President Obama announced today his support for the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which would repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act” (1996). DOMA is the federal law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions. The effect is to deny queer couples over 1,000 federal benefits accorded non-queer married couples.
Now, given the composition of the US House, I have a better chance of being crowned queen of the world than this bill passing through the House (or the Senate–which can be hijacked by homophobes thanks to the filibuster). So, this endorsement by President Obama doesn’t cost him any political capital. But given the administration’s indifference towards queer issues and outright waffling on DADT (more to come on this), this is an easy bone to throw at politically active queers. Election 2012 is around the corner and queer dollars are needed to re-elect Obama.*
I wish I could be more enthused, but this a no-cost gesture by Obama. Let’s see if he’s a “fierce advocate” come January 2013.
*If the current crop of GOP candidates is “it” for 2012, Obama is going to win without breaking a sweat. “Crazier than McCain” does not bode well for the Republican Party’s chances.