Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Presidential Oath and the Defense of Marriage Act

On the federal level, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) favors traditional marriage. It defines marriage at the federal level, for federal programs. For those that favor same-sex marriage is not about individual rights, rather about gaining societal acceptance. Other legal recognitions are fine and should be left up to the states, but those same-sex unions should not be called marriage. DOMA protects states rights. It is not the federal government's domain.

Last week when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the U.S. Department of Justice will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, he set a terrible precedence. It may not itself be unconstitutional, but it is unprecedented and regrettable.

Refusing to defend this law or any law makes me wonder what Obama is thinking after swearing an oath on the Bible? He said:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Article II Section 3 of the Constitution also states that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed".

I firmly believe that it is the President's duty and responsibility to defend the law of the land. A President does the office a disservice by picking which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore. The exceptions to this are extremely rare.

DOMA protects states from the unintended consequences of radical changes to family law and social policy. Obama and Holder have set a terrible precedence; tossing some significant fuel on their "burn the Constitution" fire.

No comments: