Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice department would no longer argue in favor of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.
Of course, conservatives attacked immediately. Newt Gingrich claimed that Obama had “directly violated his constitutional duties by arbitrarily suspending a law” and that “clearly it is not something that can be allowed to stand.” He also said that if a “President Sarah Palin” had taken a similar action, there would have been immediate calls for her impeachment.
Really? How about in 1982, when Reagan refused to argue in court against Bob Jones University, which was practicing racial segregation for religious reasons? Not only that, but both Bush presidents did the same thing. Did anyone call for their impeachment because of that? Did Gingrich call for their impeachment, as he appears to be doing now for Obama?
But what is really ironic about this whole thing is that it puts the Republicans in a very interesting situation. If they don’t try to defend DOMA, they risk angering their base. But if they do try to defend it, it puts them into the position of defending their own hypocrisy. After all, how hilarious is it for Newt Gingrich to pretend to defend marriage, when it is a matter of public record that he is a serial adulterer who has never taken his own marriage vows seriously? In fact, back when Gingrich was pushing the passage of DOMA in Congress, he was having an affair.
Practically every major politician involved in DOMA has since been revealed to be an adulterer. This includes the author of DOMA, Bob Barr (R-GA). Also Henry Hyde (R-IL), who pushed it through the House Judiciary Committee, and Bob Dole, then the Senate Majority Leader. In the name of bipartisan hypocrisy, I will also point out that DOMA was signed into law by President Clinton, while he was having an affair with Monica Lewinski.
I’ve often been confused by how upset religious conservatives get about gays and gay marriage. Why aren’t they equally upset about adultery? I don’t think it can be on religious grounds — after all, adultery is mentioned frequently in the Bible as a major sin. Even the Ten Freaking Commandments says “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Homosexuality is barely mentioned in the Bible, and even when it is mentioned it is lumped in with prohibitions against such terrible things as incense, horoscopes, psychics, eating shellfish, and cheating at business (yow!).
The day I see fundamentalist Christians protesting against corrupt banks (or restaurants serving shrimp and lobster) with the same vehemence they reserve for gays is the day I’ll take their arguments seriously.