Defense of Marriage Act

Hartzler Introduces Gratuitous Bill to Require Obama to Enforce DOMA

Just days after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) announced plans to cut funding to the Department of Justice because it will no longer defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has introduced legislation requiring the Obama administration to enforce DOMA. Hartzler accuses President Obama of “selectively enforcing our laws” and “breaking his word to the American people,” which could lead to “chaos.”

Of course, Hartzler’s argument is totally baseless: the Defense of Marriage Act will continue to be enforced, even though the Department of Justice decided that it will no longer defend the law in court. As Reuters reported, “In a filing on Monday, DOJ attorneys reiterated that Obama told executive agencies to enforce the law until Congress repealed it -- even though the administration would no longer defend its constitutionality in court.”

But that hasn’t stopped Hartzler, whose political career is based on her vehement opposition to gay rights, from offering her specious legislation:

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is the lead sponsor of legislation calling on President Obama and his Department of Justice to respect the law and enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“President Obama’s decision to order his Justice Department to stop defending DOMA is not a surprise but it is disappointing,” Hartzler said. “Once we start going down the road of selectively enforcing our laws we are headed for chaos. President Obama took an oath to uphold the laws of the United States and he is breaking his word to the American people.”

“The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was enacted through large majority votes in both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton,” added Hartzler. “President Obama is subverting the will of the representatives of the people. The good citizens of the 4th Congressional District are expected to follow the law and President Obama should not put himself above the law."

In 2004, Hartzler served as state spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, which supported Missouri’s defense of marriage amendment. That amendment passed with the support of 71 percent of the state’s voters.

CWA: Obama the "Despot" is Discriminating Against Americans by Not Defending DOMA

When the Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will end its defense of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Religious Right groups were naturally apoplectic. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council likened President Obama to a Middle East dictator, the Traditional Values Coalition blasted the “unprecedented power grab,” and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said Obama “betrayed the American people.” However, the government will continue to enforce DOMA and the move by the Department of Justice was not without precedent, as the Bush and Clinton administrations both refused to defend laws that they found to be unconstitutional. Even David Barton agrees that the Obama administration has the right to drop its defense of DOMA.

Concerned Women for America’s Mario Diaz believes that the DOMA decision represents a grave turning point in American history as a “tyrannical move” by President Obama, who he accuses of lying about “his putative Christian faith.”

Ironically, Diaz argues that Obama and Holder are “suppress[ing] the rights of the majority of Americans” and don’t think certain people “deserve the same protections other Americans enjoy” by dropping the defense of a law which singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination. In fact, CWA finds the decision so scary that it believes that the future of marriage in America will entail a man leaving his bride at the altar for another man:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, should be a day all Americans remember. It was the day when President Obama betrayed the majority of Americans by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in fact ordering the Department of Justice (DOJ) to abandon the protection of the federal law preserving marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

This decision – just like his pretended support for traditional marriage during the presidential campaign – was purely political for the President whose radical liberalism grows starker by the day. Obama is counting on the powerful homosexual lobby to come out in full force for him, but Americans must not forget this tyrannical move by the president. Even as we focus on issues of the economy, jobs, and spending, we must remember that a morally bankrupt nation can never flourish. All the tax cuts in the world can never repair a nation’s broken spirit.



So, just like any other despot, Obama decided unilaterally to make the decision for all of us ignorant Americans who support DOMA, and we should be grateful.

Shame on him. And shame on us if we just stand by silently and take it. We should not! We must speak out.

Truthfully, we have been too silent for far too long. President Obama and Mr. Holder have been actively working against DOMA and, therefore, against all Americans ever since they took office. Even on the cases where they decided to “defend” DOMA, they were actually undermining its reasoning by abandoning the most effective arguments.

DOJ’s mission statement says it is “...to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” But President Obama and the attorney general have made a mockery of impartiality. They have chosen to side with an extreme, liberal minority and chose to suppress the rights of the majority of Americans.

Simply put, if you support DOMA, this president and his administration view you as the enemy who does not deserve the same protections other Americans enjoy. We are on our own.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is holding a Facebook fundraiser seeking donations from those who "support traditional marriage and disagree with Pres. Obama's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act."
  • Rick Santorum wants to know why he and Newt Gingrich were suspended from Fox but Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin were not.  That is a good question.
  • Maggie Gallagher reacts to the Supreme Court's Westboro Baptist decision by declaring that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." I have no idea what she is talking about.
  • Ed Meese will receive the 2011 Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Abby Johnson is challenging Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to a public debate. I challenge Johnson to come clean about the real reason for her departure from the organization.
  • Bryan Fischer longs for the good old days when blasphemy was illegal.
  • Finally, here is Janet Porter-approved footage of her "Heartbeat Bill" stunt:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right-Wing Commentator Calls Marriage Equality "An Act of Societal Suicide"

Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the Obama administration for bringing the “homosexual agenda” in schools, appointing Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

I have always thought that "gay" was an odd choice of words to describe homosexuals because those whom I have known rarely evinced much happiness about being regarded by the rest of society as aberrations. They may have made their personal peace with it, but the notion that a society based on heterosexuality should regard them as "normal" defies logic.

