a scorched-earth policy against anybody who opposes their agenda. And the ultimate victim may be democracy itself.

For two years now, I’ve warned that the drive for so-called “gay marriage” was the greatest threat to religious liberty we’ve ever faced. But I think I may have underestimated the threat, because now I fear the democratic process and the rule of law are endangered as well.



But hostile criticism and boycotts are one thing. Ignoring federal law is another. Case in point: The Obama administration stopped the deportation order for a gay immigrant because the Justice Department feels that the man could be considered a spouse of another man under U.S. immigration laws. This, of course, is nonsense, because under DOMA, the federal government can’t recognize same-sex marriages. But evidently, the law, the will of Congress, and the will of the people don’t matter anymore in the Obama White House -- if the issue at hand is so-called gay “marriage.”

And now the head of Navy chaplains has issued a memo that would permit Navy chaplains to perform gay “marriage” ceremonies in states that permit so-called same-sex “marriage.”

The problem with that, of course, as Tom McClusky at the Family Research Council pointed out, is that Navy chaplains are federal employees, and Navy chapels are federal facilities. Performing same-sex marriage ceremonies would violate DOMA.

But, as McClusky said, “When you have a president who doesn’t believe the Defense of Marriage Act is a law he needs to follow, it’s no surprise that the military would follow his lead.”

No surprise, but horribly dangerous. So-called gay “marriage” was rejected in all 31 states where the people got to vote! So the gay-rights groups, so far, are carrying the day by doing an end-run around the people, taking their case to the courts, coercing corporations, and now law firms, and finding a willing accomplice to their un-democratic schemes in the White House.

I can’t say this forcefully or clearly enough: Wake up, America! When the executive branch of government rules by fiat and chooses not to enforce the law of the land, the democratic process and the consent of the governed are no longer possible.

Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian

David Barton has been in the spotlight lately.  In recent weeks, he was featured in a New York Times profile, interviewed on "The Daily Show," and was even the focus on a long report we released chronicling his career of peddling right-wing pseudohistory for political gain.

The upside of Barton's recent high profile is that bona fide historians who, unlike Barton, actually have training and credentials, are starting to stand up to Barton's flagrant and intentional misuse of history.

For instance, yesterday Paul Harvey, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches explaining that Barton is not in any sense a historian, but rather a propaganda artist who seeks to create the impression that there is some sort of "debate" over the issue of America's identity as a Christian nation that he can use to promote his right-wing political agenda:

Barton’s intent is not to produce “scholarship,” but to influence public policy. He simply is playing a different game than worrying about scholarly credibility, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His game is to inundate public policy makers (including local and state education boards as well as Congress) with ideas packaged as products that will move policy.

Historical scholarship moves slowly and carefully, usually shunning the public arena; Barton’s proof-texting, by contrast, supplies ready-made (if sometimes made-up) quotations ready for use in the latest public policy debate, whether they involve school prayer, abortion, the wonders of supply-side economics, the Defense of Marriage Act, or the capital gains tax. ...

In short, perhaps the best way to understand Barton is as a historical product of Christian providentialist thinking, one with significant historical roots and usually with a publicly convincing spokesman. He is the latest in a long line of ideologically persuasive spokesmen for preserving American’s Protestant character ... The Christian Nation “debate” is not really an intellectual contest between legitimate contending viewpoints. Instead, it is a manufactured “controversy” akin to the global warming “debate.” On the one side are purveyors of a rich and complex view of the past, including most historians who have written and debated fiercely about the founding era. On the “other side” is a group of ideological entrepreneurs who have created an alternate intellectual universe based on a historical fundamentalism. In their drive to create a usable past, they show little respect for the past as a foreign country.

That point was echoed by Randall Stephens, an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College, who has no time for Barton's "kindergarten" understanding of history or his "hyper-politicized work":

Barton does not recognized the idea that the past is like a foreign country. Instead Barton tends to flatten out time and space and make it almost seem as if the Founders are our contemporaries, motivated by the same concerns that motivate us now. Yet people in the past--whether we're talking about leaders of Bronze Age tribes or bewigged 18th century nabobs who tinkered on their mansions, read Montaigne in their spare time, or enjoyed arm-chair speculation about nature and providence--are not the same as us. This seems like a kindergarten point, but it's apparently lost on David Barton.

