Another blast from the real world past of the DailyDisgust

Greg Norfleet says some out there conservative things on the op-ed page of the West Branch Times as is his right as the editor.  When he crosses the line from being out there to being flat out wrong, I see it as my patriotic duty to correct him.  Mr. Norfleet doesn’t like the idea of men marrying men or women marrying women.  While I personally find such opinions to be bigoted, he is certainly entitled to his own belief.  But when he uses shaky logic in citing the Constitution to back up that belief, well, he crosses that line.

Soapbox Philosophy: Obama uses neglect to undermine from the West Branch Times, Mar. 2, 2011

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires that the executive branch “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Should Obama argue that DOMA conflicts with the last part of his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” I would argue that he is not taking the appropriate steps to repeal a law in which he disagrees. By ordering the DOJ to stop doing its job on Section 3 of DOMA — which defines marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman — he is undermining the separation of powers and federal checks and balances.

This is a naked abuse of federal power and our president’s impatience with a law in which he disagrees but cannot find legislative support for repeal nor judicial support to overturn.

For those who hailed Obama’s decision last week, stop and consider the long-term consequences of other presidents following this example. Imagine President Mike Huckabee or President Sarah Palin ordering federal departments to stop enforcing the recent health care overhaul provisions.

My response:

Letter: Defense of DOMA not the same as enforcement from the West Branch Times, Mar. 2, 2011

I wish to dispute the allegation made by the editor of this paper that the President is derelict in his duty and in violation of his oath of office in directing the Attorney General to suspend defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The editor seems to confuse the defense of statutes (commonplace but not constitutionally required) with the enforcement of them (clearly required in Article 2, Section 3).

To be certain, federal employees who are legally married to their same sex partners continue to be denied benefits afforded to their heterosexual married colleagues as required by DOMA.

In fact, to quote from the Attorney General’s letter which is available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-223.html: “Notwithstanding this determination, the President has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive’s obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality.”

Given this distinction, the straw-man of a President Palin or President Huckabee “ordering federal departments to stop enforcing the recent health care overhaul provisions” that the editor created in his editorial clearly holds no water. The editor acknowledged in his editorial his general support for DOMA, and I would like to definitively declare my support for the equal rights of all people in marriage and all other governmentally recognized areas. However, to quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” And the fact is, this president continues to enforce DOMA.

Respectfully,

DailyDisgust [Real name redacted]

West Branch

 

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