Granting homosexuals the right to marry is an act of societal suicide. I will cite some examples below.

In late February, the White House and its Department of Justice announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. It is a warning of moral decay that America has reached a point where it requires a law to assert this definition, recognized from the dawn of civilization, of mankind itself.



This is giving parents fits, but it was President Obama who installed Kevin Jennings as the White House "safe schools" czar in the Department of Education even though Jennings is a major homosexual activist who has pushed the homosexual agenda in the nation's schools. Jennings, prior to his appointment, was the founder and executive director of the nationwide Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to a lifetime position as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court despite her activism as Dean of the Harvard Law School during which she expelled military recruiters over the Armed Forces' ban on homosexuals. She called it a "moral injustice of the first order." She was known for recruiting homosexual activists to the school's faculty such as the former ACLU lawyer, William Rubenstein, to teach "queer" legal theory and elevated an outspoken lesbian professor, Janet Halley. She encouraged Harvard students to get involved in homosexual activist legal work.

These White House appointments are just one part of what millions of Americans have come to realize as measures taken to undermine the nation's moral authority, its legal system, its economy, its military strength and defense, and its energy security.

In 2012 Americans will clean house in the White House and the Congress, electing men and women who understand that homosexuality is an unfit condition for marriage, for service in the military, and that its justification in the states and the courts is a stealth attack on the nation.

Right-Wing Commentator Calls Marriage Equality "An Act of Societal Suicide"

Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the Obama administration for bringing the “homosexual agenda” in schools, appointing Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

I have always thought that "gay" was an odd choice of words to describe homosexuals because those whom I have known rarely evinced much happiness about being regarded by the rest of society as aberrations. They may have made their personal peace with it, but the notion that a society based on heterosexuality should regard them as "normal" defies logic.

Granting homosexuals the right to marry is an act of societal suicide. I will cite some examples below.

In late February, the White House and its Department of Justice announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. It is a warning of moral decay that America has reached a point where it requires a law to assert this definition, recognized from the dawn of civilization, of mankind itself.



This is giving parents fits, but it was President Obama who installed Kevin Jennings as the White House "safe schools" czar in the Department of Education even though Jennings is a major homosexual activist who has pushed the homosexual agenda in the nation's schools. Jennings, prior to his appointment, was the founder and executive director of the nationwide Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to a lifetime position as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court despite her activism as Dean of the Harvard Law School during which she expelled military recruiters over the Armed Forces' ban on homosexuals. She called it a "moral injustice of the first order." She was known for recruiting homosexual activists to the school's faculty such as the former ACLU lawyer, William Rubenstein, to teach "queer" legal theory and elevated an outspoken lesbian professor, Janet Halley. She encouraged Harvard students to get involved in homosexual activist legal work.

These White House appointments are just one part of what millions of Americans have come to realize as measures taken to undermine the nation's moral authority, its legal system, its economy, its military strength and defense, and its energy security.

In 2012 Americans will clean house in the White House and the Congress, electing men and women who understand that homosexuality is an unfit condition for marriage, for service in the military, and that its justification in the states and the courts is a stealth attack on the nation.

DOMA Decision Becomes Test Of GOP Fealty To Religious Right

When news broke that the Obama administration had decided to stop defending DOMA in court because the law in unconstitutional, the Religious Right went nuts and immediately swung into action to get Congress to step in and take up the fight.

But as both the Washington Post and New York Times report, the GOP establishment doesn't appear particularly eager to wade into this battle:

President Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political climate in which social issues are being crowded out by economic concerns.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that after two years of defending the law — hailed by proponents in 1996 as an cornerstone in the protection of traditional values — the president and his attorney general have concluded it is unconstitutional.

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

But if the GOP thinks it can sit this one out, it had better think again because its Religious Right base is demanding that Republican leaders and candidates step up and make this a central issue heading into 2012:

Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue, nationally and in the states, following the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples.

"The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanize supporters of marriage," said staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.

On the federal level, opponents of same-sex marriage urged Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to intervene on their own to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, against pending court challenges.

"The president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president's neglect of duty."

Conservatives also said they would now expect the eventual 2012 GOP presidential nominee to highlight the marriage debate as part of a challenge to Obama, putting the issue on equal footing with the economy.

...

Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, suggested that House Republicans would risk alienating their conservative base if they did not tackle the marriage issue head-on.

"The president was kind of tossing this cultural grenade into the Republican camp," he said.

"If they ignore this, it becomes an issue that will lead to some very troubling outcomes for Republicans."

DOMA Decision Becomes Test Of GOP Fealty To Religious Right

When news broke that the Obama administration had decided to stop defending DOMA in court because the law in unconstitutional, the Religious Right went nuts and immediately swung into action to get Congress to step in and take up the fight.

But as both the Washington Post and New York Times report, the GOP establishment doesn't appear particularly eager to wade into this battle:

President Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political climate in which social issues are being crowded out by economic concerns.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that after two years of defending the law — hailed by proponents in 1996 as an cornerstone in the protection of traditional values — the president and his attorney general have concluded it is unconstitutional.

