When the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed in Congress in 1996, the vote was bi-partisan and overwhelming. In the House, the tally was 342-67. Only the farthest left of Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted against it. A majority of Democrats supported marriage. In the Senate, the vote was even more lopsided and bi-partisan, 85-14. Again, most Democrats backed marriage. In both houses of Congress, the DOMA passed with such strong margins that President Clinton could clearly see the measure had better than "veto strength." That is, if he had vetoed the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress could have passed it over his veto. That would have required 67 votes in the Senate and 292 votes in the House. Bowing to the inevitable, Clinton signed the bill.
Now, President Obama has refused "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed" if he disagrees with them.
He announced early in his administration that he would not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. He has done everything he can in the last three and a half years to dismantle the law. It is a process not unlike termites eating away at the foundations of a house. Until just a few weeks ago, he apparently hoped that the law would collapse as he systematically undermined its foundations. It didn't. So President Obama, prompted no doubt by Vice President Biden's blurted out support for counterfeiting marriage, has "evolved."
Even the most committed advocates of evolutionary biology would deny that you can see evolution proceeding in just sixteen years. Nonetheless, Mr. Obama's position on marriage has changed. Or, more accurately, we might say his true position has come out. In 2008, he told Pastor Rick Warren that he believed "marriage is between a man and a woman. And God is in the mix." Which one moved?
Democrats have announced they will put same sex marriage in their platform when they meet in convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. This, in a state that voted last May to sustain true marriage. North Carolina voters joined 31 other states in backing true marriage. The vote was a stunning 61%-39%. That was up from the last reputable public opinion poll which had showed 55% supporting marriage to 39% opposed.
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