Jul. 9th, 2010

primaleph: (Default)
President Obama,

I've already signed a petition, but this issue is important enough that I decided to write a personal letter also. I sincerely hope it reaches you, or at least someone who can bring it to your attention.

As I'm sure you're aware, the Defense of Marriage Act has been law since President Clinton signed it late in his second term. Because it empowers the federal government to ignore lawful marriages performed in states with legal gay marriage, it is clearly unconstitutional and always has been. Now a federal judge has ruled it as such, and I understand you are considering having the federal government appeal that ruling.

I am writing to ask you, please, to reconsider. I am a gay American, and like most gay Americans I supported you in the election because of your very progressive positions on gay rights. I applaud your extension of domestic partner benefits to federal employees and your support of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." but if you decide to appeal this judge's ruling, all of that will mean very little.

You were a law professor - a friend of mine was in your class at the U of C in fact, and spoke very highly of your teaching - so I know you understand the legal implications here. The "full faith and credit" and "equal protection" clauses of the Constitution must be upheld as sacrosanct, else we are no longer a Union. I am sure you can explain why far more eloquently than I ever could.

Beyond that, you seem to me to be a man of integrity, a man of your word. At times the realities of national politics have forced you to compromise, but now must not be one of those times. Please don't betray the trust and faith of the millions of gay Americans who supported you in the election with our donations of time and money. Please consider: If you don't take a stand now, like you promised you would, against gay Americans being treated like second-class citizens, who will? No one with any ability to cause real policy change, that's for sure.

This is a great opportunity: an opportunity to emphasize that separate is inherently unequal, that in America we do not stand for discrimination of any kind. As our nation's first black president, you are a living symbol of that fact. Fundamentalist Christian religious beliefs have no place in our secular constitutional government, and to affirm that all you have to do is nothing.

Just don't appeal the decision. Please. Allowing the DOMA to fall is the right thing to do; you said so during your campaign, and it is still true now.

Jason Louis Feldstein

November 2012


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