U.S. Rep. Jared Polis issued a blistering statement Tuesday afternoon condemning the Obama administration’s defense of the federal law banning same-sex marriage. The openly gay Boulder Democrat said his “sadness turned to outrage” when he read a controversial Department of Justice brief filed in federal court to dismiss a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.
Polis, who is a co-chair of the congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, called the federal brief’s comparison of his “loving relationship” with his partner to incest “unconscionable coming from a president who has called for change.” Polis said that he has called on Obama to come clean or “risk losing the support of the GLBT community forever,” but notes he doesn’t “believe we are at that point yet.”
Here’s the full statement from Polis:
“I was shocked and disappointed to learn that President Obama chose to defend DOMA in federal court, especially given his campaign promise to call for a full repeal of DOMA. My sadness turned to outrage when I read the Justice Department’s brief that not only defended this hurtful law but seemed to embrace it. Comparing my loving relationship with my partner, Marlon, to incest was unconscionable coming from a president who has called for change.
Since this filing, I have called on the President to issue a statement or give any sign that would clarify his position and am disappointed in his lack of reply.
I am a proud Democrat, as are many in the GLBT community, and I believe we must hold our leaders accountable. The Obama Administration made a HUGE mistake in the DOMA brief. If they keep making mistakes like this, they risk losing the support of the GLBT community forever, although I do not believe we are at that point yet.
President Obama needs to honor his promise to repeal this law and end its needlessly divisive and harmful impact on our nation. I again call on him to work with us in Congress to help pass legislation, ending this hateful and divisive law.
As the New York Times editorialized yesterday, “busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.”