Federal DOMA Under Attack
Federal DOMA Under Attack
Written By David E. Smith   |   02.26.11

As you may already know, President Barack Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Justice to no longer defend one of the most important laws of our nation — the federal Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA). This decision changes the legal climate significantly in the ongoing efforts to defend natural marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

More than 40 states, including Illinois, have passed their own state DOMAs! And a majority of voters in 31 states have voted to protect the definition of natural marriage at the ballot box. So why won’t the President and the Department of Justice uphold the law and the will of the people?

Take ACTION:  Contact your U.S. Representative. Encourage him/her to use the Congressional tools at their disposal to intervene in defending the longstanding Defense of Marriage Act.

Please also contact U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) directly, at 202-225-6205 to urge him to quickly appoint internal counsel to defend DOMA in these federal lawsuits.

Currently there are several lawsuits challenging DOMA. Three of those cases (in NY, CT, CA) have deadlines coming early next month. If there is no one from the government who will defend DOMA, it makes it much easier for those who want to redefine God’s institution of marriage to have free rein in those lawsuits.


Passed in 1996 by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, DOMA defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman in federal law. The law also protects states — like Illinois — from being required to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

While President Obama has the legal authority to make a decision to not defend laws he regards as unconstitutional, this decision is unconscionable and indefensible. Since President Obama took office, his Department of Justice has only halfheartedly offered a defense of DOMA and marriage in the courts, setting aside proven legal arguments for weaker, often nonsensical points.

Fortunately, the U.S. Congress can intervene in the federal DOMA cases. That means the ball is now in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s court. Speaker Boehner could instruct the House of Representative’s legal counsel to defend DOMA, or the members of the House can vote to defend it.

Now is the time for the newly elected Congress to reinforce their commitment to foundational principles like marriage. The 2010 election was all about having a more responsive and accountable government to the people. The great majority of American citizens do not want marriage redefined.

Take time now to let your U.S. Representative know you want Congress to defend DOMA, even if President Obama will not. They need to hear from you right away that protecting marriage matters.

Read more…

Obama Abandons DOMA (IFI PSA)

If marriage is lost, we lose everything (Don Feder in WorldNetDaily)

Senate Dem to Introduce Repeal of “Defense of Marriage Act” (Fox News Blog)

No more defense (World Magazine)

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 25-plus-years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes countless...
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