Don’t Mess with DOMA

Sandwiched between this year’s presidential proclamations in honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day was their antithesis, one celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. In the former, the White House declared, respectively, that “[m]others are the rocks of our families and the foundation in our communities;” and “we honor the men in our lives who have helped shape us for the good, and we recommit to supporting fatherhood in our families, in our communities, and across our Nation.” In the latter announcement, the president proclaimed his desire to see that “all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law.”

At first glance, these three statements do not appear to be in conflict as long as “the law” is enforced. But during the same month, President Obama announced his administration’s intentions to “ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation” to complement his administration’s previous announcement to work toward eliminating the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through executive orders and in the courts.

In the strongest letter of his brief tenure as the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Timothy Dolan called on President Obama and his administration to stop violating the law by actively lobbying against DOMA. The archbishop did not mince words, stating that the administration’s actions do not “stand the test of common sense,” and that unless rolled back, such actions would “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.” He further wrote that Obama needs to “push the reset button” on DOMA. To do otherwise, “ignores the will of millions of Americans who have voted in favor of state constitutional versions of the law.”

Shortly after Archbishop Dolan’s letter, the Obama administration immediately denounced a North Carolina ballot initiative for a Constitutional Amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In doing so, the administration repeated its earlier statement that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts.

This is not the only example of the Obama administration’s complete disregard for the law in order to push its LGBT agenda. In addition to the actions cited above, Dolan also called attention to a June report that the Department of Agriculture had created another “ism” – “heterosexism” – for those who support DOMA, and the lifting of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the military.

And it is not only the Catholic Church that opposes the Obama administration’s overreaching in its push to redefine marriage. DOMA-like statutes currently exist in 39 states and 30 define marriage as between one man and one woman in their constitutions. Since 2004, 22 state constitutions have been amended to include this language by a popular vote of citizens. The six states, plus the District of Columbia, which have legalized homosexual “marriage” have done so through legislation or court order, not by the popular consent of the citizens of the state.

President Obama flagrantly disregards the will of the American people by not only ignoring the federal law that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman, but also by openly opposing it. Can you imagine what would happen to a pro-life president who directed the appropriate agencies to ignore the law in order to withhold congressionally-approved funds to Planned Parenthood?

Like all who attempt to redefine marriage to suit an activist minority, the administration doesn’t appear to understand the important role natural marriage serves in securing the health of a nation. A recent study, “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Does Marriage and Fertility have to do with the Economy?” focused on the marriage of one man and one women, the children resulting from that marriage, and the role of this natural family in sustaining economic growth. Its four key findings, cited from the executive summary, are:

(1) Children raised in intact, married families are more likely to acquire the human and social capital they need to become well-adjusted, productive workers.

(2) Men who get and stay married to one woman work harder, work smarter, and earn more money than their unmarried peers.

(3) Nations wishing to enjoy robust long-term economic growth and viable welfare states must maintain sustainable fertility rates of at least two children per woman.

(4) Key sectors of the modern economy—from household products to insurance to groceries—are more likely to profit when men and women marry and have children.

The “bottom-line message” of the report is that, “[B]usiness, government, civil society, and ordinary citizens would do well to strengthen the family—in part because the wealth of nations, and the performance of large sectors of the modern economy, is tied to the fortunes of the family.”

This is a direct contradiction to the actions taken by the Obama Administration with regard to the family. Its radical societal engineering will be felt by future generations as there will be fewer persons in the work force and consumers to generate the wealth that yields the taxes necessary to fund the government.

European nations are scrambling to halt the demographic decline that the Obama administration seems determined to foist upon America. Archbishop Dolan is correct. If not reversed, this action will most certainly harm our nation in ways that do not appear to have occurred to the President.

Words do have meanings, but actions speak louder than words. The Obama administration’s attempts to redefine marriage prove that its proclamations on Mother’s and Father’s Days ring hollow.

As Archbishop Dolan put it, it is long past time for the Obama administration to “push the reset button” on DOMA. The future of our nation depends on it.

Bob Laird is a fellow of HLI America, an educational initiative of Human Life International, and is the former Director of Tepeyac Family Center. He writes for the Truth and Charity Forum.

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