Monday, January 5, 2009

Barr on federal marriage law: It's time for a divorce | Political Insider

Talk about a complete turn around!!!

Barr on federal marriage law: It's time for a divorce | Political Insider

Monday, January 5, 2009, 08:36 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As a Georgia congressman from Marietta, Bob Barr considered the Defense of Marriage Act, which he sponsored, to be one of the highlights of his career.

But explaining the measure before crowds as a Libertarian candidate for president has caused Barr to reconsider. This is what he writes today in an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times:

In effect, DOMA’s language reflects one-way federalism: It protects only those states that don’t want to accept a same-sex marriage granted by another state. Moreover, the heterosexual definition of marriage for purposes of federal laws - including, immigration, Social Security survivor rights and veteran’s benefits - has become a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions.

Even more so now than in 1996, I believe we need to reduce federal power over the lives of the citizenry and over the prerogatives of the states. It truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves.

In 2006, when then-Sen. Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, he said, “Decisions about marriage should be left to the states.” He was right then; and as I have come to realize, he is right now in concluding that DOMA has to go. If one truly believes in federalism and the primacy of state government over the federal, DOMA is simply incompatible with those notions.

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