Previously on Top Of My Head…
Back in February, I wrote that I was torn on President Obama and the Justice Department’s decision to not defend DOMA in Federal Court. Today, I’m experiencing Deja Vu.
The Republicans announced that they will defend DOMA. Again, I’m torn.
On one hand, I don’t want someone being able to challenge a law in court without the government mounting a defense against the challenge. On the other hand, this law affects me and mine, so I want to see it go down in flames.
As quoted by NPR, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “I don’t think the House had any choice but to take the position that we were going to defend the work of the Congress. And only the courts are in the position of determining the constitutionality of any bill.”
And, he’s correct.
Unfortunately, this defense is falling along party lines. The Democrats should sign on to defend the law as well. However; I can understand their reluctance to do so. Fifteen years ago, support for DOMA was huge. A great many people were against the idea of gay marriage. A vote against the law back then was probably more risky then than a support to overturn it is now. To me, DOMA is an example of why we shouldn’t make DOMA a Constitutional Amendment. A law is much easier to overturn than an Amendment.
That said, the Republicans have nothing to lose with their support and everything to gain. Setting aside that they are doing the right thing, they will gain momentum with their base – people who are anti-gay. On a side note, most of their base is anti-something. The law, even as unjust as it is, needs to be defended in court. That’s how our balance of power works. I would give more credit to the Democrats if even one of them had the courage to say, “I don’t believe in the law, but it needs to be defended.”
Of course, I would give the Republicans more credit if they worked this hard to repeal DOMA.