Yesterday it was announced that President Barack Obama has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to refrain from upholding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), declaring the act “unconstitutional.” Notwithstanding the question of executive authority in such a matter, President Obama’s statement is certainly, as National Organization for Marriage (NOM) President Brian Brown put it, “extra-constitutional” at the very least.
The Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton, states that marriage is a union between one man and one woman and does not force individual states to recognize same-sex unions legalized in other states.
The USCCB’s press release states:”This decision represents an abdication of the responsibility of the Executive Branch to carry out its constitutional obligation to ensure that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed. It is also a grave affront to the millions of Americans who both reject unjust discrimination and affirm the unique and inestimable value of marriage as between one man and one woman. Support for actual marriage is not bigotry, but instead an eminently reasonable, common judgment affirming the foundational institution of civil society. Any suggestion by the government that such a judgment represents “discrimination” is a serious threat to the religious liberty of marriage supporters nationwide.”
The full statement from the USCCB’s General Counsel can be read here.