Obama: Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling Righted A Wrong

Boehner "disappointed."

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President Barack Obama applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional Wednesday, saying the “country is better off,” after the high court’s ruling.

“The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free,” Obama said in an impassioned statement.

As he flies to Africa for a week, Obama said he has directed Attorney General Eric Holder to begin efforts to implement the ruling, which requires that the federal government recognize valid same-sex marriages.

“I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly,” Obama said.

According to press secretary Jay Carney, Obama called DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor after learning of the decision by telephone when Air Force One briefly lost Internet service. He also called plaintiffs in the separate Proposition 8 case, which resulted in the return of same-sex marriage to California as the Supreme Court ruled that supporters of the proposition did not have proper standing to fight to uphold the ban in federal court. Obama told the plaintiffs, “We’re proud of you guys,” in a moment caught on live television.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, who appropriated funds from the House of Representatives to defend DOMA after the Obama administration declined to defend it, said he was disappointed by the Court’s decision.

“Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and President Clinton signed it into law,” Boehner said in a statement. “The House intervened in this case because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the Court, not by the president unilaterally. While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances. A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”

Obama’s full statement is below:

I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.

The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.

12 comments
asselem
asselem

@StefW what is your view about marriage as a last resort for early pregnancy. thanks :)

StefW
StefW

Edit: Of course, in the last sentence of my last comment, "...available and suitable same-sex couple..." should read: "...available and suitable different -sex couple..."!

StefW
StefW

In response to fenchurch (your question concerning single parents). Again, sorry for the late answer.

I know a number of single parents. They're doing a great job raising their children, but they all say it would be desirable for their children to grow up with two parents, ideally a mother and a father. But such circumstances cannot be forced upon their lives, nor can children be taken away from single parents, solely for the reason that they are single parents! Such action would invariably be seriously detrimental to the well-being of such children.

The circumstance of a parentless child in need of adoption is of course entirely different. The preservation of a bond with a parent is not a consideration: it has no parent. Its a fresh start, and the decision to create the best circumstances for that child's development and its interests can be easily made, by giving preference to different-sex adoptive parents. Not doing so would in my view be morally indefensible. Also, I would add that a reasonable ethical assessment of the circumstances of the life of a child of a single parent, which are in all probability the result of a combination of fate and private decisions of family planning, the details and motivations of which are generally inaccessible to outsiders especially to the government because of fundamental rights of privacy, is hardly possible and it maybe therefore best to refrain from such an assessment. On the other hand, a clear cut decision by a government to deliberately deprive a parentless child in need if adoption of either the beautiful, unique relationship with a mother or the beautiful, unique relationship with a father, by not giving precedence to an available and suitable same-sex couple, is in my view quite obviously morally indefensible.

StefW
StefW

In response to fenchurch (your later comment)

Sorry for a late answer.

I asked a 12 year old and a 10 year old girl (two great friends of mine in the neighbourhood) to read the 3 comments I posted. They say after reading twice, they fully understood the argumentation and no part was not understandable or illogical. On the other hand, your comment was impossible to understand, one reason being that you failed to assign A,B,C, etc to specific statements in my comments.

I seriously suggest that you ask a child of average intelligence to read my comments, and this child should then have no problem explaining their meaning and essence. A simple, clear mind, grounded in innocence, like that of a child sometimes grasps essence and meaning faster and more easily than grown-ups, who may have all sorts of conditionings in their mind which might influence their thought processes.

StefW
StefW

In response to drudown (can't activate the standard reply button with my mobile device)

