The Right’s Strange Silence on the DOMA Suit

I have to say that I am a bit surprised by the reaction, or lack thereof, of the Religious Right to the lawsuit filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders on behalf a several legally married gay couples in Massachusetts who are challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act which denies them a range of federal benefits that other married couples receive.

As we noted yesterday, despite the significance of the suit, the Right hasn’t really mustered any of the outrage or unleashed the sort of “the sky is falling” rhetoric one generally expects from them.  It has now been more than a day since the new of the lawsuit broke and groups like Conservative Women for America, the Pacific Justice Institute, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Traditional Values Coalition have not even so much as mentioned it, mush less issued any sort of statement.

The Alliance Defense Fund did issues a press release, which we mentioned yesterday, and now the Liberty Counsel has followed suit to asset that it will be “filing a brief in defense of the federal DOMA” and urging the Obama administration to defend DOMA:

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The sovereignty of each state to preserve the integrity of marriage must be maintained. While Massachusetts has chosen to rewrite the definition of marriage, it may not force the federal government and the rest of the country to adopt same-sex marriage. I urge the Obama administration to fully defend the federal law and to put aside its personal agenda for the sake of upholding the rule of law and the will of the American people.”

In fact, so far the only substantive statement has come from the Family Research Council and it, of course, trotted out the standard “won’t somebody please think of the children” plea:

“Recognizing the ongoing threat to marriage, voters in the last election continued to define marriage in their state constitutions as the union of one man and one woman. We advise the Obama Administration to fulfill its constitutional duties and defend DOMA energetically and competently. We also urge any federal courts that hear this case to dismiss it and preserve the right of the people to decide such important public policy decisions.

“Even more important are the implications for marriage and family. The social science confirms what history and common sense have long told us: That it is overwhelmingly, the best environment for children is a home with a mom and dad.

“DOMA is necessary, as is a Federal Marriage Amendment, to ensure a solid future for traditional marriage in this country and the well-being of our children.”

Perhaps the oddest thing is that the two right-wing groups dedicated to “saving DOMA’ have been utterly silent.

Back in January, the National Organization for Marriage announced that it was launching a “DOMA Defense Fund” but a check of both the NOM and DDF websites show not one mention of the lawsuit challenging DOMA.  In fact, the only mention of the organization at all regarding this issue is a lone quote on CBN from Maggie Gallagher saying they intend to make their opposition “crystal clear.”

But at least they are one step ahead of the Alliance For Marriage and its “Protect DOMA” effort – a check of both websites reveals not one mention of the DOMA lawsuit, nor is there any mention of the organization in the press.

Granted, Religious Right groups don’t always weigh in on every issue, but given the significance of this case, it seems rather strange that the predominant response from them has been nearly universal silence.  

But it is downright bizarre that two groups that have explicitly created efforts to save DOMA have not seen fit to so much as even mention the lawsuit on their websites and have barely discussed it in the press.