On DOMA, Social Conservatives Howl While Pols Shrug

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2011

By virtually any measure, the Obama Administration’s announcement that they will no longer argue that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is constitutional portends a monumental shift, with repercussions we are all still trying to sort out. Anti-gay activists are, predictably, howling with rage, calling on Congress to intervene. But as we noted, House speaker John Boehner refused to take the bait, and is instead sticking to his promised focus on slashing the budget. The New York Times noticed similarly tepid reactions among many other political conservatives:

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who is also believed to be a presidential contender, is among the few to come out strongly against the Administration’s decision, calling children being raised by LGBT parents “our little guinea pigs.” Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist for President Bush’s 2004 campaign which deployed marriage as a major wedge issue to turn out conservative voters, may well be right: “The wedge has lost its edge,” he told the Times. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for that to change between now and 2012.

Stefano A

February 25th, 2011

You know, I was reading that New York Times piece earlier this morning and the thing that struck me is while it focused on a few high profile Republicans and their so-called “tepid” responses, it failed to mention or completely glosses over how on all other levels the Republican party has been on an anti-gay legislative rampage: cf, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, Kansas . . . .


February 25th, 2011

Hopefully some Muslims will start trying to build another mosque somewhere, so the GOP can get their wedge back before they start focusing on us again. Maybe every time a Republican says “deviant lifestyle”, one of us can yell “OMG, TERROR BABIES! OVER THERE! ” and that might distract them. And if we can get a latino to burn a flag, we’re golden until 2013, easy.

Richard Rush

February 25th, 2011

Today I learned about something that should also have the social controlatives howling. Maybe others already knew about it, but I didn’t. An article under the headline, “ New IRS rule might mean tax break for same-sex couples,” appeared in an AARP newsletter (yes, I’m old). An excerpt:

Many same-sex couples are getting a tax break this year from the IRS, according to new requirements to report their combined income on federal tax returns.

Under “income splitting,” the IRS is requiring all same-sex married couples or registered domestic partners in Washington state, California and Nevada to divide their combined income equally and report it on their separate tax returns.

For some couples, it will mean more money in their 2010 refund; for others, they’ll pay more in taxes.

AFAIK this is the first mini-step of same-sex marriage recognition at the Federal level.


February 26th, 2011

Ryan, I personally think your comment is inappropriate and ridiculous. Prejudice against anyone, including Gays, Latinos, OR Muslims is equally wrong and should not be tolerated.

Stefano A

February 26th, 2011


I don’t think that was an actual suggestion. Ryan was being facetious in order to point the other endemic prejudices the GOP has demonstrated such as the proliferation of racist immigration legislation and the proposed legislation forbidding Shari’ia law.


February 26th, 2011

Thank you, Stefano, I thought it was clear I was mocking GOP wedge issue strategies.

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