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  • « Defending DOMA | Main | Defending Obama's indefensible defense... »

    June 15, 2009

    The DOMA f*ck up

    Posted by: Andoni

    Screw Up

    ADDENDUM AT END: (THE NEW YORK TIMES AGREES)

    As you can read here and here, the Obama Justice Department filed a brief defending DOMA. This was no ordinary brief. It was way over the top with arguments that could have just as well been made by Pat Roberson or Jerry Falwell. I'm still scratching my head over how this could have happened.

    One of the authors of the brief was a Bush appointee who happens to be Mormon. It's pretty obvious in reading the brief that his personal religious views got in the way of prudent arguments. The Assistant Attorney General in charge of the office that filed the brief is Tony West, an Obama appointee, and by all accounts a progressive person. He is married to someone who was the ED of a major California pro gay non profit. (I don't want to drag names of uninvolved spouses or organizations into this, but a few googles will give this information if you are curious). The point being, I doubt the Assistant Attorney General -- the head of the office that filed the brief, is anti-gay.

    So this is a major screw up that should never have happened. What do we do? So far, we've been complaining among ourselves. This is my advice to my friends and my email lists:

    Complaining amongst ourselves about the horrendous brief that was filed by the Obama DOJ last Thursday afternoon defending DOMA does no good. We need to do something constructive, like TODAY -- when the government offices are open again in Washington after the weekend. I don't know how many people are reading this, but I bet if we all make a focused attempt to do the following, we will be heard:

    1. Call or email the the White House (or do both) to register your strong complaint/disapproval/anger at the the Dept. of Justice's legal brief filed last Thursday defending the "Defense of Marriage Act" in US District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division (Smelt v United States). Make sure you reference DOMA, Dept of Justice, and filed in federal court in CA last Thursday so that when they tally the calls at the end of the day, our calls get lumped together. (Referencing Smelt v United States would be icing on the cake.)  Emails to the White House can be made at: whitehouse.gov/contact/ and the comment phone line is: 202-456-1111. If you wish and have time, you can cite as an example some particular section of the brief that is particularly outrageous to you.

    2. Ask/demand that the president fulfill his campaign promise to repeal DOMA by immediately introducing legislation to repeal DOMA

    3. I would hope that all three (in concert if possible) of our representatives in Congress call or meet with the appropriate person in the White House to explain/protest how demeaning and over the top the DOJ brief was. They should stress that this was a completely avoidable fiasco if the White House had only consulted with them on this matter first. They should also point out that this is an example of why we need an LGBT senior staff liaison in the White House.

    4. I would hope that every person who represents an LGBT organization would have that organization also contact the White House with the same above messages.

    5. If you are a member of another email list, you would send the above suggestions to that list, so that the calls and emails snowball.

    Taking action is preferable to complaining among ourselves. We've been run over here. If we don't make a loud noise and protest, the next time it will be even worse.

    If we can't get enough people to take action over this -- to make our voices heard at the highest levels on this very justified complaint, I fear we don't have the energy, unity or passion to achieve equal rights in the near future.

    ADDENDUM: The New York Times agrees with us. Here is their great editorial this morning. And I'm glad to report that Joe Solmonese, ED of the Human Rigths Campaign sent the president a strong letter that is well worth reading.Here's a key clip from the opening paragraph:

    "I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours.  I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you."

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    Comments

    1. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com on Jun 15, 2009 12:37:15 PM:

      You doubt Tony West is "anti-gay" even though his name was on a heinously anti-gay brief from his department? Here's some more 411 on him you missed: one place you WON'T find the rich, former San Francisco Morrison & Foerster partner's name, nor his wife's, is on the list of donors to defeat Prop 8 last year.

      Some other action suggestions:


      1. For those who believe in direct action, don't just "Meet on the Mall." Shut DC down. For a day. But ON A DAY WHEN Congress & the Prez will actually be THERE.

      2. Yes, enough with the mutual preaching to the choir. It's time we did something that should have been done at least two decades ago: take out a series of full page ads and 30 second commercials in mainstream media condemning and embarrassing the President not just for breaking his promises, not just for his hypocrisy in now having filed TWO court briefs that defend DADT and DOMA with the very lies and distortions that were used to pass them in the first place, but with FACTS capitalizing upon the support of the majority of straight Americans for gay equality in everything but "marriage" ... particularly their support of DADT repeal. Outline for them the damage discharges are to THEIR national security. Demand a stop-loss order. The Administration is far more likely to listen to a coalition of gays and nongays than just us whom he's clearly determined are expendable...or participatory fools.

