YES: Obama Stands Behind DoJ’s Horrific DOMA Brief


Sure, three lower-level guys might’ve written it. And sure, Attorney General Eric Holder is their boss. But did President Obama know what the Dept. of Justice was actually saying when it filed its DOMA lawsuit response? Yes, it turns out, and he’s standing behind it.

Asked by ABC News’ Jake Tapper “Does the president stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded: “Well, again, it’s the president’s Justice Department. And, again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the president has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.”

Sounds like a giant “yes” to us.


TAPPER: Does the president stand by the legal brief that the Justice Department filed last week that argued in favor the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act?

GIBBS: Well, as you know, that the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the president believes that that law should be repealed.

TAPPER: I understand that, but a lot of legal experts say that the brief didn’t have to be as comprehensive and make all the arguments that it made, such as comparing same-sex unions to incestuous ones, in one controversial paragraph…

GIBBS: Well…

TAPPER: …that’s upset a lot of the president’s supporters. Does the president stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?

GIBBS: Well, again, it’s the president’s Justice Department. And, again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the president has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.

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  • galefan2004

    I’m voting for Palin in 2012! I personally don’t think she is smart enough to accomplish anything at all. I think stupidity is a great thing in a president at the moment.

  • CHIP

    No, what we do is support someone else in a primary against Pres. Obama. The way the Democratic Primary system is set up, an opponent can keep on getting delegates in most states where they only receive 15% of the vote. You compund this with withholding money for fundraising, and if Obama is cut off from money in the big cities, and actually loses some primaries, he will have no choice but to listen to what those who aren’t happy with his performance want. Take a page from the Ted Kennedy handbook people! You don’t have to allow a sitting president from your party run unopposed in a primary!!!

  • emb

    @galefan2004: Hm. Well, we tried the stupid president thing last time, and it got us rule by a shadowy cabal of villainous neocons with no responsibility to anyone but their cronies. palin would be bush with bells on.

    Better to keep the heat on a supposed ally, who made specific promises during his campaign and needs to be held to them loudly, insistently, and by withholding money until he does what he said he’d do.

    On the other hand, I’m horrified by the exchange posted here: there are 437 different ways for this Administration to distance itself from the horribly DOMA brief, and they seem to have decided to just try to defend that atrocity.

  • BrianZ

    @galefan2004: I can’t bring myself to do that, but I understand your frustration.

    I am highly encouraged that the anger in the LGBT community is being picked up and pushed by blogs, news outlets and the mainstream media. Those who (still) are emotionally entwined with this administration are quickly being pushed to the side, their feeble attempts at explaining (what they cannot know) and apologizing for the administration winning no supporters. After 8 years of Bush-shit I can’t fathom anyone settling for the promise of “maybe some day” or worse, the deadly silence of indifference.

    I encourage everyone to keep expressing your frustration and anger in respectful and meaningful ways. Don’t let anyone tell you to keep quiet, even those who profess to be on your side.

  • galefan2004

    @CHIP: There is a good reason no one runs against a sitting president in a primary. You don’t have a chance in hell of winning the primary, and doing so is committing political suicide.

  • Hannah

    There are more than two political parties in the United States. Fuck lesser of two evils, go Green. Keeping the two parties we have now in power is not the solution to our problems.

    P.S. Fuck you back, Obama administration.

  • Michael W.

    @galefan2004: Hillary will dramatically resign as Secretary of State and run against him in the primaries. She’s our only hope.

  • MB

    The US would benefit from a party system like Canada’s, where you have your left of center and right of center parties equivalent to the Democrats and Republicans PLUS two parties further to the left (the NDP and the Greens). The liberal vote is somewhat split that way, but Canada’s mostly liberal anyways, so that way there’s a nice balance of power. I think America is heading that way too.

  • Bill Perdue

    @galefan2004: Voting for a Republican is as stupid as voting for a Democrat. Vote for any socialist group that espouses GLBT equality. Or, like the 33% to 50 plus % of Americans too smart to fall for that lesser evil BS just sit it out.

    @emb: When will those who put their partisanship before the needs of the movement by pushing votes for Obama, McCain and other bigots begin to draw the lessons of their ham-fisted bungling political errors.

    With Democrats like this driving the bus who really needs Republicans?

  • Bill Perdue

    @MB: MB, you’ve got it all wrong. The Democrats and the Republicans are right centrist parties.

    Both oppose an inclusive ENDA, both dropped hate crimes bills to pander to christer bigots, both refuse to end the bigotry codified in Clintons DADT and DOMA, both support the war and both are lapdogs of the looter rich who wrecked our standard of living and our economy. As the Republicans move to the right the Democrats follow in lockstep.

    I’m glad you have the NDP. We could have an active Labor Party here but the Democrats (sic) keep passing undemocratic laws to exclude new parties.