...

Nearly any trained historian worth his or her salt who takes a close look at Barton and his hyper-politicized work will see glaring gaps in what he writes and talks about. He dresses his founders in 21st-century garb. He's not interested in knowing much about the history of colonial America or the US in the early republic. Why? Because he's using history to craft a very specific, anti-statist, Christian nationalist, evangelical-victimization argument in the present. (Remember the many unconfirmed quotations Barton used in the 1990s? He did so because, first and foremost, he was trying to make a political point.)

In history circles this is what we call "bad history."

Finally, John Fea, author of "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction," and Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College, has been writing an ongoing series debunking Barton's appearance on "The Daily Show," along with a piece warning Christians not to fall for his propaganda:

Wallbuilders is a political organization that selectively uses history to promote a religious and ideological agenda. Barton believes that America's last, best hope is a return to its so-called Christian roots. In his most famous book, Original Intent, Barton argues that the removal of Christianity from the public square has resulted in a rise in birth rates for unwed girls, a spike in violent crime, more sexually transmitted diseases, lower SAT scores, and an increase in single parent households. And he has convinced thousands and thousands of Christians that he is right.

Barton claims to be a historian. He is not. He has just enough historical knowledge, and just enough charisma, to be very dangerous. During his appearance on The Daily Show, Barton impressed the faithful with his grasp of American history and his belief that Christians are being subtly persecuted in this country. But if you watch the show carefully, you will notice that Barton is a master at dodging controversial questions. He refuses to admit that sometimes history does not conform to our present-day political agendas.

...

Here is the bottom line: Christians should think twice before they rely on David Barton for their understanding of the American founding. Let's not confuse history with propaganda.

As Fea says, "the more popular Barton becomes, the more his views will be debunked by what I am imagining will be an ever-growing chorus of critics" ... but that task sure would be made easier if  Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee would stop actively embracing and promoting Barton's pseudohistorical propaganda.

The Right's Freedom of Speech vs The Left's Campaign of Intimidation

As Brian noted yesterday, the Religious Right was unified in its support of Paul Clement for resigning from his position at King & Spalding after the law firm backed out of defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

To hear the Religious Right tell it, this decision by King & Spalding was the result of a campaign of intimidation by gay rights groups - in fact, that is pretty much what the Family Research Council said:

Looking for attorneys that won't buckle under pressure? Don't bother contacting King & Spalding. In a stunning announcement, the Atlanta-based firm just dropped the most high-profile client on its books: the U.S. House of Representatives. Barely a week ago, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hired King & Spalding to go to bat for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when the Obama administration refused. Within hours, the homosexual community was up in arms. Led by the so-called Human Rights Campaign, activists promised to target the firm until its attorneys dropped the case. Five days later, they did. Unable -- and unwilling -- to take the heat, King and Spalding took the cowardly way out.

...

Once again we see how the activists who are trying to redefine marriage want to shut down any and all public debate. King & Spalding have proven that they are not advocates for the law -- but for a small but influential cabal that want to undermine policy and society.

Amazing, isn't it, how when gay rights groups dare to speak up, the FRC sees it as a campaign of intimidation ... but when Religious Right groups do it, FRC hails them for simply exercising their rights:

The Big Mac attack on family values is finally over! After a five-month boycott, Americans finally got what they ordered-McDonald's agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda. Back in May, the fast food giant joined the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to the dismay of millions of customers who did not feel served. At the time, company Vice President Richard Ellis refused to back down, even calling conservatives "haters" in a public statement. The American Family Association launched a national campaign to force McDonald's to eat its words. And eat them, they did! This week, McDonald's announced that Ellis had resigned from the GLCC. In an email to franchises, the company said, "It is our policy not to be involved in political and social issues. McDonald's remains neutral on same-sex marriage [and the] 'homosexual agenda...'" We thank McDonald's -- and those of you who used your buying power to encourage values on the menu and in company policy.