      HRC has more than enough $$. NGLTF has some. And I bet Tim Gill, Mitchell-Gold, David Geffen, and other gay millionaires would give even more.

      3. Turn every remaining Stonewall 40 Gay Pride event into a SHAME OBAMA! action in banners leading the parades and speakers from the platforms. It's time to put a dent in Barry's halo. [After Friday's brief was revealed, Obama Plantation House Faggot John Berry should have been egged at DC Pride when he got up to represent the Administration, the words "justice," "respect," and "truth" curdling in his mouth.] Or is 40 years and Obama continuing to discharge gays DAILY while using Antigay Industry talking points in court not yet ENOUGH dehuminization of us?

      4. Major Obama Cheerleader David Mixner is boycotting the ludicrously named DNC LGBT "Leadership" Council Pickpocket Party er Dinner. Hopefully many others will, too. But that's not enough. We should refuse to donate another gay dime to any DEM running in 2010 [save Gavin Newsom for governor of California and possibly a FEW others IF, and ONLY if, they have dared criticize, as Newsom has, their fellow Dems for their cowardice on marriage equality, etc.]. Or to any other enabler of antigays in any other party.

      It is waay past time to teach them a lesson...the ONLY lesson they IMMEDIATELY understand.

    1. Michael on Jun 15, 2009 10:58:55 PM:

      Done. Sent the e-mail to the White House, and told the president that until I see some action from him and the Democratic Party on some of the issues he promised to work on for us in his campaign, neither he nor the Democratic Party will get a dime or an ounce of support out of me.

    1. Winston Johnson, Atlanta on Jun 16, 2009 12:39:56 PM:

      I am to the point of outrage with the Obama administration. I am 68 years old and was with my partner for 42 years until his death three years ago. For this administration not only to TRIVIALIZE our relationships but actually to use the language of the RIGHT WING LUNATICS is more than infuriating. I gave every dollar I possibly could to help elect Obama and other democrats, but at this point not another fucking cent. I had truly hoped that my anger would have susided by the time I reached this age but I am more livid now that we have the White House and both houses of Congress who were all elected with millions of dollars from LGBTs and we still get no RESPECT. I urge all LGBT people to contact the White House and members of Congress and let them know how we are mad as hell and will not take it anymore.
      Winston Johnson

    1. Chuck on Jun 17, 2009 3:03:21 AM:

      Winston, I relate to everything you said. My condolences over the loss of your partner of 42 years. I am 72 years old and like you, am more livid now than I can ever recall being. Like some 40,000 bi-nationa couples, my partner of six and a half years and I have been waiting for some to happen, anything, just so we can be together here in the US instead of being obliged go spend part of each year in exile in the Philippines so that we can be together for at least part of the time.

      Folks like you and I no longer have time left to be "patient" and platitudes like "your time will come" ring hollow to us folks who look at each new day as a blessing from heaven because we no longer have any assurance of just how many more we have left.

      Yeah. Like you, I am mad as hell too and I am letting everyone in a positon of power know it. The last thing I want to be known as in my old age, is being looked at as that adorable little old man who is so sweet and nice to everyone!

      I have worked long and hard to gain my reputation for being a cranky old son-of-a-bitch, and I am not going to let any fundy or magical undie asshole take that away from me as long as I have a breath left in my lungs. ;)

    1. Pheromone Cologne on Oct 16, 2009 9:47:19 AM:

      I'm really sorry for you, I know it must have been hard. Most of people think that bi-national people is different from the rest and they are so wrong, I really hope that every body open their minds and be free!
      Good luck!
      Danielle

    1. Cheap Viagra Online on Nov 16, 2009 4:00:39 PM:

      Is terrible that people think that way, we must let them know they are wrong.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 29, 2010 5:51:41 AM:

      I would feel much better if Obama would simply let us in on what his plan and timeline are to achieve LGBT equality. Since June is Pride month, now would be a good time to tell.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 29, 2010 6:20:01 AM:

      Chris is so right on the money here. HRC needs to take a shot across the bow, not just fire at random into the ocean. Let's see if we can't get the ball rolling.

    1. carpet cleaning phoenix on Apr 27, 2011 11:49:38 PM:

      Is there anything new? Why would they messed up all the time.

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