Former Bush lawyer hired to defend gay marriage ban

April 18, 2011

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has hired Paul Clement, the former solicitor general during George W. Bush’s presidency, to pick up the ball and defend the law that defined marriage as between a man and woman.

GAYMARRIAGE-CALIFORNIA/The Obama administration decided in February to drop its defense of the 15-year-old law, which was hailed by gay rights advocates but widely panned by many senior Republicans infuriated that the Justice Department would no longer defend the law in court and called it a political move.

In one case in Boston, a federal judge struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act banning gay marriages as unconstitutional.

But the Obama administration had initially appealed those rulings, saying it typically defends lawyers on the books. Now the Justice Department says it agreed with the judge’s ruling.

House Republican Speaker John Boehner has sought funds from the Justice Department’s budget to pay for the defense, but Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has demanded details about the expected cost, including details about the contract retaining Clement.

Clement is now a private practicing attorney at the firm King & Spalding in Washington after working as the solicitor general from June 2005 to June 2008 in which he served as the government’s primary lawyer to argue cases at the Supreme Court. A spokesman for the firm said Clement had been hired, but declined further comment.GAYMARRIAGE-CALIFORNIA/

The hot-button issue of same-sex marriage has been the focus of many judicial and political battles across the country. Gay marriage has only been legalized in the District of Columbia and a handful of the 50 states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Some states have allowed same-sex civil unions, which Obama has supported, but he has opposed full marriage rights for gays and lesbians. In December Obama said that  his views about it were “constantly evolving” and “I struggle with this.”

PHOTOS: Reuters/Robert Galbraith (A same-sex couple await a marriage license in California; and a man protests such unions).

4 comments

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What a clown. Marriage is firstly a civil and contractual matter in America. Period.

Onward, Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace, USA.

And the marriage cops need to just retire and play some bingo…in the middle of the nearest river….

Posted by CornetMustich | Report as abusive

[...] Filed Under  DOMA, LGBT, Marriage Fairness, Second Circuit House Speaker John Boehner announced today that former US Solicitor General Paul Clement will be defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [...]

Boehner wants to spend money on discrimination against gays, but not on medicare for the elderly who have no other insurance-coverage options. My tax dollars hard at work. Here’s a flash for you: gay people are no less human than straights.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence.

What gives anyone the right to define “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for another, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else? The Republican Party says gay marriage is a threat to American families, but it never specifies how it’s a threat – because it’s not. It’s part of who we are, whether they like it or not, and when you kill part of who you are, you kill yourself. God made gay people, too. Who are you to judge what God and people who are born gay have decided that this particular set of circumstances is what is required to further their spiritual growth? Condemn not, lest you become what you condemn. In all thy getting, GET UNDERSTANDING.

Republicans claim they act the way they do toward their homosexual brothers and sisters on religious grounds based upon Christian principles as representatives of a government in which there is supposed to be separation of church and state. First, Jesus made no exceptions when He told us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds and souls, and our neighbors AS OURSELVES. Second, live your spiritual convictions in your own life and try to resist the urge to inflict them on others. Third, until W., marriage was administered under STATE laws – not federal; butt out.

Posted by ladygoodman | Report as abusive

I don’t think there’s ever been a clearer-cut case of “none of your God damn business” than the gay marriage issue. If you believe gay marriage is wrong, then don’t marry a gay person. Simple as that.

Posted by 4ngry4merican | Report as abusive

[...] Lesbian NewsHouse Files to Intervene in DOMA CaseWall Street Journal (blog)Washington Times -Reuters Blogs (blog) -Care2.com (blog)all 238 news [...]

[...] maybe moreSan Diego Gay & Lesbian NewsWall Street Journal (blog) -Washington Times -Reuters Blogs (blog)all 254 news [...]

Whether you believe in freedom of marriage or the sanctity of old marriage values, you might agree that the battle for the legalization of same sex marriage has some political motivations behind it.

Posted by VictoriaSA | Report as abusive