Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Nicholas Ballasy

7/7/2009 (5 years ago)

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

'I know the president has spoken now very forcefully against the Defense of Marriage Act as being highly discriminatory'.

Highlights

By Nicholas Ballasy

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

7/7/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON (CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and abolish the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning homosexuals in the military, according to Elaine Kaplan, general counsel of the White House Office of Personnel Management.

Kaplan, an open lesbian, spoke with CNSNews.com at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, where she was the keynote speaker at a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month event to celebrate the social contributions of LGBT Americans.

“Well, I’m not sure if there’s any legislative proposals right now pending in Congress, but I know the president has spoken now very forcefully against the Defense of Marriage Act as being highly discriminatory,” said Kaplan. “So that’s pretty much where things stand. He has also committed to doing everything he can to get the Defense of Marriage Act repealed.”

The DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, says that no state is obligated to recognize a same-sex marriage, even if it occurred legally in another state and that the federal government defines marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman.

”I work for the president so I would like to see done whatever he would like to see done,” Kaplan told CNSNews.com. “And what he would like to see done is that the Defense of Marriage Act be repealed, the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – after building some support to get that accomplished – and the extension of benefits to federal employees and their domestic partners.”

When asked to identify the leading transgender and bisexual contributors to American society, Kaplan declined to name anyone in particular, although she was the key speaker at an event to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

“Well, there’s people all over the country of diverse backgrounds, different sexual orientations,” she said. “Some people are transgender, most people are not. And people make contributions irrespective of these kinds of superficial and meaningless distinctions. I’m not going to call out people for you.

“But I can tell you that, you know, we know for a fact, from our common experience, that people come in all shapes, all colors, sexual orientations, sometimes different gender identities, and they all make contributions to our society,” she said. “That’s what this country is all about.”

Kaplan also said she has no position on same-sex marriage.

“To tell you the truth, you are straying beyond my role as general counsel at OPM [Office of Personnel Management]. I’m more comfortable dealing with federal legislation issues and that sort of thing, but I don’t really think that I have an opinion necessarily on same-sex marriage,” she said.

Through an official statement issued by the White House, Obama declared that June 2009 would be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the United States.

The statement reads: “NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.”

---

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Like National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, CNSNews.com is able to provide its services and information to the public at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our thousands of donors and their tax-deductible contributions.This article is reprinted with permission.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all the ... continue reading


'Suing the president is the right path to go down here,' Boehner declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House of Representatives has no plans to use its own constitutional authority to withhold funding from actions by President Obama. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that if the president takes actions that exceed his constitutional authority, ... continue reading


Federal government says state death penalties are 'unconstitutional' Watch

Image of A federal judge has called California's death penalty unconstitutional. Surprisingly though, this judge is a conservative republican, a party that has long opposed federal overreach into state rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A federal judge ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional on July 16, claiming that the state's system is arbitrary, unfair, and cruel and unusual because of a lengthy process that leaves prisoners in the dark about their actual death row status. ... continue reading


'American people have a right to know,' Issa proclaims Watch

Image of Darrel Issa says that Simas' testimony was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California said administration claims that White House political director David Simas was immune from testimony were "absurd" and "deeply disturbing." Defying a subpoena, Issa has now set up a new high-profile fight ... continue reading


Cheat on your taxes? It just got a lot easier Watch

Image of If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you cheat on your taxes - or senselessly worry that some indiscretion in your recent past will have the Internal Revenue Service shortly breathing down your neck - things just got a little bit brighter. The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget ... continue reading


While federal tax revenues are at an all-time high - federal government still running a deficit Watch

Image of What's the old saying?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While federal tax revenues continue to run at a record pace in fiscal 2014, their still no way out of the forest yet. The federal government's total receipts for the fiscal year closed last month at an unprecedented $2,258,565,000,000, according to the Monthly ... continue reading


President Obama accused of being insufficiently engaged in border crisis Watch

Image of President Obama wishes to make clear to parents and adults in Central America that there is no payoff for sending their children on the dangerous journey northward.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With hundreds, if not thousands of unaccompanied children streaming across the United States' southwest border with Texas - and more on the way - America's border security and policies may be in transition. Republicans and some Democrats have since accused U.S. ... continue reading


Put the spotlight - ON ME: Obama uses first person singular 99 TIMES in speech Watch

Image of In President Obama's recent speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"I," "Me," sand "My" were words used by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech vowing unilateral action. In fact, Obama used the first person singular a whopping 199 times. This figure did not account for instances when he quoted a letter from a citizen or ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter