Bachmann raises cash off Obama's call to abandon Defense Of Marriage Act
When the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, Michele Bachmann didn't take to her microphone at Fox News, and she didn't rant on the House floor.
She asked supporters for $50,000 instead.
The White House decision "could be a crushing blow to the traditional marriage movement," she intoned darkly in a fundraising letter to supporters. "Support for traditional marriage is overwhelmingly strong across the country."
While that maybe true in Bachmann's world, it's pretty clear that in the rest of America, people are moving on.
Opposition to gay marriage is on the wane.
A Gallup tracking poll (above) shows that the percentage of Americans who oppose gay marriage has dropped from 68 percent to 53 percent since 1996, while support has climbed from 27 percent to 44 percent.
The Pew Research Center has found a similar trend, calling it broad-based, across a variety of demographic, political and religious groups: Pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, Pew found.
Maybe more importantly, Americans indicated that, with the economy in the toilet, and unemployment high, they're just not that interested in another culture war over whether people should be able to marry whomever they love.
Never mind that. In the e-mail, Bachmann made a plea for her supporters to sign a petition, then came the call to action:
I hope you will consider making a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more. Your contribution will enable me to spread this petition to millions of conservative activists across the country.
Read the Department of Justice and Bachmann statements after the jump.
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Department of Justice statement on the Defense of Marriage Act:
WASHINGTON - The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department's course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman:
In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.
Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President's determination.
Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.
Furthermore, pursuant to the President ' s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.
The Department has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense. At the same time, the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because - as here - the Department does not consider every such argument to be a "reasonable" one. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute in cases, like this one, where the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional.
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
Michele Bachmann's fundraising e-mail:
You may have seen the breaking news out of Washington that Barack Obama has demanded the United States Department of Justice stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - the law that defines marriage between one man and one woman - in court cases.
I'm sending you this urgent message because if we don't join together and take action today, it could be a crushing blow to the traditional marriage movement.
I've put together an emergency petition drive to send a message to Barack Obama that support for traditional marriage is overwhelmingly strong across the country. And I'm asking that you follow this link immediately to sign the petition.
This is just the beginning in our fight to repeal Barack Obama in 2012. Had Barack Obama been on the ballot in 2010, he would have gone down in a fiery defeat. Yet he continues to push his far-left, socialist agenda on the American people. And today, he has declared war on marriage.
As conservatives, we must push for a new type of "change" in our country and fight for our shared values. And you can start today by making sure Barack Obama hears us loud and clear- we stand for traditional marriage.
Please follow this link right away to sign my "Support Traditional Marriage" petition. I've set a goal to collect at least 50,000 signatures in the next 48 hours.
After signing the petition, I hope you will consider making a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more. Your contribution will enable me to spread this petition to millions of conservative activists across the country.
This is not the end of the fight to save traditional marriage, it is only the beginning. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight back against Barack Obama's attacks on marriage and I hope you will join me by adding your name to my "Support Traditional Marriage" petition.
Thank you for your support.
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