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

But if the GOP thinks it can sit this one out, it had better think again because its Religious Right base is demanding that Republican leaders and candidates step up and make this a central issue heading into 2012:

Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue, nationally and in the states, following the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples.

"The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanize supporters of marriage," said staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.

On the federal level, opponents of same-sex marriage urged Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to intervene on their own to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, against pending court challenges.

"The president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president's neglect of duty."

Conservatives also said they would now expect the eventual 2012 GOP presidential nominee to highlight the marriage debate as part of a challenge to Obama, putting the issue on equal footing with the economy.

...

Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, suggested that House Republicans would risk alienating their conservative base if they did not tackle the marriage issue head-on.

"The president was kind of tossing this cultural grenade into the Republican camp," he said.

"If they ignore this, it becomes an issue that will lead to some very troubling outcomes for Republicans."

House Republicans and Religious Right Collaborate to Save Unconstitutional DOMA

After the Obama administration announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because the law is unconstitutional, groups opposed to marriage equality immediately sprung into action. The Family Research Center, Concerned Women For America, and Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink swiftly demanded that Congress pass a resolution to takeover the legal defense of DOMA. “Marriage advocates are ready to defend God’s design,” said Jennifer Mesko of CitizenLink, “They are calling on Congress to intervene and defend DOMA.”

According to the Washington Times, Religious Right leaders are now plotting with Republicans in Congress to do just that:

House Republicans and conservative groups are working together behind the scenes to fill the legal void created Wednesday when the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the federal law banning gay marriage.

The House leadership likely will introduce a resolution early next week to intervene in the four lawsuits pending against the Defense of Marriage Act, better known as DOMA, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, conservative leaders say.

“I know there have been discussions. I’ve been part of the discussions,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The question is how to handle this hot potato. The president is trying to throw a monkey wrench into what’s been a very unified majority.”

Jordan Sekulow, policy director for the American Center for Law and Justice, said that although individual members could introduce their own measures in support of the law, he expects Republicans to present a united front with one resolution.

“We’re already in private discussions with members of Congress about defending DOMA,” said Mr. Sekulow. “A unified voice coming from the House would be more powerful.”

The consensus was that such a resolution would pass easily and with bipartisan support. “I don’t think there’s any question that this would pass,” Mr. Perkins said.



The decision effectively leaves the law defenseless in the face of four lawsuits, two filed in federal court in Massachusetts and two filed in federal court in New York. The Massachusetts cases are now at the appellate level.

“That’s a huge-level disadvantage for whoever takes this up,” said Mr. Sekulow. “Briefs are due soon in the 1st Circuit [Court of Appeals]. Congress is out of session this week. As of now, there’s no one defending DOMA.”

House Republicans and Religious Right Collaborate to Save Unconstitutional DOMA

After the Obama administration announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because the law is unconstitutional, groups opposed to marriage equality immediately sprung into action. The Family Research Center, Concerned Women For America, and Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink swiftly demanded that Congress pass a resolution to takeover the legal defense of DOMA. “Marriage advocates are ready to defend God’s design,” said Jennifer Mesko of CitizenLink, “They are calling on Congress to intervene and defend DOMA.”

According to the Washington Times, Religious Right leaders are now plotting with Republicans in Congress to do just that:

House Republicans and conservative groups are working together behind the scenes to fill the legal void created Wednesday when the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the federal law banning gay marriage.

The House leadership likely will introduce a resolution early next week to intervene in the four lawsuits pending against the Defense of Marriage Act, better known as DOMA, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, conservative leaders say.

“I know there have been discussions. I’ve been part of the discussions,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The question is how to handle this hot potato. The president is trying to throw a monkey wrench into what’s been a very unified majority.”

Jordan Sekulow, policy director for the American Center for Law and Justice, said that although individual members could introduce their own measures in support of the law, he expects Republicans to present a united front with one resolution.

“We’re already in private discussions with members of Congress about defending DOMA,” said Mr. Sekulow. “A unified voice coming from the House would be more powerful.”

The consensus was that such a resolution would pass easily and with bipartisan support. “I don’t think there’s any question that this would pass,” Mr. Perkins said.



The decision effectively leaves the law defenseless in the face of four lawsuits, two filed in federal court in Massachusetts and two filed in federal court in New York. The Massachusetts cases are now at the appellate level.

“That’s a huge-level disadvantage for whoever takes this up,” said Mr. Sekulow. “Briefs are due soon in the 1st Circuit [Court of Appeals]. Congress is out of session this week. As of now, there’s no one defending DOMA.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Religious Right Reactions to DOJ's DOMA Decision

Earlier today it was reported that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

So far, reactions from the Religious Right have been few and far between but we are going to post them here as they trickle in:

National Organization for Marriage:

“We have not yet begun to fight for marriage,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” said Brown. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”

...

“On the one hand this is a truly shocking extra-constitutional power grab in declaring gay people are a protected class, and it’s also a defection of duty on the part of the President Obama,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, “On the other hand, the Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway. The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”

FRC:

"It's a dereliction of duty,'' said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action. "Whether they agree with the law or not is irrelevant...The Obama administration has purposely dropped the ball here."