  • Dick Mills

    I got a call from the DNC asking for money as well, and I told them that I am withholding my donations until I decide who deserves the support of my money. At this point, I have decided that I am UNDECIDED for the time being. I may end up voting for no one in the midterms – and supporting no one. And if they piss me off any more, then I will support and vote for their opponents. I think if the six million of us who voted for Obama simply decide to be UNDECIDED, that the message that sends is appropriate. As of right now, I am an independent.

    It’s one thing to give an outsider the benefit of the doubt, which is what I gave to Obama, but it is entirely a different thing to support someone and be slapped in the face for it. For right now, they have lost my vote and my $$. They are going to have to earn it back.

  • michael @ leonardmatlovich.com

    While 2010 midterm elections are not that far off, we can leverage a lot of change between now and then by escalating the refusal of gays to continue contributiing to the DNC until substantive change happens. I get another request at least once a week.

    As many probably know, the growing number of high profile gays, most with a reputation for bringing sizeable amounts of gay money with them, who are boycotting the $1000 a head DNC LGBT Leadership Council [read Money Machine] dinner next week has publicly embarrassed the administration and sent them scrambling to come up with a tourniquet to stop the blood er money loss. Hence, the damage control efforts by First Homo John Berry.

    Some insist that the announcement of these crumbs for the partners of gay federal employees was always planned for June, being gay pride month. But the fact that the announcement did not accompany his LGBT pride month proclamation, and leaves unanswered many questions, gives credibility to those who believe it was patched together in the last few days out of desperation and that it would never have been announced on camera without someone convincing him that his five months of invisibility and inaction, along with the betrayal in court briefs defending DADT and DOMA, were on the verge of destroying his coalition of gay supporters and contributors.

    Keep your wallets closed and see how fast the White House LGBT agenda opens up.

  • InExile

    GIBBS: Well, again, it’s the president’s Justice Department. And, again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the president has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.

    When???? When will he work with Congress to change that law????????

    A. this week
    B. this year
    C. this term
    D. next term, if there is one?
    E. Never

    Take your pick! When???

  • InExile

    @michael @ leonardmatlovich.com: Love your posts, think they are right on the money. Saw a post you made on citizencrain.com, it was excellent. You should be writing for the NY Times!

  • DanM

    Gibbs didn’t know what to say to the last question and its so obvious. All he did was repeat his previous answer. Also, he didn’t answer the question he just repeated what the President would like to see happen not what the President believed concerning the brief’s language/content (which was the question).

  • Jeffrey Drummond

    The attorney-of-record lists his email on the brief, as required: [email protected]. WRITE TO SCOTT SIMPSON, EVERYONE, to let him know know how his position is abhorrent. I wrote him a terse email to condemn his action.

    Justice does NOT have to support every law. It can make a “confession of error,” which admits that the US should actually lose the case. Or Justice can refuse to file a brief plain and simple.

    The head of the division involved, Tony West, has a long history of civil rights and public service, as he became a wealthy lawyer in a top California/national firm. He has sold his own soul by signing this brief.

  • Captain Freedom

    @CHIP: TAMMY BALDWIN 2012! Make Dustin Lance Black her running mate!! He’s a hot MoMo and he stands up for equality like none other.

  • schlukitz

    @michael @ leonardmatlovich.com:

    I caught your post on Citizen Crain as well, InExile brought it to my attention.

    It was hard-hitting, concise and as usual, as InExile so well put it, right on the money! We are both in agreement that you should be writing for the New York Times.

    I very much enjoy your frequent commentaries and always look forward to reading them whenever I sign-in to Queerty.com.

    You are a beacon of light in an oftentimes dark and gloomy sea of turbulence.

  • Marius

    Tossing Federal employees some crumbs is just like countering Rick Warren with the last minute invite of Gene Robinson to the Inauguration.

    Same old insulting BS.

    Off-topic (DADT) but I walked by the local recruiting center today and there was a big sign posted in the window: “Arabic Translators Needed.” I didn’t notice any fine print on the bottom.
    It should have been there, no?

  • Prof. Donald Gaudard

    Everyone should know that Scott Simpson, the attorney who wrote the brief comparing gay marriage to incest is a MORMON. So, in your e-mail to him, make sure to mention that his religion is obviously impeding his work as an attorney.

    [email protected].

    Professor of Law Emeritus Donald Gaudard

  • schlukitz

    This is a copy and paste of the e-mail I just sent to Mr. Simpson.

    Dear Mr. Simpson,

    It has been brought to my attention that you the attorney who wrote the brief comparing gay marriage to incest and pedophilia (pederasty). It was a brief that Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rick Warren
    or any of a host of fundamentalist, religious right, anti-gay bigots would have been proud to have penned and put their signature to.

    It was also brought to my attention that you are a member of the Mormon Church, you know…the one that was so instrumental in taking away the civil-rights of people that had already been law for some
    five months before you and the Catholic Church so brutally and heartlessly snatched them away?

    I was one of the many millions of LGBT people who worked tirelessly, contributing of our time, energy and money as well as our votes to get Mr. Obama into office and put control of our government back into
    the hands of the Democratic party after the Bush Republican Reign of Terror of eight years.

