A reader channels a lot of people's bafflement on the DOMA brief:
I'm floored by the Obama Administration's stance on DOMA. It doesn't make any legal sense. The only two plausible explanations i can think of:
Obama is taking a hard line on marriage to protect himself from the attack dogs when he ends DADT.
or The language in this brief was written by the previous administration, and inadvertently and/or lazily regurgitated here, with or without his knowledge. I simply cannot fathom Elena Kagan arguing this with a straight face.
Me neither. My best bet is that it was a decision not to force a federal judicial ruling on DOMA yet, and was written with no real understanding of how it would impact already rattled gay supporters.
If that's true, there is a clear absence of political coordination on gay issues in the White House. Their communication needs work. And if they're only communicating with HRC, they need to widen the net. I'm trying to be constructive. There's a case for delaying these court fights federally. But in the absence of any legislative action from Pelosi or Reid and total silence from Obama, the viciously anti-gay rhetoric in this brief can easily be misread, and could do substantive harm to gay couples and our fight for civil equality.
The alternative explanation is that Obama actually wants to kill marriage equality in favor of separate but equal civil unions. But he cannot do that after so many states have already granted marriage equality. And he surely cannot believe that's what he was elected for.