AFA:

"I think it's a clear sign that we simply cannot avoid engaging on the social issues," Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the group, told TPM. "Mitch Daniels has called for a truce on social issues and that would be fine if the homosexual lobby was willing to lay down arms, but they're obviously not and this proves it. A truce is nothing more than a surrender."

Fischer said he was not surprised by the president's decision.

"Frankly I was surprised that President Obama pretended to be a defender of natural marriage as long as he did," he said.

He said that the White House move should serve as "a wake-up call to all conservatives that fundamental American values regarding the family are under all-out assault by this administration. It ought to represent a clarion call to man the barricades before we lose what is left of the Judeo-Christian system of values in our public life."

Focus on the Family:

Tom Minnery, a vice president with Focus on the Family, said the Obama administration did not aggressively defend the Defense of Marriage Act in any case. "If the federal government will not defend federal laws, we're facing legal chaos," Minnery said. "If the administration can pick and choose what laws it defends, which law is next?"

"We would hope Congress uses the tools at its disposal to counter this decision and defend marriage," Minnery said.

ADF:

“Typically, when a law is challenged, the government has a duty to defend the law, and typically they do so with the most vigorous possible defense,” said Jim Campbell, attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “In this case, we’ve seen executive branch officials refuse to do so.”

Official FRC statement:

"This decision by President Obama and the Department of Justice is appalling. The President's failure to defend DOMA is also a failure to fulfill his oath to 'faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.' What will be the next law that he will choose not to enforce or uphold?

"Marriage as a male-female union has been easily defended in court and overwhelmingly supported by the American people. There is absolutely no excuse beyond pandering to his liberal political base for President Obama's decision to abandon his constitutional role to defend a federal law enacted overwhelmingly by Congress.

"With this decision the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President's neglect of duty," concluded Perkins.

Liberty Counsel:

Today President Barack Obama instructed the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “This is outrageous and unthinkable that the President would abandon the defense of marriage,” said Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Obama has betrayed the American people by his refusal to defend the federal law that affirms what many courts upheld as constitutional, namely, that marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Staver.

...

“Regardless of President Obama’s own ideological agenda, as President, he and his Attorney General have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as one man and one woman. Today President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history. He has today declared war on the American people and the fundamental values that are shared by most Americans. His radicalism resulted in the historical push-back in the 2010 elections. His radicalism today will come back around when the people respond to this betrayal in 2012,” said Staver.

TVC:

“The Obama Administration has been sabotaging marriage in direct contradiction to his campaign promises. Today, President Obama takes his most unprecedented step yet, choosing to rule and reign through executive decree in what could only be called a supra-constitutional act. After massive defeats at the polls in November, a total repudiation on health care, and staring down a cost-cutting Congress, Obama is looking to secure what little base remains. Obama’s actions today are an unprecedented grab for power and perhaps the most audacious in the 235 year history of the American republic.

“President Obama believes he has “concluded” that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, as passed along by Attorney General Eric Holder -- effectively asserting that Obama may rule by whim and decree.

“We are a nation of laws, not whims.

“Virtually every state in the country has overwhelmingly passed laws and state constitutional amendments protecting marriage. This unprecedented power grab demands the immediate reaction of the United States House of Representatives, who must do everything possible to fight back against what can only be described as a despotic and alarming attack on the rule of law.”

Catholic League:

Now Obama is officially on record as president opposing the defense of marriage. Thus does he pit himself against the 1996 law that was signed by President Bill Clinton, and opposed by only 15 percent in the House and 14 percent in the Senate. He also stands in opposition to the over 30 state initiatives affirming marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now that Obama is totally out of the closet, it will spur a genuine effort to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the integrity of marriage.

Gary Bauer:

The president is the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief justice! It is not up to Barack Obama to determine which laws he likes and which laws he doesn’t. It is his responsibility to enforce the law until the nation’s highest court decides the law does not pass constitutional analysis.

But this president sees things very differently — he’s here to fundamentally transform America, by, among other things, redefining marriage ...

Today’s news should put to rest any suggestion that Obama has moved to the center. He has just aligned himself with the most radical elements in the culture war who are trying to redefine normalcy.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but I have to be honest with you: I’m worried our side has gone back to sleep. Financial support for our work has dropped significantly. But the left is energized. Obama suddenly feels free to abandon the law and let the militant homosexual rights movement force same-sex “marriage” on every state in the nation. A liberal politician is urging the unions to “get a little bloody” in the streets.

The Tea Party protests have ebbed while the left-wing radicals are fired up. The momentum seems to have shifted back to the left. Men and women of faith must remain engaged in the public policy battles of the day. The culture war is real and only one side can prevail.

Religious Right Reactions to DOJ's DOMA Decision

Earlier today it was reported that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

So far, reactions from the Religious Right have been few and far between but we are going to post them here as they trickle in:

National Organization for Marriage:

“We have not yet begun to fight for marriage,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” said Brown. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”

...

