The Ramifications of President Obama’s Unconsitutional DOMA Action
Pres. Obama announced Wednesday, February 23, that DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act that states marriage is between a man and a woman, signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1996) is unconstitutional and has ordered the Dept. of Justice to no longer defend DOMA. This means that when a federal court case comes up challenging DOMA, the federal government will not respond to the complaint, nor will they assign any attorneys to the case, so the case against DOMA will automatically be won.
A hypothetical example would be when a gay "married" couple, one partner of which works for the IRS, want the federal agency to provide marriage-like benefits such as health insurance showing them as spouses. Even though DOMA says this is impossible, they could file a complaint in federal court and it would be sent to the Justice Dept. which would not respond. The judge would then automatically rule in favor of the gay couple.
Also part of DOMA is the exemption of states from the full faith and credit provision in Article 4 of the Constitution. This means states that don’t allow for gay marriage don’t have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. But because of the President’s declaration, the same thing will happen as the above in regards to any law suits from gays claiming marriage complaining against a state that outlaws it. In other words,
In essence, what the president did was unconstitutional, that is, declare an act of Congress unconstitutional without going through the legal process: either getting Congress to repeal it or getting a federal court to declare it unconstitutional. This act was a usurpation of presidential authority, the very thing our Founders strove to prevent by instituting federalism and our government’s unique system of checks and balances.
Still, all hope may not be lost because of our having a U.S. Supreme Court that leans conservative. When faced with this issue, which will probably be soon, the Supreme Court could find the DOMA law constitutional. It may also rightly rule that the President/federal government does not have the right to interfere with marriage, that it’s under state jurisdiction. In that case, each state will continue to have control over how it handles marriage.
It should be noted that our Founders never thought of marriage being licenced at all; it was strictly a religious institution. In more recent history, any government involvement or support of marriage, as in divorce laws and tax benefits, was mainly about the family, that is, the safety, security, nurturing, and teaching of children that often come from the union of man and woman. This was done in the best interests of society as a whole because it was rightly believed that strong families make a strong nation. This sounded good, but now that government is involved there seems to be no way out and no limits on government power over marriage. Government involvement paved the way for the gay movement, with the help of very bad public policies and laws concerning marriage since the ‘60s, to shift marriage to be first about the adult individual and adult relationships.
With our moral foundation lost, the next to go will be religious freedom. Aside from intimidation from gay activists causing churches to soften their stance and compromise their integrity here and there, churches may soon be coerced by government into treating gays and gay relationships as equal with male/female relationships, including performing same-sex marriages, or cease to exist as we know them. Ultimately, after a series of legal maneuvers and developments (which are now accelerating), all churches will either survive for the time being by fully accepting homosexualism in their midst or dissolve because they refuse to change their speech, publishing, and practices to accommodate homosexuality. Either way, religious people are intimidated and religious freedom is oppressed. Believe it, this gay thing is definitely big enough to disband churches and crush religious freedom and is perhaps being exploited by the powers that be to do just that.
What can be done? Since the Justice Dept. will no longer defend DOMA, Congress can step in on its own behalf and defend its own law. It is hoped that Congress with do this. As citizens we can call and write our senators and representatives to encourage this measure. As church leaders and members we can stand for truth and righteousness at all times, in all things, and in all places, come what may.
William Duncan has written an excellent article on this in National Review Online. Click here to read William Duncan’s article.
– Stephen & Janice Graham, Standard of
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