By Matt Edgerton
The Obama administration announced on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 that it will no longer defend the federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
What does this mean for gay rights?
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last Wednesday that the Justice Department will no longer continue to defend the statute.
According to Fox News, Holder wrote to House Speaker John Boehner that Obama “concluded the law fails to meet a rigorous standard under which courts view with suspicion any laws targeting minority groups who have suffered a history of discrimination.”
In response to the administration’s decision; gay-rights groups have responded favorably and the Human Rights Campaign called the decision a “monumental” move against a law that “unfairly discriminates against Americans.”
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solomonese said, “Congressional leaders must not waste another taxpayer dollar defending this patently unconstitutional law.”
I agree with the aforementioned statement by Mr. Solomonese but not from a moral standpoint.
From a moral standpoint on this issue I am indifferent. However from an economics standpoint I totally agree that there are far more pressing matters to be attended to by the U.S. government at this present time.
We are faced with the upcoming budget issue in already troubled times, not to mention overseas, there are huge amounts of civil unrest which we can feel the effects of such as the turmoil in Libya which has caused our fuel prices to increase.
As far as administrations go, I feel the current one has made many unforgivable mistakes, ranging from ramming through legislation that the people did not want, not protecting our borders, and generally making shortsighted decisions that will no doubt come back to damage us in the future.
However; I do feel that in this instance they made the right decision by not continuing the defense of this antiquated statute. As said before there are far more important issues that need to be addressed first and foremost; but they don’t get off that easy.
According to another report from Fox News, “White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the U.S. government will remain a party to Defense of Marriage Act cases so they can proceed in court. Though the administration says the key provision in the law is not constitutional, Carney said the administration will help others who want to defend it.”
This seems to be the administration’s way of attempting to set a decision on the statute and give themselves an out; in an effort to not rock the boat to much the government has stated that they will continue to aid those who wish to defend the statute.
Here is where my critiques lie; this is a famous example of one thing I truly dislike about governments, the attempt to appease all.
It reeks of wishy-washiness and is one of the main reasons our two party system has devolved into the mess it is today.
Dropping the fancy wording, what I want my readers to take away from this story is that our government is attempting to play both sides of the fence of a highly critical issue but let’s be honest you can’t be on both sides of the fence.
It’s not possible; it seems as though they are attempting to pander to each side without really making a stance for either. In short nothing has changed, they haven’t made a strong stance for or against gay rights.