“On the one hand this is a truly shocking extra-constitutional power grab in declaring gay people are a protected class, and it’s also a defection of duty on the part of the President Obama,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, “On the other hand, the Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway. The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”

FRC:

"It's a dereliction of duty,'' said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action. "Whether they agree with the law or not is irrelevant...The Obama administration has purposely dropped the ball here."

AFA:

"I think it's a clear sign that we simply cannot avoid engaging on the social issues," Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the group, told TPM. "Mitch Daniels has called for a truce on social issues and that would be fine if the homosexual lobby was willing to lay down arms, but they're obviously not and this proves it. A truce is nothing more than a surrender."

Fischer said he was not surprised by the president's decision.

"Frankly I was surprised that President Obama pretended to be a defender of natural marriage as long as he did," he said.

He said that the White House move should serve as "a wake-up call to all conservatives that fundamental American values regarding the family are under all-out assault by this administration. It ought to represent a clarion call to man the barricades before we lose what is left of the Judeo-Christian system of values in our public life."

Focus on the Family:

Tom Minnery, a vice president with Focus on the Family, said the Obama administration did not aggressively defend the Defense of Marriage Act in any case. "If the federal government will not defend federal laws, we're facing legal chaos," Minnery said. "If the administration can pick and choose what laws it defends, which law is next?"

"We would hope Congress uses the tools at its disposal to counter this decision and defend marriage," Minnery said.

ADF:

“Typically, when a law is challenged, the government has a duty to defend the law, and typically they do so with the most vigorous possible defense,” said Jim Campbell, attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “In this case, we’ve seen executive branch officials refuse to do so.”

Official FRC statement:

"This decision by President Obama and the Department of Justice is appalling. The President's failure to defend DOMA is also a failure to fulfill his oath to 'faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.' What will be the next law that he will choose not to enforce or uphold?

"Marriage as a male-female union has been easily defended in court and overwhelmingly supported by the American people. There is absolutely no excuse beyond pandering to his liberal political base for President Obama's decision to abandon his constitutional role to defend a federal law enacted overwhelmingly by Congress.

"With this decision the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President's neglect of duty," concluded Perkins.

Liberty Counsel:

Today President Barack Obama instructed the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “This is outrageous and unthinkable that the President would abandon the defense of marriage,” said Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Obama has betrayed the American people by his refusal to defend the federal law that affirms what many courts upheld as constitutional, namely, that marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Staver.

...

“Regardless of President Obama’s own ideological agenda, as President, he and his Attorney General have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as one man and one woman. Today President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history. He has today declared war on the American people and the fundamental values that are shared by most Americans. His radicalism resulted in the historical push-back in the 2010 elections. His radicalism today will come back around when the people respond to this betrayal in 2012,” said Staver.

TVC:

“The Obama Administration has been sabotaging marriage in direct contradiction to his campaign promises. Today, President Obama takes his most unprecedented step yet, choosing to rule and reign through executive decree in what could only be called a supra-constitutional act. After massive defeats at the polls in November, a total repudiation on health care, and staring down a cost-cutting Congress, Obama is looking to secure what little base remains. Obama’s actions today are an unprecedented grab for power and perhaps the most audacious in the 235 year history of the American republic.

“President Obama believes he has “concluded” that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, as passed along by Attorney General Eric Holder -- effectively asserting that Obama may rule by whim and decree.

“We are a nation of laws, not whims.

“Virtually every state in the country has overwhelmingly passed laws and state constitutional amendments protecting marriage. This unprecedented power grab demands the immediate reaction of the United States House of Representatives, who must do everything possible to fight back against what can only be described as a despotic and alarming attack on the rule of law.”

Catholic League:

Now Obama is officially on record as president opposing the defense of marriage. Thus does he pit himself against the 1996 law that was signed by President Bill Clinton, and opposed by only 15 percent in the House and 14 percent in the Senate. He also stands in opposition to the over 30 state initiatives affirming marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now that Obama is totally out of the closet, it will spur a genuine effort to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the integrity of marriage.

Gary Bauer:

The president is the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief justice! It is not up to Barack Obama to determine which laws he likes and which laws he doesn’t. It is his responsibility to enforce the law until the nation’s highest court decides the law does not pass constitutional analysis.

But this president sees things very differently — he’s here to fundamentally transform America, by, among other things, redefining marriage ...

Today’s news should put to rest any suggestion that Obama has moved to the center. He has just aligned himself with the most radical elements in the culture war who are trying to redefine normalcy.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but I have to be honest with you: I’m worried our side has gone back to sleep. Financial support for our work has dropped significantly. But the left is energized. Obama suddenly feels free to abandon the law and let the militant homosexual rights movement force same-sex “marriage” on every state in the nation. A liberal politician is urging the unions to “get a little bloody” in the streets.

The Tea Party protests have ebbed while the left-wing radicals are fired up. The momentum seems to have shifted back to the left. Men and women of faith must remain engaged in the public policy battles of the day. The culture war is real and only one side can prevail.

Perkins: "CPAC Has Lost Its Way" & Supporting Those Trying to "Destroy the Foundations of Conservatism Itself"

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has taken to the right wing website The Daily Caller for one last dig at CPAC for including GOProud in the gathering, claiming that GOProud’s support for marriage equality (on a state level) “is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.” Perkins said that GOProud and “other homosexual activists” want “their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience,” and will ultimately “destroy the foundations of conservatism itself.” Perkins writes:

Finally, and most illustrative of our concerns, is the inclusion of organizations in the drafting of the CPAC agenda whose stated objective is to impose a radical redefinition of marriage on America. A few years ago it was the ACLU, and today it is a group that defines itself by its sexual affinity. Sadly, this makes it clear that CPAC has lost its way.

The inclusion of GOProud as not only an exhibitor but as a member of the planning committee indicates a fairly obvious effort to “mainstream” an organization whose commitment to overturning the historic prohibition on homosexuals in the military, the Defense of Marriage Act, and state laws against same-sex marriage is the reason for its existence.



The demand by GOProud and other homosexual activists to legalize homosexual marriage undermines the institution of marriage, in that it insists that consent and affection are the only two criteria for marriage. In doing so, GOProud joins with its liberal homosexual allies in opening the door for all manner of unions (polyamory and polygamy, for example) premised on the same criteria, and calls on conservatives to accept a definition of marriage that is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.



Similarly, despite clear evidence confirming that homosexuality will erode unit cohesion and military readiness and repeated warnings by current members of the Joint Chiefs, respected retired military leaders, and — most importantly — service personnel serving in the field, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democratic leadership eked out legislation in the final days of the last Congress that repealed the prohibition on open homosexuality in the military.

This repeal was not based on the security needs of the nation but on a political agenda pursued aggressively by one of the core constituencies of the Democratic Party, and a sponsor of CPAC — homosexual activists who want their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience.



Any group that purports to be conservative should not attempt to destroy the foundations of conservatism itself, and we will not aid and abet such groups by partnering with them.

Attacking both marriage and the military is a blunt-edged assault on the two institutions that, with churches and synagogues, compose the superstructure of our national life. On them hang the future of our children, our economy, and our security. On these things, true conservatives must never waver nor compromise.

Perkins: "CPAC Has Lost Its Way" & Supporting Those Trying to "Destroy the Foundations of Conservatism Itself"

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has taken to the right wing website The Daily Caller for one last dig at CPAC for including GOProud in the gathering, claiming that GOProud’s support for marriage equality (on a state level) “is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.” Perkins said that GOProud and “other homosexual activists” want “their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience,” and will ultimately “destroy the foundations of conservatism itself.” Perkins writes:

Finally, and most illustrative of our concerns, is the inclusion of organizations in the drafting of the CPAC agenda whose stated objective is to impose a radical redefinition of marriage on America. A few years ago it was the ACLU, and today it is a group that defines itself by its sexual affinity. Sadly, this makes it clear that CPAC has lost its way.

The inclusion of GOProud as not only an exhibitor but as a member of the planning committee indicates a fairly obvious effort to “mainstream” an organization whose commitment to overturning the historic prohibition on homosexuals in the military, the Defense of Marriage Act, and state laws against same-sex marriage is the reason for its existence.



The demand by GOProud and other homosexual activists to legalize homosexual marriage undermines the institution of marriage, in that it insists that consent and affection are the only two criteria for marriage. In doing so, GOProud joins with its liberal homosexual allies in opening the door for all manner of unions (polyamory and polygamy, for example) premised on the same criteria, and calls on conservatives to accept a definition of marriage that is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.



Similarly, despite clear evidence confirming that homosexuality will erode unit cohesion and military readiness and repeated warnings by current members of the Joint Chiefs, respected retired military leaders, and — most importantly — service personnel serving in the field, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democratic leadership eked out legislation in the final days of the last Congress that repealed the prohibition on open homosexuality in the military.

This repeal was not based on the security needs of the nation but on a political agenda pursued aggressively by one of the core constituencies of the Democratic Party, and a sponsor of CPAC — homosexual activists who want their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience.



Any group that purports to be conservative should not attempt to destroy the foundations of conservatism itself, and we will not aid and abet such groups by partnering with them.

Attacking both marriage and the military is a blunt-edged assault on the two institutions that, with churches and synagogues, compose the superstructure of our national life. On them hang the future of our children, our economy, and our security. On these things, true conservatives must never waver nor compromise.

Focus on the Family's Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Agenda for Congress Unveiled

CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC.

The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also wants the GOP to rollback the rights of gays and lesbian: asking Republicans to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, block the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and protect the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Tom Minnery, the head of CitizenLink, previously called on the House Oversight Committee led by Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate the Department of Justice over their handling of successful challenges to DOMA.

According to CitizenLink’s petition, Republican leaders should:

1.) Eliminate government support and funding of abortion in any federal health care program, particularly the new health care law.

2.) Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion seller, which received $363 million in government funding during fiscal year 2008.

3.) No new taxes or fees imposed on American families.

4.) Defend the free exercise of religion and speech by rejecting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repealing the Hate Crimes bill passed in 2009.