    I, along with my brethren, were led to believe by our now President, that we would see change and that the civil-rights of the LGBT people would, at long last, become a reality after having waited so long for
    that to become reality. Mr. Obama promised us that he would begin working on that just as soon as he took office.

    Six long months have passed since his Inauguration and the silence from the White House on LGBT issues of concern, namely DADT, DOMA, ENDA and same-sex marriage, is deafening and the issues
    appear to be as evasive as they ever were.

    DADT is being bounced from one court to another.

    Mr. President has made know, since even before the election, that his belief that marriage between one man and one woman, should be the law of the land.

    Same-sex Civil-unions have not even been mentioned since Mr. Obama took office.

    And now…you…have seen fit to demonize and degrade the LGBT Community in your brief, a position that Mr. Obama today backed with the full faith and trust of his office. This a moral outrage that both
    you and he should be thoroughly ashamed of. I can tell you, with no uncertainty, that these actions have made me ashamed of my government.

    Dragging your homophobic, hateful comments and religious beliefs into a secular government office, paid for with the tax-dollars of all American Citizens, including Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexuals and
    Transsexuals, is contemptible. There is no other way to describe it.

    Change??? Looks like business as usual to me from where I stand.

  • schlukitz

    Edit: Dang. I could have sworn that I typed the word “are” between you and the in the first sentence when I spell-checked my e-mail on Microsoft Word. Oh well. Shit happens. ;P

  • flybob

    If Obama doesn’t really get it in gear in his first term, then I’m not going to give him the benefit of the doubt for a second one. The country may have been stupid enough to re-elect Bush, but I’m smarter than that. Way smarter. Not necessarily a Republican in 2012, but definitely not Obama.

  • flybob

    My e-mail to Scott:
    You work for ME, not the Mormon Church. Get another job until you can figure that out. I’m ashamed of you, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Bill Perdue

    @flybob: If these events have taught us anything it’s that voting for bigots makes no sense at all.

    That’s irrespective of whether their name is Obama, Clinton, or Bush. Or whether they’re from the right centrist bigot-infested Democratic (sic) or Republican Parties. The truth is there is no such thing as a lesser evil.

    There are however better liars and that’s what Obama is.

    We have to move away from dependence on the bigots and develop our own independent, militant movement and ally ourselves with others in the same boat and with political groups that support us.

    We have to realize that elections are a dead end if they’re not accompanied by mass action, mass education, and mass organization. We can win but not by compromising with ‘lesser’ bigots and certainly not by supporting them or voting for them.

  • PatrickD

    I doubt Himself will be able to do enough to clean the GLBT “Blood” off his hands in time for the next election, at least for me. At least with McCain and Palin we had Honest Bigots instead of a faux Progressive. He’s already reached the stage that, with Bush our family Prayed for his Painful Death. So, to the Honorable thing is to do the same for Himself…..

  • Andrew

    We’ll get Palin in office. Then…. send in Meryl Streep to inject her and take control…. [it didn’t work on Liev Schreiber cause he’s kinda hot] Sarah Palin…… the Manchurian Candidtate…..

  • KD108

    Not to be an apologist considering the wording in the brief was abhorrent and unnecessary to make the case to uphold DOMA, but just because Gibbs said O supports the DOJ in their job to uphold the law of the land doesn’t mean he condones the language used. We can’t make those leaps in logic. In numerous other (non-queerty) sources it has been noted that the Smelt case was one of the weakest cases put forward challenging DOMA and would likely cause DOMA to stay in place much longer if it went to the Supreme Court and lost instead of being dismissed now. This was a terribly worded and infuriating brief that was insulting and hurtful for comparing our relationships to incest and child marriage, but they could have just been using any argument they had to get this particular case dismissed. We have a right to be pissed off right now and demand an apology and real progress, but it’s premature and immature to give up on this Administration 5 months in, when they have the potential to do so much good for us. Hold this administration accountable and show them that we will withhold our support and funding until they do right by us, but stooping to character attacks and name calling isn’t going to show we mean business… just bitchiness. Not to mention in a two party system (which we are unfortunately… I wish there was a way to get more support for other parties so we could get real ideas out there) so voting for Republicans or not voting at all (or for a 3rd party at this point) will only allow people who are vehemently against us to get elected and erase any modest gains we could make now.

  • Joanaroo

    Just mulling over- if a LGBT candidate could be found out of a mayor, representative, senator, governor, or attorney general post, and be made THE LGBT candidate in 2012 with plenty of backing from the community, starting NOW, maybe they’d have a shot in the primary. You never know. I know I’d back them. Obama is the lifelong Democrat’s nightmare.

  • Tony

    God is in da mix Obama hates us gays. Big shock. Fuck him. I am sure Michelle (the man in that relationship) staps in on and does the honors.

  • Tony

    I also pray for his painful death, on the receiving end of Michelle’s strap on.

Comments are closed.