Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has been on a press tour of sorts bashing President Obama for his decision to stop supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a federal law that declares marriage can only be between one man and one woman.
First, right after Obama made the announcement, Boehner announced that he wasn’t having it and was starting measures to make sure Congress enforced the law. Here’s his official statement:
“While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.”
He then went on the Christian Broadcasting Network and railed against Obama, saying he was practicing “raw politics” and “pandering to the other side” in an effort to win his re-election.
In order to execute his plan to go over the president’s head, he created the Bipartisan Leadership Advisory Group (which actually isn’t bipartisan becasue the committee includes more Republicans than Democrats) in order to vote on whether the House will defend DOMA. And as was expected they did vote to defend DOMA on a 3-2 party-line vote. It’s still to be told what this vote means and how it affects Obama’s decision.
As you’ve probably gathered, Boehner’s anti-gay actions aren’t exactly popular, especially with liberals and gay rights supporters. Equality Ohio, GetEqual Ohio and Impact Cincinnati even held a protest outside of Boehner’s Ohio offices and have issued a call to action against the Speaker.
The main thing that bothers me about this whole thing is the fact that all of this hoopla over Obama’s DOMA announcement is based on lies. The main lie being that no president has ever done this before and Obama is required to defend the law. Many presidents have stopped supporting laws they believe are wrong, one main example being when Lyndon B. Johnson integrated the military.
The other lie that’s being perpetuated is the misconception that most Americans support DOMA and the President is going against the wishes of the people. Gallop Polls and CNN Polls have shown that 52 percent of Americans are are in support of same-sex marriage.
Get it together Boehner.
Here’s more from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who chats with a couple political pundits about the issue.
And below Stop8.org‘s This Week in Prop 8 discusses more about the special committee Boehner created and the many instances where U.S. presidents have made similar decisions to not support a certain law they felt was unconstitutional.
UPDATE (2 p.m.): Senators are planning to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act into Congress for debate on Wednesday. It would completely repeal DOMA and was constructed by Democrats in response to Obama’s decision to not support DOMA as it stands.
UPDATE (10 p.m.): Here’s a YouTube video that captures some of the protest. Five people were arrested after staging a sit-in when Boehner’s staff refused to let the protesters deliver a petition urging him to stop defending DOMA.