Not what I meant. If the agencies do their job properly, only thoroughly checked, suitable couples are eligible to adopt parentless children. As far as suitable different-sex couples are available, they must be given precedence to avoid discrimination of children as far as possible. But in most civilized countries no infant has to be put on a waiting list. If a society is not prepared or able to provide each child which has lost both parents with both a substitute mother and father, then, in my view, there is something wrong with that society. These children are innocent. Its a moral principle that mankind owes to the child the best it has to give. It lies in the responsibility of governments around the world to live up to this responsibility. In fact, in most European countries there is no shortage of different-sex couples for child adoption. 10 qualified such couples are available for each 0-4 year old child who needs to be adopted in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Adequate numbers exist for higher age groups. On the other hand a shortage of foster parents, mainly for children above 6 does occur, but special efforts / campaigns to inform the population of the need usually results in adequate numbers of couples. Apparently the situation in the USA is considerably worse. If that is true, then the whole of American society must take stock of itself and ask itself, how did we get to this point? Do we want this kind of society? Why aren't we immediately increasing efforts 10, 20 fold to improve the situation of these children? I can understand that having arrived at such a situation one may contemplate allowing single parents or same-sex couples to adopt children, but if this is considered as anything other than a temporary resort, then the attitude to children in the US is based on acceptance of discrimination. The goal must be, to not be dependent on same-sex adoption regarding parentless children, and to strive to provide each of these children with a mother and father.

StefW
StefW

In response to fenchurch

Please indicate to me a specific part of my argument which have trouble following. Ill try to explain in different words, which may help. I don't see what is offensive in considering adoption from the perspective of the child, and viewing children as human beings, who enjoy relationship diversity, just as adults do.

If homosexuals want non-discrimination for everyone, then that must especially apply to children. From the child's perspective there is no reason whatsoever to deprive it of a mother or of a father. In fact, it is desirable that children are able to experience both, for the simple reason, as stated, that human-beings, whether young, old, homosexual or straight, enjoy relationship diversity. That is a fact which doesn't even require scientific validation because nobody on this world would disagree. And since it is a well accepted moral principle that children's interest must be the paramount consideration (especially regarding adoption: see article 21, Convention for the Rights of the Child) , the government must do its level best to make sure each child in need of adoption gets a mother and a father.

How would you feel, if the government decided you may only have relationships with, for example, males regarding an extremely important type of relationship, for example, best friends? I think you might want to fight for your right to experience relationship diversity and the right to interact with both males and females as part of your freedom. And you would win (see basic human rights of freedom and communication). Wouldn't every child loving person want children to have an analogous freedom regarding the most beautiful, intimate and defining relationship they can experience (parents)?

StefW
StefW

Obama says:

"..when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."

Which means, as I understand it, that the line should be drawn at adoption of parentless children. Children in need of adoption must be treated equally. What are the most significant, life-enriching, joy giving experiences we can have during our life? I would say, definitely having relationships with other human beings. And because diversity is fundamentally important, having diverse relationships is also fundamental to a fulfilling life. The two most beautiful, intimate and defining relationships that a child can experience are the relationship with a Mother and that with a Father. So, deliberately depriving a number of children in need of adoption of either the beautiful, unique relationship with a father or the beautiful, unique relationship with a mother, by allowing same-sex couples to adopt them, or by not at least giving preference to suitable different-sex couples is morally indefensible. Children, just like adults, have a right to experience relationship diversity. In fact, that is a basic human right. So it should be a primary concern of the government, that all involved do their level best to make sure children in need of adoption get a substitute mother and a substitute father.

fenchurch
fenchurch

I have trouble following the part where you conclude that because A=B, therefore A must be C, with C being a random statement about children, and so logically X must = Y which = Z, with X, Y and Z being the non sequiturs I referred to earlier. But I can see from your replies that logical reasoning isn't your strong suit.

I assume you apply the same logical reasoning to, oh I don't know, a widow "deliberately depriving" her offspring of a "diverse relationship" with a father? What would be a fair window of time in which a single parent can find a new, diverse partner to raise their children with, before they qualify as "deliberately depriving" their child of a fundamental human right and the child is removed and placed with parents with the correct genitalia in the correct amounts?

dunedweller
dunedweller

@StefW "human-beings, whether young, old, homosexual or straight, enjoy relationship diversity."

Every couple has diversity, regardless of their genders. Every person and/or couple is unique in their way of parenting. Every child's experience is different regardless of their parent's gender. Yet you seem to be sure that any couple, as long as they are strait, would make stellar parents. I call BS.

drudown
drudown

@StefW 

Taken to its illogical conclusion, your logic implies that a orphan is "better off" with a dysfunctional M/F family than a loving, solvent and supportive homosexual couple. Do I have that right?

fenchurch
fenchurch

As offensive as your opinion may be, I have to give you some credit for stringing together the most extensive and random collection of non sequiturs I've read in years. Well done, you.