5.) Support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and demand that the Obama Administration uphold and defend DOMA.

6.) Reinstate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and underlying federal law that affirms homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

Focus on the Family's Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Agenda for Congress Unveiled

CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC.

The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also wants the GOP to rollback the rights of gays and lesbian: asking Republicans to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, block the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and protect the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Tom Minnery, the head of CitizenLink, previously called on the House Oversight Committee led by Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate the Department of Justice over their handling of successful challenges to DOMA.

According to CitizenLink’s petition, Republican leaders should:

1.) Eliminate government support and funding of abortion in any federal health care program, particularly the new health care law.

2.) Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion seller, which received $363 million in government funding during fiscal year 2008.

3.) No new taxes or fees imposed on American families.

4.) Defend the free exercise of religion and speech by rejecting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repealing the Hate Crimes bill passed in 2009.

5.) Support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and demand that the Obama Administration uphold and defend DOMA.

6.) Reinstate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and underlying federal law that affirms homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He'll Reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There are few Religious Right leaders active today who can compete with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer in terms of openly hostile bigotry against gays, Muslims, and all those who do not share his radical worldview:

So it is bound to raise a few eyebrows that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went on Fischer's radio program yesterday to promote his new book ... but it won't raise any eyebrows that Fischer used the opportunity to grill Pawlenty on social issues or that Pawlenty largely shared Fischer's right-wing concerns:

Fischer: If you are asked the question "should CPAC provide a place at the table for an organization like GOProud," what will you say?

Pawlenty: You know, I am not familiar with that dispute, I have heard it referenced ... but I'm not just a fiscal conservative, I'm a social conservative so I can't speak for CPAC but I can speak for myself and what I believe and I've been a strong supporter of the family, pro-life positions, traditional marriage positions - so I'm not sure what that dispute all involves. But whatever it is, I don't think we should be afraid of telling what I believe and what we believe to whatever audience. We're trying to make sure we stand what what we believe in and we share it in a way that will hopefully bring more people to our side.

Fischer: Now the Left, and homosexual activists and organizations like GOProud, one of their stated agendas is to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage in federal law and for federal purposes as a union of one man and one woman. The Obama administration has made a tepid and pretty ineffective defense of that law - if you become president and that law faces a challenge under your administration, how vigorously will you defend DOMA? What will you do to make sure it's defended?

Pawlenty: I believe strongly in traditional marriage. I was co-author of the law in Minnesota that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I've been a vocal supporter of an amendment in Minnesota that would put that into our constitution. I hope that the day comes when it is put before the voters of Minnesota. And it's not just a legal issue; it's also an important cornerstone for our society and our culture. I mean, families and traditional marriage is so important to that and I don't believe all other domestic relations should be on the same platform as traditional marriage, I just don't buy and so I've been a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I also think who you appoint to courts in this regard is important and we don't have litmus tests, so to speak, but we want strict constructionists and people who take a conservative view toward the interpretation of our laws.

Fischer: Now Roe v. Wade is obviously the critical court ruling on the abortion issue - that is a ruling that was issued in 1973 so it seems to me that candidates would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought potential nominees to the Supreme Court, would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought Roe v. Wade was properly decided from a constitutional perspective. A number of sitting Supreme Court justices have commented on the fact that they believe it was poorly decided. So that's going to be a critical issue, if you have the opportunity to appoint nominees to the federal bench - will you talk explicitly with a nominee to the federal bench about his or her view about whether they think Roe v Wade was properly decided from a constitutional basis, will that be in the nature of a litmus test for you, that question, will you bring it up, will you look for an answer?

Pawlenty: Well, I've appointed a lot of judges as the Governor of Minnesota, including at our Supreme Court, appellate court and district court level. For the first time, at least in the modern history and maybe in a long time we now have a small majority of people on our Minnesota Supreme Court we are conservative and strict constructionist. I have confidence in them and how they would approach these issues of how you interpret the law. On the specific issue of Roe. v Wade, when you tell people or ask people to be strict constructionist and you look at the Constitution, to have people say "I'm a strict constructionist" would somehow lead to a decision or a conclusion like Roe v. Wade, I think it was wrongly decided. And if you look at the reasoning behind it and the strict interpretation approach to interpreting the Constitution, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided by the Court. But I have been careful that I appoint people, particularly at the appellate level, that share this strict constructionist philosophy - that at least says to me directly - I didn't have litmus test - but I do want to know that they share my view and values about the proper role of the court and the interpretation of the law, so we try to get to the bottom of that.

Fischer: One last question, got about forty five seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time: we just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

Pawlenty: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He'll Reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There are few Religious Right leaders active today who can compete with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer in terms of openly hostile bigotry against gays, Muslims, and all those who do not share his radical worldview:

So it is bound to raise a few eyebrows that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went on Fischer's radio program yesterday to promote his new book ... but it won't raise any eyebrows that Fischer used the opportunity to grill Pawlenty on social issues or that Pawlenty largely shared Fischer's right-wing concerns:

Fischer: If you are asked the question "should CPAC provide a place at the table for an organization like GOProud," what will you say?

