As we enter the final three weeks of the 2010 election cycle, there are grave concerns about the enthusiasm of progressive voters. For LGBT voters, there has been a grave disappointment with the lack of action on critical legislation. Over the next couple weeks, we’re not going to see legislative progress. Instead, we’re going to see the Obama administration defending the constitutionality of two discriminatory, anti-gay laws: DOMA and DADT.
Chris Johnson reported last week:
The deadline for making a decision in the Commonwealth case — filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley — is Oct. 12.
The Justice Department doesn’t have to appeal the decision in the Gill case, filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, until Oct. 18 because the court didn’t enter judgment in the case until later.
Every indication is that DOJ will continue to vigorously defend DOMA.
Also, any day now, we’re expecting the Judge to enter her final decision in the Log Cabin Republican’s case against DADT:
Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP members, say they expect a U.S. district court judge in California soon to issue a permanent injunction that would prohibit the military from enforcing the ban throughout the United States. The judge, Virginia Phillips, a Bill Clinton appointee, last month ruled that the prohibition is unconstitutional in a lawsuit brought by the Republican group.
If the judge orders an injunction, the DOJ will probably seek a stay pending its appeal. We could see a replay of the proceedings that played out after the Prop. 8 ruling. You’ll recall that Judge Walker order a temporary stay. The anti-gay forces appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a stay. If the judge denies the stay, DOJ will also appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll watch the Obama administration defend the constitutionality of DADT and DOMA. They don’t have to do it, but they will. It might be different if the Obama administration had made any legislative effort to repeal DOMA or had worked to end the filibuster of the Defense Authorization bill. But, they came up empty on both. That should really inspire the LGBT electorate, huh?
But, remember, Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot til 2012. His failure to follow through on his promises while defending anti-gay laws is demoralizing to say the least. But, don’t let solid allies lose because he’s doing this.