By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
If Senator Barack Obama is elected president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pledged her support of his plan to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law protecting states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages.
Speaking at a press conference on July 30, when asked by CNSNews if she supported Obama’s plan to repeal DOMA, Speaker Pelosi said, “yes.”
The Obama campaign has not hidden its intention to repeal DOMA if the Senator from Illinois is elected. The “pride” section of the campaign’s Web site reads: “Obama also believes we need to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.”
DOMA defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws. Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, DOMA protects states from having to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in other states.
In July 1996, DOMA passed the Republican-controlled House by a margin of 342 to 67. Pelosi voted against the bill along with 64 other Democrats.
Obama opposed DOMA in 1996 and has openly stated his desire to repeal it. During the 2004 U.S. Senate race, he wrote: “It (DOMA) should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted . . . .”
Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), voted for DOMA in 1996 and supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. While he has consistently voted against Republican-led initiatives to protect marriage by amending the U.S. Constitution, he has publicly stated that he supports such an amendment if it becomes necessary.
In 2004, Obama said he doubted that DOMA could be repealed with a Republican majority in Congress. Now that the balance of power has shifted to the Democrats in Congress, the end for marriage protection in America may be closer than we think.
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In “Defending Marriage: A Call to Arms,” experts Mary Jo Anderson and Dale O’Leary explain who is waging the war against marriage today, why they are doing so, and what we can do about it. Available in our store at http://womenofgrace.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=288