Reader opinion: Debating DOMA
The board's editorial about DOMA, Out front on gay rights, prompted a debate among readers. Here we zoom in on two readers -- "Jet Black" and "Leonardo" -- who spent a good part of Friday challenging each other on gay marriage. Here's their unedited argument.
Jet Black at 11:01 AM February 25, 2011
What the president has done will set a precedent for years to come. Doing an end run around the constitution to mainstream a sick behavior. I'm sure some creative Republican or Democrat against homosexuality can't wait to use this method to keep from enforcing homosexual rights laws in the future. So, this may only be a temporary setback for the American society in favor of morality. The silver lining in all of this is that the presidential election is in two years, and this give powerful Christian organizations and citizens against immorality a chance to defend against this immoral homosexuality law since the DOJ was giving a half hearted defense for DOMA in the first place.
Leonardo at 11:17 AM February 25, 2011
Obama is preserving and protecting the US Constitution. The President, ex constitutional law professor, has read the law and applied the facts to the controlling law for this issue. The ex constitutionally law professor who is now the President has concluded that the law is in conflict with the US Constitution. Therefore, the president and his AG has decided to not enforce section 3 of the DOMA act. That reads like to me that Obama is preserving and protecting the US Constitution NOT doing an "end run" around the Constitution.
Jet, what law school did you attend? Were you ever a Constitutional law professor?
Leonardo, I did not attend law school. But I have enough sense to know that any group like polygamy, pseudo masochism, bestiality, cannibalism, pedophile, and prostitution, in the future can use these same argument to make a case concerning rights entitlement as a minority group as well as future office holders can decide not to defend the laws protecting homosexuals.
Jet Black at 11:36 AM February 25, 2011
Obama has opened a BIG can of worms. You homosexuals may have unwillingly set your own movement back when some other president who is elected have a different view on homosexuality.
Leonardo at 12:22 PM February 25, 2011
@jet black, one thing i recently learned from my reading is that when the USSC ruled on Loving vs. VA it wasn't that big if a deal since only 17 states still had their anti-miscegenation statutes on the books. The same is happening today.
Public opinion polls shows that more and more people are willing to accpet same sex marriages. Based on the opinion polls politicians are playing this issue differently then say 3 years ago. Also, another reason Obama took this stand is because of the number of same sex couples that are legally married. Why shouldn't these married couples have the same rights are you?
BTW, "group(s) like polygamy, pseudo masochism, bestiality, cannibalism, pedophile, and prostitution" don't have the public support.
You do know that minors don't have the mental capitcy to consent to a sexual relationship. That law would not change when same sex marriage is legalized. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It should be legalized for health and safety reasons. There are laws on the books against bestiality, i.e, cruelty to animals, Cannibalism (are you kidding?), pseudo masohism I think is already legal under lawrence vs texas.
Leonardo at 9:53 AM February 25, 2011
Section 3 of the law—the part that defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman—was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge in July 2010.This decision was appealed in October 2010. On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would cease legal defense of the Act's Section 3 at the direction of President Barack Obama, who had reached a conclusion that Section 3 was unconstitutional. However, the administration is obligated to continue enforcing the law until it is either repealed by Congress or finally declared unconstitutional in court.
Jet Black at 11:11 AM February 25, 2011
A San Francisco federal judge who happened to be a homosexual himself. He ruling is currently being challenged.
Leonardo at 8:25 AM February 25, 2011
It has been an historic week for the gay civil rights movement. It appears the end to the gay jim crow laws will be coming to an end sooner than later.
1. Obama makes historic shift on gay rights
2. Training for end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' starts at Camp Pendleton
3. But even more important than the setback to the marriage act itself was the administration's reasoning: Sexual orientation, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said, falls within the same category as race and national origin under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Groups within these categories — discrete, insular minorities that historically have been singled out for discrimination — are entitled to special protections; laws that adversely affect them must pass a high bar of "strict scrutiny" to survive court challenges.
Obama set the stage for toppling a panoply of laws, ordinances and practices that have long placed homosexuals at a disadvantage. This includes discrimination in housing, the workplace, adoption laws and the like. The president is not obligated to defend laws that are unconstitutional and thus indefensible.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: A lesbian couple hold a sign at a protest calling for the right of gays and lesbians to marry outside the county clerk’s office in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images