May 17, 2011

How Scott Walker is like Barack Obama on the same-sex marriage issue.

The Obama administration has stopped defending the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act because it has determined that the Act violates the federal Constitution.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now seeks to stop defending the Wisconsin domestic partnership law because he has determined that it violates the Wisconsin Constitution.

Obviously, there's a big difference. The Obama adminstration's decision supports marriage rights for gay people, and the Walker decision opposes marriage-like rights for gay people.

56 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

I find the subject of gay marriage mind crushingly dull.

Moose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

Also, Obama campained on the issue, saying that he thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. He has also long been against the DOMA. This strikes me as contradictory, but maybe he figures everybody will hear something they like and forget the part they don't like.

dbp said...

I think Obama and Walker are both wrong to not defend legally enacted laws.

Dustin said...

dbp, I agree on both counts.

Let the legislature determine what the laws are. The constitution shouldn't answer political questions if we don't need it to.

Obama is breaking another campaign pledge, and Walker is stepping beyond what I think his place is by overruling the law with this discretion.

If the law is *obviously* unconstitutional, then let the courts make such a determination. Sure, Walker has a circus for a judicial branch, but Obama probably could rely on this to some extent. It shows contempt of the legal system to say you need to withdraw lawyers intelligently arguing one side of a case.

Hoosier Daddy said...

..."Obama is breaking another campaign pledge,.."

But he's so dreamy!

nevadabob said...

Goose ... gander.

All's fair in lust and war.

Revenant said...

"As ye sow" and all that.

edutcher said...

Little Zero needs the 1.3% of Americans on his side next year.

Scott Walker has the people on his side.

Big difference.

PS What dbp said. I don't remember where in the Constitution it says the President is the arbiter of what's Constitutional.

Even if he lectured on it.

webs said...

Actually, it seems if both executives are hewing faithfully to their vision of their respective constitutions.

Bob

Carol_Herman said...

What an interesting debate.

Throughout time, and in every society, some men are born sexually attuned to other males. And, ditto, for women. All others could care less for sex with "same-sex" partners.

As a matter of fact, even with closet doors wide open, there are men who cringe at the idea of "liking other males for sex partners." They prefer having wives. Just as some men preferred becoming priests.

So something else is at play, here.

At one time? Gosh, if a woman wasn't married, and got pregnant, it could become a time of such desperation, a woman would actually allow her baby to be adopted away.

Yes, sex turned some people into 'second-class-citizens.'

Now, you're selling "marriage?" Really. Why not just sell the right of someone else to poke you in the eye?

What happened to the idea (that came up when Mormons wanted multiple wives), and they thought they challenge this idea through our Constitution. "The right to have it your way."

The Mormons lost. (And, there are more Mormons than there are homosexual men who want to be married to another male. Not just some poor boy, for sport.)

The Supreme Court of the United States decided not all religious practices were the same. And, they also reiterated that you couldn't stick a woman on a funeral pyre, just because her husband died.

Not all things are "equal."

By the way, homosexuals are moving away from San Francisco, because jobs dried up.

Can't use the old excuses anymore.

And, what's love got to do with it, anyway? My mom used to say that the best advantages a man got by being monogamous is that he wouldn't catch sexually transmitted diseases.

This is still true.

Triangle Man said...

Obama's policy screws fewer people than Walker's, but I could see an Obama is like Walker tag I more of these situations come up.

Moose said...

Its all the same shade of inconsequential to me... (typo)

dd said...

What is the tradition in Wisconsin in terms of the executive defending previously enacted laws?

It is hard to compare without knowing if Walker is breaking with tradition.

Also one means the prestigious and important office of the solicitor general will not defend a law. While in Wisconsin it some state gov't agency.

AJ Lynch said...

No "Walker is like Hitler" tag to appease Garbage Mahal?

chickenlittle said...

edutcher said...
Little Zero needs the 1.3% of Americans on his side next year.

He needs their money.

Trooper York said...

Hey did you see the Knight of Flowers give Renly Baratheon a hummer after he shaved off all his chest hair on "Game of Thrones."

I don't remember that scene in the book. Did they do that just so Titus would watch?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Trooper York said...

Oh and Gregor Clegane chopped the head off his stallion right there in the lists after he was dehorsed because the stallion got all horny with the mare in heat.

Bet that freaked out a lot of people.

Sarah Jessica Parker probably puked all over those kids she rented a womb for.

andinista said...

Analogy?

Obama: I don't care if this <new tax> will wreck the economy, it's fair and the right thing to do.

Progressives: We don't care what SSM might do to children, it's fair and the right thing to do.
-----------
Hypocrisy?
Progressives and Conservatives: this is why libertarianism will never be successful. They want everyone to do as they d*** well please, and chaos will result. People will misbehave, and make bad choices, and the law must constrain them to only do what we think is right.

Progressives: we want the law to allow everyone to do as they d*** well please in the bedroom, and to h*** with the consequences.

wv: imbedori: a nightcap libation

RuyDiaz said...

Throughout time, and in every society, some men are born sexually attuned to other males. And, ditto, for women. All others could care less for sex with "same-sex" partners.

