President Barack Obama has been wavering on the issue over the past couple years. After campaigning in 2008 on a platform opposed to gay marriage, the president has since sought the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and told media that his stance on same-sex unions was shifting. His decision now to back gay marriage stems -- in part -- from a New York court case, Winsdor v. the United States
, in which octogenarian Edie Windsor sued the government for having to pay inheritance tax on the assets of her deceased partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Holder wrote that Congress could get its own attorneys to defend the law. And how did Boehner's office respond? With the same programmed rhetoric Republicans have been spewing out for the past two years.
"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," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said yesterday
To which, we ask Boehner to explain something to us: What does gay marriage have to do with jobs and the national debt? And how could it possible harm either one?
In a move heralded by same-sex couples across the nation, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder informed Congress yesterday that the Obama administration would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act -- the 1996 federal law recognizing marriage as only between "one man and one woman."