Just last year, Tony Perkins was part of a group called Citizens Against Religious Bigotry that was formed solely protest a proposed Comedy Central program about Jesus Christ called "JC." The group preemptively targeted potential advertisers and warned them that if they did not promise never to advertise on the show, they'd be labeled as anti-Christian bigots ... and the group quickly declared victory:

Members of the coalition wrote to more than 300 potential advertisers for this show. The letters explained the nature of the program and stated how offensive the "JC" project would be, not only to the 83 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christians, but also to many non-Christians including those who signed the petition. Coalition members then followed up with phone calls to the advertisers, speaking directly with representatives from most of the corporations that received the original letter.

Not one single sponsor indicated their intention to buy advertising time on the "JC" program if the program ever made it to Comedy Central's air.

"With literally zero advertiser support for this program, the only reason Comedy Central would put it on their broadcast schedule is in an effort to offend Christianity and Christians. There is no valid business reason for airing 'JC.'

"In light of this demonstration of overwhelming success, the Coalition's advertiser outreach will stand down. In the event that any advertiser changes its mind, that advertiser and its executives will be publicly called to account for supporting anti-Christian bigotry."

This group have the support of dozens of Religious Right organizations ... the very same organizations who are now complaining about a campaign of "intimidation" against King and Spalding.

Religious Right Reacts To Law Firm’s Decision To Withdraw From DOMA Defense

Today, the law firm King & Spalding decided against defending the Defense Of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, leading Paul Clement, the partner who was going to take charge of DOMA’s defense, to resign . Groups and leaders opposed to marriage equality are unsurprisingly irate at King & Spalding, and have found a new hero in Clement:

Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage:

Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by Paul Clement, King & Spalding, through their Chairman Robert Hays, has demonstrated a shocking lack of professional ethics and shown cowardice under fire. This law firm has shown itself to be without principle,” Brown said. “Representing clients who may be unpopular in some quarters is what lawyers do. The actions of King & Spalding would suggest that they believe an accused murderer is entitled to a vigorous defense, but the thousands-year old understanding of marriage is not, even though our marriage law was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan majorities and signed into law by President Clinton.”

NOM pledged an investigation into the actions of King & Spalding and urged its supporters to contact Hays to express their outrage over the firm’s decision. “We will convene a panel of legal experts and ethicists to determine if any rules of professional conduct have been violated, or if the firm has acted illegally in reaching their decision. We already know they have violated the moral imperative of acting in good faith and fair dealing. If our review concludes that the firm has violated any statutes or rules of professional conduct, we will initiate the appropriate disciplinary complaints,” Brown said.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council:

"We commend Paul Clement for standing firm in the face of homosexual activists who seek to censor any opposition - even in the courtroom - to their campaign to overturn the marriage laws of 45 states.

"It is a shocking revelation that King & Spalding would rather lose their most brilliant and talented Supreme Court lawyer than confront a smear campaign by homosexual activists.



"The truth is not afraid of a good debate. What are homosexual activists afraid of? If they are right, then they should welcome a robust legal argument. We are convinced that the truth will win out in the end and DOMA will be upheld as constitutional. A person who doesn't want his opponent to have a good lawyer is an opponent who knows that the law isn't on his side.

"We call on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to denounce these unacceptable smear and silence tactics. The American people and our system of justice deserve better."

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel:

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, says Clement is demonstrating legel "class and integrity" -- and that the decision by King & Spaulding was an incorrect move. "Where we see this clash coming between homosexuality and religious rights or other rights or just simply common sense and civility, I think we're seeing it played out right there in the King & Spalding law firm," he tells OneNewsNow.

Staver says because of certain political complaints from branches within the law firm, King & Spaulding decided to drop the case. "That, I think, illustrates the clash of the homosexual agenda, and the frank intolerance that we see manifested in some of the individuals pushing that agenda."

Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice:

Paul Clement is an honorable advocate. He understands that when an attorney engages a client, and agrees to defend a position in court, that is what he must do. We applaud his efforts to move forward in defending DOMA - now with another law firm.

We know that Paul will provide a sound and thorough defense to DOMA, which we expect to be upheld by the courts. We will file an amicus brief defending DOMA as the case unfolds.

We applaud Paul's commitment to the legal profession, his integrity, and his desire and dedication to carry out his professional responsibilities in this case.

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton: DOMA Loss Will Lead To "The Indoctrination Of Kids"

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins joined David Barton and his co-host Rick Green on WallBuilders Live to discuss the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). After the Justice Department decided to stop defending the discriminatory law, finding it unconstitutional, opponents of marriage equality immediately went on the attack. Perkins said that Barton’s Christian nationalist view of history proves that more fundamentalist Christians need to become involved in politics because “we were the voice in the process as this nation was founded,” and if the courts find DOMA unconstitutional then “religious freedom will be lost.” Barton, who previously maintained that “homosexual indoctrination” is already taking place in schools, later added that a defeat for DOMA in the courts will lead to “the indoctrination of kids.”

Perkins: We’re not new to this game, this is not something we just discovered, that all the sudden we have a voice in the process. We were the voice in this process as this nation was founded. And if we don’t once again exercise that voice, I think, I know David has said it and I know you have as well and I see it, if we don’t exercise that voice now as Christians we’re gonna lose it in the very near future.

This is a prime example, because if DOMA falls, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, that’s the only thing protecting these twenty-nine states that have marriage amendments, thirty-one states have voted on it, twenty-nine have amendments, and if this falls those amendments are in jeopardy. And we have already seen that when this agenda goes forward and same-sex marriage gets taught in our schools, our children would be taught that homosexual marriage is the same as traditional heterosexual marriage and homosexuality being on par with heterosexuality, and religious freedom will be lost.



Barton: Tony’s right on what’s at stake here. If DOMA goes down, this thing affects not just marriage, but it also affects preachers in the pulpit, it affects education, it affects schools, it affects our children, it affects religious freedom. This is a big deal in what it impacts, it’s not just ‘oh that’s alright I’m gonna stay married’ no this is gonna change the whole culture and the indoctrination of kids and everything else, so it really is a big deal.

Religious Right Favorite Trent Franks Poised To Run For Senate

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is preparing a campaign for US Senate following the retirement of Jon Kyl. According to Politico, Franks intends to “campaign to the right” of already-announced Republican Congressman Jeff Flake in the primary. Running to the right of Flake or almost any other Republican shouldn’t be difficult for Franks, who was tied for first as the most conservative member of the House.

Franks is a frequent critic of President Obama, even going so far as to call him an “enemy of humanity” at a right-wing conference, and later claimed unconvincingly that he simply meant he was an “enemy of unborn humanity.” He even wanted to impeach Obama over his decision not to defend unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and warned that Obama has an “ideological commitment” to “weaken America.” Most recently, Franks joined Rick Santorum to claim that Obama and his allies were deliberately trying to destroy America. Such rancid statements shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Franks has floated Birther conspiracy theories and said Obama consistently “acts un-American.”

Expect the Religious Right to rally behind Franks against the more libertarian Flake. Franks is a noted proponent of the charge that abortion providers are leading a genocide against African Americans, and said that African Americans were better off under slavery than in America with reproductive freedom. He even introduced legislation barring “race-based” abortion along with leading anti-choice figures, believing his bill will “blow a fatal hole in Roe v. Wade,” and also screened the discredited documentary Maafa 21, which argues that Planned Parenthood wants to exterminate African Americans, in Congress. Moreover, Franks participated in Lou Engle’s militantly anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, and worked with Dominionist groups.

The possibility of a Franks candidacy has already forced Flake to abandon his previously pro-reform position on immigration to compete with Franks, who is an anti-immigrant hardliner. Politico reports that Franks is poised to announce following a fundraiser with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Michele Bachmann:

Currently in his fifth term, Franks has solidified himself as the most conservative member of Arizona's delegation and indicated in early March he felt like he had a "responsibility to give the people a chance to choose between my perspective and Mr. Flake's."

