The Defense of Marriage Act, passed under Bill Clinton, emphasized the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and denied all federal benefits to same sex unions.  Conservatives were happy about this law, liberals charged that it discriminated against gays and lesbians.

Yesterday the Obama administration announced that it would no longer send federal lawyers into court to defend that Defense of Marriage Act and the discrimination agaist gays must eventually stop.

Some Conservatives charge that abandoning the Defense of Marriage Act weakens traditional marriage.

Is Obama weakening traditional marriage?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Neil asked: “Is Obama weakening traditional marriage?”

    Of course not. It’s a ridiculous claim – one without one shred of evidence. Ridiculous…

  2. 2
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    The world has ended on a number of occasions, and, somehow, we’re still here. Slavery was outlawed, women were given the vote, non-whites received the same civil rights as whites, and, somehow, we’re still here.
    I find it most ironic that the political animals with the highest rate of divorce – Republicans – trumpet the loudest about the “sanctity of marriage.”
    Mote, meet plank – CTZen

  3. 3
    Janus Says:

    What Joe and CTZen said.

    Anyone whose marriage is “ruined” by this doesn’t have much of a marriage to begin with.

  4. I say let people live and get over it.

  5. 5
    Neil McKenty Says:

    For centuries marriage has traditonally been between a man and a woman. Surely abrogating this tradition ipso facto weakens it.

  6. 6
    Janus Says:

    Wrong, Neil.

  7. 7

    I was amused yesterday to read that same sex unions in Hawaii are now legal.

    Back in the day, there was a tradition in Hawaiian royalty to marry within immediate families. Incest marriages were stopped by the arrival of the white man. see: http://tra­nsatlantic­a.revues.o­rg/525?&id­=525

    Perhaps with this new law on gay unions and the opening up and expansion of the definition of marriage it represents we will soon see the ban on incest marriages lifted. After all, if gay unions are a good thing, why not approve of something that has a real history and tradition behind it? And why should incest marriages be limited to just Hawaiian royalty? Should not all be equal?

  8. 8
    HeidiGulatee Says:

    I do not see how gay marriages will weaken the traditional marriage more. There are so many influences on the traditional marriage now. I read about film stars whose marriages are a mess and they find this quite normal. Also the movies consider strong traditional marriages boring. It seems triangles are much more exciting.
    We had a church meeting last Saturday and the question came up how long people were married. About 80 % of the people asked were married around 40 years. (This says something about the ages of the leadership of my church.)
    That is just one example where marriages are strong. I also know of people outside the church that are committed for a long time. It is a question of not comparing to others but to make a marriage work.
    That said, my marriage ended in divorce which I still regret.
    But I still cannot see how permitting gay marriage can weaken individual marriages.

  9. 9
    zeusiswatching Says:

    “Traditional Marriage” is a term to describe a form of marriage that is not in any way threatened by marriage equality except that it will not be the only definition of marriage recognized by civil law. Seriously, I am in a “traditional marriage.” Divorce, not my gay neighbors getting married, is a far more dangerous threat to my “traditional marriage”.

    My reply to defenders of “traditional marriage,” Don’t like gay marriage? Well, don’t have one!

  10. 10
    HeidiGulatee Says:

    Wellcome to the blog.
    I love your solution to people that don t like gay marriage and I agree. Very sensibel!

  11. 11
    Vin Smith Says:

    Government does have a role to play in marriage, but only in the area of registration. Marriages need to be recorded, as marriage may seem to start out as a romantic endeavor, but couples soon find out it is a business proposition–even if true romance breathes its warming glow for half-a-century or more.

    Protecting both parties legally is the function of governmental involvement. As to who marries who, unless you support the “baddies” in Eric Arthur Blair’s (George Orwell) all powerful anti government polemic, 1984, then you must refrain from telling people whether or not they can marry.

    If you insist on telling people what they can do, then at least be honest and admit that you are a bad person; a controllist, a tin dictator, a soulmate of your inquisitional ancestors; an utter charlatan hiding behind religious fervor while denying free will, nailing innocent people to a virtual cross; a perverse human being not worth a dog’s spittle.

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