House Responds to Obama Marriage Equality Statement by Moving to Reinforce Homophobic DOMA
It seems like LGBTQ rights advancements in the U.S. always have an element of "one step forward, two steps back," and yesterday's developments appear to have been no exception. No sooner had Obama's pro-marriage equality hit the airwaves than the Republican-controlled House was making moves to reinforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Just hours after President Barack Obama publicly backed gay marriage, the House struck back and passed a measure aimed at reinforcing the Defense of Marriage Act.
With a 245-171 vote, the House voted to stop the Justice Department from using taxpayer funds to actively oppose DOMA — the Clinton-era law defining marriage as between a man and a woman that the Obama administration stopped enforcing in February 2011.
To be sure, the news is a disappointment for everyone hoping that Obama's remarks might translate quickly into federal policy. That said, LGBTQ activists around the country are working hard to build momentum from Obama's move, and with the majority of Americans on Obama's side of the marriage equality debate, they have more to build on than ever.