Franks' Senate announcement will come after a $250 morning fundraiser hosted by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arizona insiders warn that Flake's flip on immigration gives Franks's candidacy immediate room to grow in a state still consumed by border violence and crime by undocumented workers. The key question is whether Flake will be able to replicate Sen. John McCain's conversion on the white hot issue.

"If it's a two-person fight, I believe Trent wins. Flake's flip on immigration kills him. He cannot effectively do a McCain and rebrand himself. McCain spent millions against a weaker opponent to rebrand himself. Flake will not have that luxury," according to one GOP operative currently unaffiliated with either campaign.

Hartzler: Force Openly Gay Soldiers To Live In Separate Quarters

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) began her career as an anti-gay firebrand and spokesperson for the successful campaign to pass a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in Missouri. After she was elected to the House in 2010, she became a favorite of conservative groups for her virulent attacks on the Obama Administration over its stance on the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, Hartzler told constituents that she supports the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but if the policy’s repeal is successfully implemented, the military should house openly gay soldiers in separate barracks just as quarters are divided for men and women. The Daily Star-Journal reports:

At the ABC Building on Wednesday, Hartzler met with active, reserve and retired military members and spouses. A military retiree, Tom Fitzpatrick, Warrensburg, asked Hartzler about the new military policy on gays.

"Is there a growing sentiment to reinstate don't ask, don't tell?" Fitzpatrick asked.

After a 10-month Pentagon study found more than two-thirds of service members do not object to serving alongside openly gay soldiers, President Obama signed a defense bill that included ending the practice of expelling gay service members.

Hartzler - whose 4th Congressional District includes Whiteman Air Force Base and the Army's Fort Leonard Wood - told Fitzpatrick she and other Republicans oppose the change.

"I can tell you people on the committee, who are my side of the aisle, think it's very ill-advised and do not support that," Hartzler said, and are "pushing back."

Hartzler said that during a hearing with military brass she asked why, because separate housing exists for male and female troops, gays are not housed separately, too. She said a general, she did not know which, responded first with a gurgling-type noise before answering, ""We're recruiting professionals."'

Hartzler's description led some in the crowd to laugh.

"So we have some work to do there," she said. "We're going to keep advancing the cause."

CWA: Gay “Bullies” Too Powerful In Government

Only in the worldview of the Religious Right do marginalized Americans like gays and lesbians have excessive clout in government while conservatives have little to none. Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, one of the most influential right-wing lobbyist organizations, describes LGBT-rights organizations as “bullies” whose crime is raising too much money. She told the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow that opponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are “claiming rights that don’t exist” and are trying to “intimidate” public officials. In addition, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel ranted against the “radical leftists” allied with “extremist, homosexual pressure groups.” Wright and Barber were responding to legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-NY) that would repeal the dubiously-constitutional DOMA:

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America tells OneNewsNow: "The congressmen who introduced this bill are claiming rights that don't exist. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage,' and they seek to confuse people by using language like that. Every time that marriage has come up for a vote in a state, that state has protected marriages between one man and one woman."

Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, refers to the bill as the "Disrespecting Marriage Act." He says the good news is that it is really an exercise in futility -- and he believes Democrats know that.

"We have a faction of radical leftists in the House and in the Senate who are willing to side and align themselves with extremist, homosexual pressure groups in order to try to take a sledgehammer to the institution of marriage, which is fundamental to any healthy society," says Barber.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the move by Democrats, calling it "landmark legislation." Wright says homosexual lobbying groups often act like victims, but it is quite the contrary.

"So when you look at how they operate, they are in fact the bullies," says the CWA spokeswoman. "They're the ones who have massive amounts of money. When you look at the budgets of these groups, it's rather shocking the multimillions of dollars they have -- they bring in every year -- and with that, they're able to hire full-time lobbyists who then intimidate not only politicians but corporations."

