Obama’s Gay Rights Goals Face Burdens
October 19, 2009 by Special To Personal Liberty
As President Barack Obama directing pressure on Congress to expand gay rights by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, members of the Democratic party indicated that the proposal may face opposition.
The law, which was signed by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as a type of union between a man and a woman and in practice, allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Clinton, since approving the Defense of Marriage Act 13 years ago, says he no longer opposes same-sex marriage.
Although Obama maintains a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, the president has taken a stance in support of civil unions for same-sex couples, which extend many of the same rights as traditional marriage.
Reports from CNN Politics indicate that some Democrats do not share Obama’s enthusiasm for the law’s repeal. "We can move forward on a lot of measures, but I’m not sure there’s the support yet" for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, said Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.
Debbie Stabenow, a Democratic Senator from Michigan explained one impediment to the repeal nothing the "challenge" in representing one of the many U.S. states that has laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
The president’s gay rights goals include ending the military’s "Don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, which proponents believe can be achieved by getting a buy-in from the military.