Finally, some good news in a winter that has seen one attack after another on women’s rights, workers’ rights, detainees’ rights and more. The Department of Justice has announced it will stop defending part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law passed under President Clinton that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. President Obama and his administration have long been criticized by gay rights activists for continuing to defend “don’t ask, don’t tell” and DOMA in courts even when they were opposed to those measures.
You can read more of the legal technicalities at Daily Kos. I wish the Justice Department would stop enforcing the law, but this is a good step forward.
Also, possibly the most hypocritical statement ever from John Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, reacting to the announcement:
“While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.”
He says that with a straight face after Republicans have spent weeks focusing on nothing more than denying women access to abortions. They have yet to produce one bill that creates jobs. And we’re supposed to take these people seriously?