Colson Slams Lady Gaga for ‘Born This Way’

Following Focus on the Family’s staunch criticism of Lady Gaga over her new song ‘Born This Way,’ Chuck Colson is now attacking Gaga for claiming that sexual orientation is not a choice. The Religious Right leader also goes after Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently announced that the Justice Department will no longer defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and said that a person’s sexual orientation should be considered comparable to sex, religion, race, and national origin. Colson quotes conservative writer and Gaga-critic Frank Furedi in arguing that since Gaga transformed herself from into a pop-sensation, gays and lesbians can similarly transform themselves into heterosexuals:

Do people choose to be gay, or are they born that way? Here’s a tip: Don’t turn to Lady Gaga for an answer.

According to Vogue magazine, Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” is more than “an unbelievably great dance song”; it is “destined to be the anthem of every gay-pride event for the next 100 years.” It only took the well-known pop star 10 minutes to write the song and its explanation of same-sex attraction. At least that’s what Lady Gaga told Vogue.

That being the case, we shouldn’t expect too much nuance and thoughtfulness from someone best known for wearing meat as a dress and making an obscene gesture at a Mets game. Still, Lady Gaga has unintentionally raised some important questions which go far beyond sexual orientation.



As regular BreakPoint listeners know, the link between same-sex attraction and genetics is far from established. But what’s baffling is the way the singer -- and the culture she represents -- holds two conflicting viewpoints at the same time. After all, performers like Lady Gaga are the masters of reinvention. They are constantly shedding identities and personas, whether for financial gain or as a matter of self-expression. So to then insist at the same time that reinvention and redefinition is impossible and that identity is fixed is literally incoherent.

Furedi sees this incoherence as in keeping with the way that “identity politics” has “fluctuated between the individualistic celebration of choice and [the] . . . quest for legitimacy.” As a libertarian, Furedi worries that we are on our way to seeing ourselves as “slaves to our biology” instead of as beings capable of “making our own world” and “choosing who we want to be.” And he’s right to object! This idea is spreading. After all, Attorney General Holder, explaining why the Administration will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, said that sex orientation is an “immutable characteristic.”

But for the Christian, thinking in terms of dichotomies such as “nature versus nurture” and “genetics versus free will” is the real problem. For us, it’s not either-or. Who we are cannot be reduced to any one thing. For instance, Christianity teaches that biology and the rest of creation has a great deal to teach us about how we should live. This is part of what we mean by “natural law.” An obvious example is the biological facts that lie behind the teaching that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But saying that biology is somehow normative is not the same thing as saying that is determinative. We are free to choose how we behave, both for good and for ill.

Santorum: Obama Will "Eviscerate" Freedom By Supporting Gay Rights

Rick Santorum is set to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa tonight along with Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer. On Saturday he wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register where he repeated the same groundless right-wing arguments that marriage equality will lead to the end of religious freedom and that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. In Iowa, a state which has had equal marriage rights since 2009, religious liberty has yet to collapse, as many conservatives predicted. And while the Obama administration found DOMA to be an unconstitutional law that it would no longer defend in court, it will continue to enforce the law. Santorum claims that as a result of Obama’s “power grab,” the “free exercise of religion will be eviscerated,” and also argues that advocates of marriage equality use “hate-filled” rhetoric against their opponents:

In refusing to enforce DOMA, the president was saying a law that was overwhelmingly passed by both Democrats and Republicans, and signed by a Democratic president, was simply no longer valid, no longer constitutional. Usually such actions are the province of the Supreme Court. This was a power grab, and it was wrong at every level. It was also a surprise. President Obama defended the law in the courts for the first half of his term, and said to Rick Warren in 2008, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."

Let me first define what we are not talking about. I believe if two adults of the same sex want to have a relationship that is their business. But when they ask society to give that relationship special recognition and privileges, then we should be able to have a rational debate about whether that is good public policy.

We should also ensure the debate takes cognizance of its constitutional implications. And with the President's decision, the free exercise of religion will be eviscerated.


Iowa is on the front-line of this looming battle because its activist Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same sex couples. But for the first time in Iowa history all of the justices up for retention were soundly defeated in November.

