Obama Adulterates Marriage and Federalism
"Marriage, it doesn't mean anything." That's what Barack Obama told wife Michelle while they were dating, according to her 2008 interview in The New Yorker. Marriage won't mean anything if Obama has his way with the Supreme Court.
As a suitor of voters, Obama expressed his "sacred" version in response to a question from Pastor Rick Warren just before the 2008 election:
"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian -- for me -- for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."
Obama has had more marriage evolutions than Liz Taylor. You can review them on Politico.com.
At Obama's direction and input, the U.S. Solicitor General has filed an amicus brief in the Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry. The brief supports homosexual couples who are challenging the constitutionality of "Proposition 8," which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Prop 8 is a California ballot proposition and amendment to the California Constitution approved by more than seven million Californians in 2008, otherwise known as democracy.
Obama's brief challenges what has been dubbed "the eight-state solution." For better or for worse, California and seven other states, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island, have granted the substantive rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, calling them either civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Perhaps they followed the lead of Obama, the fickle constitutional professor, when he told the Windy City Times in 2004:
I am not a supporter of gay marriage as it has been thrown about, primarily just as a strategic issue. I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation. I know that's true in the African-American community, for example."
Obama specifically endorsed "strong civil unions," not "a weak version" in a 2007 primary debate.
California's law is the "strong version," granting "all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage" to same-sex "domestic partners." Even so, Obama is telling the Court that this is precisely what's wrong with it. Follow the spin.
If California voters had denied same-sex couples any civil union/domestic partner benefits, there wouldn't be any equal protection violation. The voters' failure, according to Obama's brief, was in granting them all of the benefits without calling it marriage:
Proposition 8's denial of marriage to same-sex couples, particularly where California at the same time grants same-sex partners all the substantive rights of marriage, violates equal protection. The Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection embodies a defining constitutional ideal that "all persons similarly situated should be treated alike."
Obama doesn't explain how two men in a sterile coupling are "similarly situated" to a husband and wife consummating their marriage, which has the potential for carrying humanity forward for another generation.
Obama still says that marriage law should be decided by the states, unless, of course, they decide wrongly. It's Obama's version of federalism. Just substitute the votes of five lawyers on the Supreme Court for seven million Californians.
Obama explained his elusive evolution on marriage to the White House press corps last Friday:
"As everybody here knows, last year, upon a long period of reflection, I concluded that we cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to marriage; that the basic principle that America is founded on -- the idea that we're all created equal -- applies to everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, as well as race or gender or religion or ethnicity.
"And I think that the same evolution that I've gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through. And I think it is a profoundly positive thing."
With 41 states disagreeing with him about marriage, only a progressive could see his evolved view as "a profoundly positive thing." It helps explain why he doesn't think he has a spending problem.
Obama believes that "impermissible prejudice" by seven million Californians of all races, creeds, and walks of life is the only plausible explanation for Prop 8. To soften his slur, he says their prejudice is not necessarily motivated by "ill will." Perhaps they're simply insensitive, irrational xenophobes who haven't evolved:
''Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves."
The brief doesn't challenge state laws such as Texas, which ban same-sex "marriage," civil unions and domestic partnerships. If he has his way in Perry, Obama will accuse these states in a future case of violating the liberty rights of same-sex couples under the due process clause of the 14h Amendment.
The Court will hear oral arguments in Perry at the end of March along with a challenge to the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" in U.S. v. Windsor. The decisions will be issued by the end of June.
Regardless, marriage is what it is -- the God-ordained union of one man and one woman, upon which depends the continuation of humankind. Two men or two women do not a marriage make any more than O2H makes water.
As Obama once said: "God's in the mix."
God doesn't evolve. Neither does the Constitution unless amended by We the People.
Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.