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But earlier this week President Obama told the Department of Justice to no longer defend the federal law that prevented gay marriage the defense of marriage act had been.
A Clinton Arab move that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
States legally recognize same sex marriage opinion polls indicate voters are shifting toward acceptance on the subject.
And now the White House says the federal marriage law defining it in between just one man and one woman is unconstitutional.
This is a very revolutionary.
Move on the part of the Department of Justice.
The move comes after the Obama administration's.
-- of another Clinton -- edict Don't Ask Don't Tell.
It's another shift in White House public policy the president's position on -- defense of marriage act has been consistent his long opposed it.
As unnecessary and unfair.
It's being called the win for the constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law we're just overjoyed it's a historic day and I don't think a lot of people understand.
The privilege that.
We have living in this time the administration's position was reevaluated because of two recent lawsuits challenging the statute.
-- -- is actually being challenged in court and the government recognizes that the law is likely to lose.
It's doing the right thing -- throwing in the towel by saying to the court we can't -- Well here -- the fallout from the decision Ryan Braun of the National Organization for Marriage he's NRDC bureau.
And John -- -- -- political director of freedom to marry he is here on the set so -- -- think you good morning.
-- since Brian you're kind of far away from me I have not bring you into it first when -- get your reaction to this change in policy what what is your take on.
Well the fact is that the Obama administration -- it when it was technically defending the law.
Was essentially throwing the case in their own briefs.
They said that they wouldn't they expressly disavowed the for public purposes of the defense of marriage act.
And so now the mask is off what was before.
Just throwing the case now they're out of the case completely it's a bad day for the constitution the executive branch has an obligation.
-- you vigorously defend the laws passed by congress.
But now I expect congress itself will.
Intervene in the case in and at last we'll have someone who's actually standing up and making the arguments.
To defend the defense of marriage act.
So that we -- active obviously was probably good news for the -- this is a huge step forward not just on the issue of marriage but.
What the attorney general what the president said was.
We should presume the discrimination.
Against people based on sexual orientation should be unconstitutional so that has a real effect on this -- a case which they said.
With -- higher level of -- he is really indefensible but it will also also impact -- a -- of gay rights issues.
Of where there is discrimination in this country not just on marriage.
I think also one of the things this is criticisms John was that it really creates this sort of heightened scrutiny.
Or gay rights you know why are they now above other kinds of -- and issues.
Well what the attorney general the president said was a recommendation to the court that and they're reading of the law.
Sexual orientation discrimination is unconstitutional.
And that you would need to find a really good governmental societal reason to oppose discrimination they sit in this case there is no good reason.
And to keep dome on the books but the courts will do their job.
This is the president and the attorney general's ruling it's they're reading of the -- -- that I agree with but now it's up to the courts did to look at the law look at the facts to make their own determination.
-- good primer on the things that you know is kind of -- in this discussion is basically what is what are the good and and balanced by gay marriage and obviously Charlotte bringing up the you know you've got to find a societal -- for us not to have gay -- what are your societal reasons for not -- gay marriage.
Well clearly marriage is something unique and special it's based upon the union of one man and one woman -- -- these type of unions can connect any children that might be born.
Of the union to their mother and father in the fact is that mothers and fathers are unique and special and the people of this country they understand that whenever they've had a chance to vote 31 of 31 states.
They voted to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman so this myth that somehow same sex marriage is inevitable is simply wrong it's not borne out.
Time after time when the people have the chance to stand up please stand up for marriage and I expect in this case that.
The fact that the Obama administration.
Is now not living up to its duty to defend the law.
That that in the end the Supreme Court is going to side with the very clear reading of the law there is no US constitutional right to same sex marriage no court.
No legislature has said.
That sexual orientation is the basis of suspect class status that's just something that the Obama administration is making up and that is not the way our government is supposed to work we have laws laws.
Are based on democracy and that's what we are we're not just a president deciding by fiat that he's going to change the law.