Pawlenty: You know, I am not familiar with that dispute, I have heard it referenced ... but I'm not just a fiscal conservative, I'm a social conservative so I can't speak for CPAC but I can speak for myself and what I believe and I've been a strong supporter of the family, pro-life positions, traditional marriage positions - so I'm not sure what that dispute all involves. But whatever it is, I don't think we should be afraid of telling what I believe and what we believe to whatever audience. We're trying to make sure we stand what what we believe in and we share it in a way that will hopefully bring more people to our side.

Fischer: Now the Left, and homosexual activists and organizations like GOProud, one of their stated agendas is to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage in federal law and for federal purposes as a union of one man and one woman. The Obama administration has made a tepid and pretty ineffective defense of that law - if you become president and that law faces a challenge under your administration, how vigorously will you defend DOMA? What will you do to make sure it's defended?

Pawlenty: I believe strongly in traditional marriage. I was co-author of the law in Minnesota that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I've been a vocal supporter of an amendment in Minnesota that would put that into our constitution. I hope that the day comes when it is put before the voters of Minnesota. And it's not just a legal issue; it's also an important cornerstone for our society and our culture. I mean, families and traditional marriage is so important to that and I don't believe all other domestic relations should be on the same platform as traditional marriage, I just don't buy and so I've been a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I also think who you appoint to courts in this regard is important and we don't have litmus tests, so to speak, but we want strict constructionists and people who take a conservative view toward the interpretation of our laws.

Fischer: Now Roe v. Wade is obviously the critical court ruling on the abortion issue - that is a ruling that was issued in 1973 so it seems to me that candidates would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought potential nominees to the Supreme Court, would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought Roe v. Wade was properly decided from a constitutional perspective. A number of sitting Supreme Court justices have commented on the fact that they believe it was poorly decided. So that's going to be a critical issue, if you have the opportunity to appoint nominees to the federal bench - will you talk explicitly with a nominee to the federal bench about his or her view about whether they think Roe v Wade was properly decided from a constitutional basis, will that be in the nature of a litmus test for you, that question, will you bring it up, will you look for an answer?

Pawlenty: Well, I've appointed a lot of judges as the Governor of Minnesota, including at our Supreme Court, appellate court and district court level. For the first time, at least in the modern history and maybe in a long time we now have a small majority of people on our Minnesota Supreme Court we are conservative and strict constructionist. I have confidence in them and how they would approach these issues of how you interpret the law. On the specific issue of Roe. v Wade, when you tell people or ask people to be strict constructionist and you look at the Constitution, to have people say "I'm a strict constructionist" would somehow lead to a decision or a conclusion like Roe v. Wade, I think it was wrongly decided. And if you look at the reasoning behind it and the strict interpretation approach to interpreting the Constitution, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided by the Court. But I have been careful that I appoint people, particularly at the appellate level, that share this strict constructionist philosophy - that at least says to me directly - I didn't have litmus test - but I do want to know that they share my view and values about the proper role of the court and the interpretation of the law, so we try to get to the bottom of that.

Fischer: One last question, got about forty five seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time: we just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

Pawlenty: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

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Defense of Marriage Act Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 10/28/2011, 10:40am
Today on Washington Watch Weekly with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) claimed that marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is “a threat to the nation’s survival.” Franks appeared on Perkins’ radio show to discuss his recent House hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” in which his fellow Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa attacked marriage equality as “an active effort to desecrate a sacrament of the church” that is like the desecration of the Eucharist. Franks, a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/12/2011, 3:45pm
Republican pseudo-historian David Barton says that he, like Jesus, has never been legitimately critiqued, and is even suing two Democratic politicians in Texas and a blogger who have criticized him. While Right Wing Watch, among others, reports on Barton’s incessant dishonesty on a regular basis, he continues to tell falsehoods even when he is directly confronted about it. Today on his program WallBuilders Live, Barton and his co-host Rick Green discussed the 9th Circuit Court’s decision on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. While they originally found the policy unconstitutional,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/31/2011, 4:44pm
WND sure does love promoting anti-gay books. Phyllis Schlafly sure does get worked up over the oddest things. Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of the Family Research Council "for records related to the DOJ's decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act." Poor Frank Turek.  He keeps losing jobs because of his anti-gay activism. Finally, Gary Cass says that ten years after the 9/11 attacks "this murderous ideology has infiltrated all the way to the White House." MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 08/05/2011, 6:14pm
Updated 8/5/2011 On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/04/2011, 10:33am
As we mentioned yesterday, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa. In kicking off the event, NOM has announced that Santorum, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney have all signed a five-point "Marriage Pledge" [PDF] that includes a promise to establish a "presidential commission" to "investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters": One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/03/2011, 2:35pm
The Family Research Council has just announced that Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa next week: FRC Action's Faith Family Freedom Fund, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List today announced the "Values Voter Bus Tour" that next week will cover 1,305 miles in four days with events in 22 cities. The tour will pass through 47 of Iowa's 99 counties. Presidential... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/26/2011, 4:22pm
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... MORE