Obama's Irreconcilable Marriage Vows

Posted: May 30, 2008 11:24 AM
Obama's Irreconcilable Marriage Vows

“Marriage, it doesn’t mean anything.” That’s what Barack Obama told wife Michelle while they were dating, according to her recent interview in The New Yorker. But he’s telling voters that marriage is “something sanctified between a man and a woman,” and that he opposes same-sex “marriage.” Sanctified or meaningless, which is it?

On the one hand, Obama says marriage should be between a man and a woman.

  • “And I should say that personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” Floor speech against federal marriage amendment, June 5, 2006.
  • “He also repeated his stance on gay marriage - that civil unions are fine, but marriage is a religious bond.” July 2007, 365gay.com
  • “Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, ‘I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman. … He said he would support civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, as well as letting individual states determine if marriage between gay and lesbian couples should be legalized.’” About.com/Lesbian Life.

On the other hand, Obama wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which protects one man-one woman marriage.

Section one of DOMA defines marriage as one man-one woman for purposes of federal law:

…the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. 1 USCS § 7.

A second section of DOMA protects the right of the states to decide their marriage laws for themselves:

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage… 28 USCS § 1738C.

During his race for Senate in 2004, Obama denounced DOMA as “an abhorrent law” and promised to work to repeal it. In a February 11, 2004 letter posted on a gay and lesbian Web site, Obama wrote:

For the record, I opposed DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted

When Members of Congress passed DOMA, they were not interested in strengthening family values or protecting civil liberties. They were only interested in perpetuating division and affirming a wedge issue.

In his Presidential campaign Obama has reaffirmed his vow to abandon DOMA, and is making it an election issue against Hillary Clinton.  According to World Net Daily,  “Obama has issued an open letter to the ‘LGBT community’ assuring them he believes in ‘full equality’ for homosexuals and stating that, unlike Sen. Hillary Clinton, he advocates the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.” The article quotes Obama:

I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union or a civil marriage.

Obama should know that DOMA doesn’t “stand in the way of states” to define marriage. DOMA reinforces the right of states to “decide” for themselves, which is what Obama says he wants. And a person who would be president shouldn’t mislead the American people about federal law.

Obama wants to repeal both sections of DOMA.  He doesn’t want federal law to limit marriage to a man and a woman, and he doesn’t want federal law to protect the right of the states to decide for themselves. Is this the position of a man who believes marriage is “sanctified?”

Lest there be yet another “out of context” accusation from Obamaland, here’s Michelle’s full statement to The New Yorker about their marriage “debate”:

Barack had a more bohemian attitude toward romance. “We would have this running debate throughout our relationship about whether marriage was necessary,” Obama told me. “It was sort of a bone of contention, because I was, like, ‘Look, buddy, I’m not one of these who’ll just hang out forever.’ You know, that’s just not who I am. He was, like”—she broke into a wishy-washy voice—“‘Marriage, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s really how you feel.’ And I was, like, ‘Yeah, right.’”

So we have it from both his vow to repeal DOMA and straight from his wife’s mouth. “Marriage, it doesn’t mean anything.”