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NOM Wants to Revive Efforts for a Federal Marriage Amendment

July 15, 2010

In an email to supporters (and me), the National Organization for Marriage renewed the call for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman.  The impetus for this, they argue, is that the rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act in Massachusetts show that the Obama administration is “throwing” cases which challenge DOMA, and now Congress must act since the Department of Justice supposedly isn’t.  From a Brian Brown’s email:

This is not just a bad ruling from a judge; it is a sign of the deceit and collusion of Pres. Obama’s Justice Department in sabotaging the defense of DOMA.  This was a sham trial, between two parties who both wanted the government to lose this case.

I don’t get the political decision behind defending DOMA in court.  Defending DOMA in court doesn’t strike me as a move that will gain you any votes, especially when you say that you oppose it.  If this is the issue you vote on (like Brown and Maggie Gallagher), you won’t be voting for Obama regardless of what he does.  Then there is the fact that I think Brown’s logic is just plain wrong.  The administration would not need to go through the motions of a trial if their goal is really to see it defeated.  They could simple choose not to defend DOMA, or at the very least do it with less gusto (say, dropping any comparisons to incest).

On the issue of a federal marriage amendment, I say go for it.  It doesn’t even poll well with people who oppose same-sex marriage (a 2006 ABC poll found a 16% gap between opposing same-sex marriage and supporting a Constitutional amendment).   Such a bold move, I think, alienates a lot of people who are in the middle on this issue.  I think it polls the way it does because it strikes people as a) overkill and b) even more mean-spirited than denying rights on a state-by-state basis.

As another side note, NOM also started their “Summer for Marriage Tour” in Maine.  Based on the photo sent out by NOM, I’m not so sure they needed the microphone.  Hopefully the crowd of about 50 speaks to their waning influence.

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