Now -- I just want to bring up before before I get I'm trying to answer that one of the things we talk about you talk about when marriage is that it's good for children when they bring children into the into the into the marriage.
The problem is is that you know when you have technology like in vitro.
You've got -- adoption you automatically sort of create a third party.
Bringing children into America even if it's -- heterosexual marriage so can this whole issue of children really stand up as a reason -- reason.
Well I think it clearly can children any child born into this world is going to have a mother and a father in the state has an interest in the connection between marriage.
And parenting the state also has an interest in religious liberty and the fact is when you change the definition of marriage you don't just change it for that same sex couple down the street you change -- -- Everyone and that's why in the schools we've seen kids in kindergarten told that there are mothers and fathers are bigots because they believe that marriage as the union of a man and woman we've seen.
Catholic Charities in Boston.
Told that it can no longer adopt some of the most needy children simply because it can't -- -- religious beliefs adopt children to same sex couples and proponents of same sex marriage far from saying this is wrong.
They're now claiming well.
Yes people that this that the disagreement same sex marriage should be punished they're discriminating.
-- arm -- quickest on it and go animus I think just answer some opposition absolutely I mean -- be on the question of children and whether same sex couples can raise children and build a family.
We've seen study after study from the American Psychological Association the American meat -- American academy of pediatrics say again and again.
That households with the same sex couple that are raising children those children are just as well nourished well raised well -- justice society as every every other child.
I do have to take I have to do it take umbrage with the the EPA because they have they have notoriously.
Rejected any kind of paper that has anything negative to do you.
With homosexuality or with any kind of study that shows perhaps that homosexuality is not.
Warne Brett and -- that's my problem with the EPA they've got all these great studies out there -- the the studies have been excellent plot and many people actually might have shown the flaws in them.
Well the majority this dollars and -- people who have looked at these that is that I know of have a respected them but I just -- let's take a quick half step back and talk about.
What don't mind is because we're having a conversation here about marriage -- but the defense of marriage act which passed in 1996.
-- was passed when there were no marriages between same sex couples in the world it was passed before we had the five states and the District of Columbia now.
That allow on same sex couples to marry her -- what the defense of marriage access is that if it ends a long tradition in the United States.
Of the federal government honoring a valid marriage in the state to the tradition in the United States is.
If -- -- can get married in the state and their their marriages and is valid in that state the federal government honors -- for everything from immigration to Social Security to taxation.
And the defense of marriage act and did that tradition and added -- gay exception what we're talking about today and what Obama's decision was this week.
Was about letting the states that have allowed same sex couples the freedom to marry.
Really make that decision and having the federal government honor and respect that decision this announcement this because nothing to do with forcing any state to do anything.
It's just letting the tens of thousands of married same sex couples from Massachusetts Iowa.
Be allowed to have the federal recognition that they deserve -- at their families need again on immigration.
On Social Security on the entire tax -- that's -- dumb as a.
Brian I just go ahead yeah I just think -- is factually and historically wrong the fact is the federal government.
Has defined marriage -- and time again in our history this is nothing new if you look back at the debates -- regarding polygamy.
In -- states like you -- you talk could not become a state of this country until it disavowed polygamy and there were other states that had to write that into their state constitutions because of the federal government.
So it is a myth that the federal government has no say in the definition of marriage it does the defense of marriage act.
Makes very clear that on the federal level.
Marriage as the union of one man and one woman and no state will be forced to recognize same sex marriages were from another state and what Sean has essentially arguing that by overturning goma a state like.
Like California or may.
The voters voted to protect marriage as the union of a man and a woman either by amending their state constitution or by rejecting same sex marriage outright.
That those -- -- -- somehow be forced now to recognize same sex marriages from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
So this is not about states rights this is about forcing states who've already -- -- democratically.
-- to recognize marriage as the union of a man and woman to recognize same sex marriages from other states and that's simply wrong.
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