Not quite true, Carol. Think in terms of probability, not determination. Human beings genetic inheritance and pre-natal development predisposes them one way or another, but it 'they are born that way' is not correct.

To illustrate: people are born with Down's syndrome, but they are not born gay.

Big Mike said...

I think both gentlemen are wrong, and not just because it's part of the job of the executive to enforce the laws "so help [him] God."

I continue to believe that the point of same sex marriage is to stick a finger in the eye of devout Christians (FWIW I'm not a Christian myself), but I think individuals in long-term stable partnerships deserve civil recognition of their status.

Milwaukee said...

Marriage, in time before memory, was about a couple stating in front of the village that they were a couple. He goes with her, she goes with him. They had children together, and were the ones first responsible for raising their children. Marriage is about the perpetuation of society through the formation of children. Making same-sex marriage equal to man-woman marriage will lessen man-woman marriage simply because it is hard for two things to share a spot light. Children raised to two parent households do much better than children raised in one parent households.

A logical extension of the domestic partnership rules are allowing opposite-sex couples to be domestic partners. They do in France, and refer to each other as "boy-friend" and "girl-friend". But that really isn't a very stable institution for raising children. After the constitutional amendment passed by such a wide margin in 2006, I was really surprised by the legislatures actions in 2009.

Julius said...

Well, there is another big similarity... and that is how they both reflect Federalism.

By not defending a one-sized-fits-all approach to the definition of marriage, Team Obama shows its support for Federalism, at least in the limited issue at hand.

By not defending a sensible law that accommodates some of the gay people in Wisconsin, Scott Walker shows that his state has decided-- as it certainly may!-- that gay people are not really welcome.

So gay people, and liberal people, and people who just don't agree with the whole social conservative agenda, can go somewhere else! Or avoid coming to Wisconsin if they otherwise might.

Most anyone can do without WIsconsin anyway...

AST said...

Same-sex marriage is a contradiction in terms. Call it something other than marriage.

It's basically nothing more than a gimmick to make Gay people feel better about being Gay, to validate their sexual arrangements as normal.

If they want to pretend they're married, fine with me. But pretending I'm a bird won't make me fly.

(Begin the denunciations.)

EDH said...

Walker bases his position on the literal text of the state consititution with respect to a "2006 amendment... that [specifically] bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar."

Obama is invoking the Equal Protection clause of the US Constitution using a novel argument "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,” where no existing precedent has established such a protected class.

Objectively, Walker would seem to be doing a better job of upholding his ministerial duties than Obama.

wv - "bilebed" = It's back! Rest your head on the Althouse.blogspot.com bilebed!

E.M. Davis said...

Sarah Jessica Parker probably puked all over those kids she rented a womb for.

If he were awake, John Elway would say that's horsist.

E.M. Davis said...

Frankly, Government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

chickenlittle said...

If he were awake, John Elway would say that's horsist.

Downright equinenmity

Drew said...

Can someone please cut away the hysterical "Scott Walker is an Evil Bastard" nonsense and explain what's really going on here? Gay couples have had hospital visitation rights for, geez, well over a decade. So there's hardly some new law that Walker is suddenly against. Yet the left-o-sphere is going bonkers by hanging the whole issue on the emotion-laden hospital-visitation aspect.

Lem said...

I saw this beautiful Latina woman today.. anyways, whats this about same sex marriage?

Lem said...

..whatever happened to diversity?

Thank god I'm not a lefty.. too complicated.

Lem said...

Marriage is for old folks

Luther said...

Again, the subject is totally boring.

The progs have won this round. And will many another.

When we will come to our senses, if ever, unknown.

Our fate hangs, however.

Titus said...

What happened to JOBS, JOBS, JOBS?

If Obama is reelected I predict he will support gay marriage.

tits.

kurt mueller said...

It may be a slippery slope, but is giving gay couples the rights to hospital visits tantamount to gay marriage? I don't see it if this is all the law provides for. And I find opposition to that right to be exceedingly cruel.

Drew said...

It may be a slippery slope, but is giving gay couples the rights to hospital visits tantamount to gay marriage? I don't see it if this is all the law provides for. And I find opposition to that right to be exceedingly cruel.

There is no "new law" that allows for hospital visits. As far as I can tell, no "new law" was required. My wife has worked at a local hospital for well over a decade and there never has been an issue with same-sex couples visiting their partners.

John Lynch said...

They can't both be right.

I think marriage is a good idea, and blaming gays for the collapse of marriage is unfair.

The electorate could vote for a lot of other measures if they wanted to preserve marriage. Make divorce harder, for example.

But too many heterosexual people aren't interested on limiting their own freedom, so they take it out on gays.

That makes me think DOMA and the state constitutional amendments are ultimately just prejudice.

It's like with Global Warming- if the people who claim that it's a huge problem would actually present a viable solution I'd take them more seriously. Gay marriage has very little relevance to the problems that marriage opponents claim to want to solve.

bagoh20 said...