Iowans are not alone in standing up for traditional marriage. From Maine to California, 31 times voters were given the opportunity to amend their state constitutions to affirm marriage as it has always been, one man and one woman, and 31 times it has passed.

What is the retort to those who stand for what has been the foundation of every society from the beginning of time? Do they make a reasoned case providing evidence about such things as the effects on children, traditional marriage, faith, school curriculum and public health?

No, sadly there is no reasoned, civil discourse. Civility is only trotted out as a tactic to put the opponent on the defensive, never to actually enlighten. Their game plan is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. Claim high-minded concepts like "equality" and "tolerance" then launch vile and hate-filled personal attacks intended to strike fear and silence the opposition.

Some have argued this is not the time to wage this fight; that we have to focus solely on the vitally important job of limiting government, reducing the debt and creating jobs and growth. I agree these issues are at the top of our national list, but a big nation can focus on more than one thing at one time, just as men like Jefferson and Madison fought for religious liberties when arguably more consequential issues were occupying the public mind. In the end, it simply will not profit a country to gain wealth and lose its soul.
Syndicate content

Defense of Marriage Act Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 02/08/2013, 1:15pm
Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition wants the federal government to end its “Save America’s Treasures Grants” to the National Cathedral because the church decided to perform same-sex marriages. While same-sex marriage is legal in Washington D.C., where the historic Episcopal church is located, the FFC claims that the cathedral is undermining the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and therefore should not receive federal money “until such time that it ceases the practice of homosexual ‘marriage’ certification.” “Taxpayers are being asked... MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 01/04/2013, 1:18pm
On the New Years Eve episode of Generations Radio, Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner offered up their review of 2012 and their predictions for 2013. As Brian wrote yesterday, they were not fans of 2012 – the year that President Obama won reelection, which “solidified our doom” and guaranteed the election of “a bunch of softy-wofty, weeny socialists for years to come.” Their predictions for 2013 are not any more cheery. Swanson forsees “the Muslims and the liberal Presbyterians getting together to form Chrislam,” which actually might not be a big deal... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/24/2012, 3:00pm
Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, who compares homosexuality to smoking and celebrates the fact that there isn’t a cure for AIDS, said today on WallBuilders Live! with co-host Rick Green that same-sex marriage is much like letting people marry horses or dogs. Discussing the Defense of Marriage Act, Barton warned that marriage equality proponents may try to “evangelize” their belief that “marriage shouldn’t be between a man and a woman” since “that’s unfair for two men who want to be together, or two women, or a horse and a dog, or... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/04/2012, 2:35pm
More and more activists on the far right have blamed the recent political and legal victories of gay rights advocates on what they perceive as reluctance among conservatives to attack gays and lesbians more directly and aggressively. In response to a recent court ruling that struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, MassResistance said that supporters of the law must do more to challenge DOMA opponents’ underlying claims that gays and lesbians are “simply a minority group whose rights are illegally being denied by the federal government.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/31/2012, 4:11pm
Today, yet another court ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, this time finding that Section 3 of the law, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where they are legal, fails the “rational basis test” as applied to laws that deny equal protection and harm a group long subject to discrimination. The unanimous ruling by the three judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, including two Republican nominees, found no “connection between DOMA’s treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/23/2012, 2:30pm
In advance of a court case on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and amid calls to repeal the discriminatory law, the Family Research Council today sent an appeal to members urging them to tell Congress that a repeal of DOMA would present a “grave threat” to the family and religious liberty. In an email to members, FRC president Tony Perkins lamented that the Obama administration has already “forced open homosexuality upon the military” and provided “taxpayer-funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples.” Few were shocked by the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/02/2012, 10:20am
Last week we reported that the Family Research Council asked members to pray against “homosexual tyranny” in America after the federal government agreed to have Blue Cross Blue Shield offer full benefits for a same-sex spouse of a federal employee after a judge ruled in favor of the employee in her lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act. Naturally, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera is demanding that Congress impeach President Obama as a result of his administration’s decision to grant her health benefits: "This is another shocking... MORE