Thursday, March 06, 2008

Obama Wants to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act

"I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate."
~ Barack Obama

"As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."
~ Barack Obama

"As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today... Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role..." (emphasis added)
~ Pope Benedict XVI

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Obama in Ohio: Sermon on Mount Justifies Same-Sex Unions

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At 3/06/2008 1:38 PM, Anonymous BillyHW said...

Catholic natural.

At 3/06/2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

I oppose government measures to define marriage one way or another because I think it establishes a dangerous precedent. Once you give the State the power to define marriage as one thing, the meaning of marriage is then up to the State to decide. I say let's not go there.

Just my opinion.

At 3/06/2008 1:59 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

So should we repeal a law that is already in existence that ensures that states do not have to recognize the laws of other states allowing same-sex "marriage"?

That's what Obama's calling for. That each and every state should have to give full faith and credit to same-sex "marriages" concocted in those states that allow such nonsense.

All the Defense of Marriage Act does is preserve the status quo ante.

At 3/06/2008 2:01 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

And, as the quote in the post makes clear, the Pope seems to think that the government should act in this area to preserve traditional notions of marriage and family.

At 3/06/2008 2:27 PM, Blogger CourageMan said...

Once you give the State the power to define marriage as one thing, the meaning of marriage is then up to the State to decide.

There's a certain sense in which that's true. The same sense in which the state has to define "religion" (as distinguished from "belief" or "thought," say) in order to protect or avoid violating the "free exercise of religion." The same sense in which the state has to define "speech" (as opposed to "action") in order to protect or avoid violating the "freedom of speech." "Let's not go there" might sound nice, but it's not coherent absent a radical individualism that goes all the way down to children.

The only way for the state to avoid defining marriage is for the state to avoid defining "family" per se and/or stating that "family" has no legal quiddity. To take some not-so-hypothetical examples -- why should a man be held responsible under the state's law for a woman's children if he does not have a state-defined tie to her. If the state doesn't define marriage, one of two things will be the case -- (1) all children will fend for themselves, (2) all children will be raised communally a la Plato's Republic, or (3) all children will be raised by single women.

That the state will have -- in the purely effectual sense of "mother, can I" rather than "mother, may I" -- the power to define marriage is simply a fact.

At 3/07/2008 8:50 AM, Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

There’s a difference between the government acknowledging a philosophical or moral truth and legislating accordingly and the government defining philosophical or moral “truth” as it sees fit.

I’m not opposed to the former; I am opposed to that latter.

An illustration of my concern: Suppose 30 years from now the people and their representatives are far more morally “progressive” than they are today, and they and the government want to define marriage as an institution that includes same-sex relationships. If today we make the meaning of marriage something the government gets to decide, then we have no legal basis to object to the government changing the meaning of marriage.

We have to be very careful in how we use government in the defense of traditional marriage. I wouldn’t say the government cannot be used for such and end, but whatever we do, I think we cannot allow the government to don the mantle of philosopher or arbiter of truth.


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