Get the government out of it and we can stop all this. Does anyone really need the government to sanction the relationship you have with another individual.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I knew you'd find a way to, in your mind, justify how Walker is handling this.

el polacko said...

forget all the semantic argument over 'marriage'/'civil union'.. the important word is 'spouse'. everyone understands that a spouse is a responsible partner when it comes to medical decisions, inheritance,shared debt,parental rights and the list goes on and on...
telling a committed gay couple that they are not permitted to legally designate who is their spouse is discrimination, plain and simple...and opposition to allowing them to do so is based in nothing more than (a popular and mostly socially-acceptable) bigotry.

Eddie said...

I think it is a mistake to say that the executive branch is over-reaching by speaking to the constitutionality of an act. The legislative and executive branches should be the primary place where constitutional issues are considered, with the courts used as a back-up. Otherwise, law-making becomes "let's see if we can get away with this," which is antithetical to limited government.

Revenant said...

Get the government out of it and we can stop all this

I agree with you in principle, but in reality it will never happen. You're talking about stripping the 52% of Americans with government-recognized marriages of that official stamp of approval. I'm guessing that will rank somewhere between "strangling puppies" and "reimplementing the draft" in popularity.

pbAndj said...

"I knew you'd find a way to, in your mind, justify how Walker is handling this."

Well, this is a trivial issue. Meadhouse is much too busy w/ people putting clothes on statues, snow plow operators who honk their horns, and making sure everybody knows that Madison is full of idiotic mobsters. Oh, and Google is out to get her.

Not to mention that Walker didn't have any choice. He needed to make sure Prosser knew what he should compliment and closely mirror.

Fred4Pres said...

I suggest executives follow the law.

Dustin said...

"The legislative and executive branches should be the primary place where constitutional issues are considered, with the courts used as a back-up."

The courts should decide what the law is. That includes deciding what the constitution is. This process has broken down because courts are reading more into the law than is there because they want 'progress', but with that kind of bad faith, it doesn't matter who gets what role.

The legislature should write the laws in a way that is constitutional, and if there is a controversy about it, this should be settled in a court, where the court decides what is and is not constitutional via a strict adherence to what's actually in the text ratified.

The executive simply should enforce the law. He shouldn't go beyond the constitution in his powers to enforce, and I don't think 'denying one side of a case its representation' is an enumerated power.

Ralph L said...

I think Obama and Walker are both wrong to not defend legally enacted laws.
OTOH, at least they announced they won't defend, so someone else can, instead of just defending it poorly, or actually arguing against it, which is what they really believe (or their stance today is).

By not defending a one-sized-fits-all approach to the definition of marriage, Team Obama shows its support for Federalism

You must be confusing the Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act with the proposed federal amendment restricting marriage. Allowing a state to NOT honor another state's SS marriage laws is by definition a non-one-size-fitter. Each state makes its own SSM law, or not.
Or you could be an idiot.

Ralph L said...

The executive simply should enforce the law
There's a big difference between enforcing the law and defending it in court. The article says there are ~1500 couples registered--has anyone denied any of them their rights under the law, and did Walker then do nothing?

Thomas W said...

This is a disturbing trend (or perhaps it's just hitting the media now). California's state officials refused to defend the anti-same sex marriage (SSM) constitutional amendment, with the SSM proponents arguing nobody then has the right to defend it.

Now we have two examples on either side of the executive branch refusing to defend a law the chief executive doesn't like.

Perhaps if the Mafia can get one of their own into the New York governorship they could refuse to defend the constitutionality of murder laws pertaining to contract killings?

Penny said...

Americans, good capitalists that we are, continue to slice and dice our HUMAN rights into smaller and smaller portions yielding bigger and better payoffs for each successive special interest "aggrieved" minority group.

Of course, there is no end to this as long as their is a dime to be made, a grievance to be assuaged, a soul to be saved and an attorney to act as the distribution channel for the exchange of our funds.

Penny said...

Sadly, there will be no end to this "carving away". It's on auto-loop now.

Dustin said...

"Ralph L said...

The executive simply should enforce the law
There's a big difference between enforcing the law and defending it in court.
5/18/11 12:38 AM"

No there isn't. When the legislature creates and funds a department to defend their laws in court, the executive should administer that in good faith.

Ralph L said...

So the executive should argue a law is constitutional when he believes it isn't? I know lawyers are flexible, but can that be done in good faith? Hasn't he sworn to uphold the constitution? Doesn't the legislature have its own lawyers?

manekineko said...
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D.D. Driver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.D. Driver said...

Am I the only one that thinks they are both right? There is separation of powers for a reason. Our founders could have made the executives directly accountable to the legislatures. They could have put the Senate Sargent-At-Arms in charge of enforcing laws for example.

But they did not. As far as the executives' job as "enforcing the law," I'm pretty sure each man has also pledged to defend the Constitution(s).

Peter said...

"The Obama adminstration's decision supports marriage rights for gay people, and the Walker decision opposes marriage-like rights for gay people."
But I keep saying: what's at issue is the re-definition of marriage. Gay people are allowed to marry, but few want an intimate union with a member of the opposite sex.