DOMA Decision Puts Children Second, Special Interests First

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 23, 2011 – On Wednesday, February 23, the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer defend Federal Law Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because they contend it discriminates against gays and lesbians. Here is Catholics for the Common Good’s response:

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 “The only way that marriage between a man and a woman can be seen as discriminatory under any circumstance, is if marriage is viewed merely as a committed relationship for the private interest of adults (as in the Walker Prop 8 decision),” said Catholics for the Common Good chairman William B. May. “However, we know that marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their relationship. This is the reality of marriage understood by the bi-partisan majority in Congress that passed DOMA and President Clinton who signed it in 1996. It is also the reality of marriage reflected by people who defined it between a man and a woman at the polls in every state (31) where they have been permitted to vote on it.”

“To arrive at their conclusion, it is clear that the Administration has adopted a new, false definition of marriage that is needed to accommodate same-sex couples. In doing so, the Administration is ignoring the public interest in marriage—marriage as integral to the common good of the society, and the common interest that every child has in the marriage of his or her mother and father.”

In previous attempts to defend DOMA, the Administration has actually served to undermine marriage and has actually expressed hostility toward the interest of children in the marriage of their mothers and fathers. In one such brief, the policy of the Administration was stated as:

“The government does not contend that there are legitimate government interests in ‘creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents,’” (reply brief Smelts v U.S.).

“That ‘legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents’ is, of course, marriage that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their relationship,” May exclaimed. “That clearly is what the President is against. With over 40% of children being born to unmarried mothers today, it is critical that the law promote a clear understanding of the reality of marriage and its value to children and society.”

DOMA protects 90% of states—the 45 where the laws reflect the reality of marriage—from having false definitions of marriage forced on them.



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