LAKE JACKSON, TX – Congressman Ron Paul issued the following statement in response to Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that the Obama Administration will cease to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against legal challenges.

“The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996 to stop Big Government in Washington from re-defining marriage and forcing its definition on the States. Like the majority of Iowans, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and must be protected.

“I supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’ constitutional authority to define what other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a same sex marriage license issued in another state. I have also cosponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which would remove challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act from the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

“The people of Iowa overwhelmingly supported, both houses of the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law the Iowa Defense Of Marriage Act in 1998.  Iowans then valiantly recalled three activist Judges who spurned the will of the people by over-turning the state’s law.

“Today’s announcement that the Obama Administration will abandon its obligation to enforce DOMA is truly disappointing and shows a profound lack of respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law. President Obama has just unconstitutionally said that Iowa should have to allow San Francisco and New York City decide its marriage laws. That position is unacceptable.

“The Administration’s dereliction throws the door wide open for special interests to abuse Federal power and attempt to force Iowa to recognize non-traditional marriage. Upcoming battles are looming just over the horizon.

“I will stand with the people of Iowa, against Unconstitutional federal power grabs, and will fight to protect each state’s right not to be forced to recognize a same sex marriage against the will of its people. If I were a member of the Iowa legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage on the people of my state.”

Editor’s note: Since there were some questioning the authenticity of this statement I thought I’d do my due diligence and follow up on that.  I just got off the phone with Jesse Benton, Congressman Paul’s communications director.  He  did in fact make this statement and this has been a consistent position that he has held for years.  – Shane

102 comments
  1. The administration will not defend the law in court. They will still enforce the law until a court makes a definitive decision. Also, what is being challenged is the section that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, not the part the allows states to not recognize other states’ same-sex marriages.

  2. Exactly. DOMA section 3 bars the Federal Government from recognizing marriage of same-sex couples in the states that provide it. DOMA overrules the political process in the individual states. Repealing DOMA will make the reach of the Federal Government smaller, not bigger.

  3. Exactly. DOMA section 3 bars the Federal Government from recognizing marriage of same-sex couples in the states that provide it. DOMA overrules the political process in the individual states. Repealing DOMA will make the reach of the Federal Government smaller, not bigger.

  4. As an independent, here is where I would part ways with Ron Paul and support Obama instead in 2012.

    GOP needs to drop the divisive social wars and maintain focus on the economy as the election issue!

    1. You’re parting ways with Ron Paul and supporting Obama because Obama has suddenly come out against DOMA?

      I assume you’re in favor of endless wars in the Middle East, bailouts, the patriot act, the war on drugs and all that good stuff Obama supports and Ron Paul opposes, right?

      Do some more research and you’ll see that Ron Paul vigorously opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment to ban gay marriage on a federal level and believes marriage should be left up to each individual state to decide.

      1. Gays and lesbians should receive the 1,100+ benefits granted by federal marriage recognition. Leaving it up to the states to decide does nothing about those federal benefits. That is the section of DOMA that Obama is refusing to defend.

        If Paul thinks gays and lesbians should continue sitting at the back of the bus then maybe he’s not the right guy. We need to raise the bar for what we expect in our leaders, and right now Obama is leading the way.

      2. Ron Paul was one of only a few Republicans to vote to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the Congress. If you’re going to support Obama over this issue, while ignore the fact that he sent 50,000 more troops to Afghanistan to die, lied about shutting down Guantanamo Bay, and expanded Bush’s faith-based programs(which, by the way, fund homophobic crap), you are clearly not thinking.

      3. He gets kudos for voting to repeal DADT. However if you think voting to authorize military action in Afghanistan – as Paul did – and then trying to withdraw our forces before the job is complete – as he is doing now – is a sensible policy, you are clearly not thinking.

      4. He wanted to authorize military action because he thought they were going after Osama Bin Laden. He then realizes that they have lost the cause and changed it for an agenda to make a military complex which is related to an invasion. Where in the constitution does it say that you can invade another country and launch these miniature undeclared wars? That’s why he changed his mind.

      5. It was quite clear before invading that we were going after the Taliban as well, because they sided with Bin Laden and were providing him shelter.

      6. It was quite clear before invading that we were going after the Taliban as well, because they sided with Bin Laden and were providing him shelter.

      7. How about this. NO ONE should receive any of those benefits. That would be a much fairer situation.

        Our country cannot afford any of it anyway. If you’ve just suddenly parted ways with Ron Paul, then I assume you’ve been following along and know that our monetary system is in it’s final death-throes.

        And back to the marriage issue, Dr. Paul would stand up for the right of Californians to make the exact opposite law. It’s a constitutional issue, not an agenda issue.

      8. How about this. NO ONE should receive any of those benefits. That would be a much fairer situation.

        Our country cannot afford any of it anyway. If you’ve just suddenly parted ways with Ron Paul, then I assume you’ve been following along and know that our monetary system is in it’s final death-throes.

        And back to the marriage issue, Dr. Paul would stand up for the right of Californians to make the exact opposite law. It’s a constitutional issue, not an agenda issue.

      9. Actually he would support California’s favor of gay marriage that is NOT DECIDED OR ENCROACHED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

      10. Well, these laws made by California should be for California only. It cannot have an effect on other states.

      11. If you think Obama is successfully “leading the way,” I don’t really think there’s any reason to discuss this.

      12. Gays and lesbians should receive the 1,100+ benefits granted by federal marriage recognition. Leaving it up to the states to decide does nothing about those federal benefits. That is the section of DOMA that Obama is refusing to defend.

        If Paul thinks gays and lesbians should continue sitting at the back of the bus then maybe he’s not the right guy. We need to raise the bar for what we expect in our leaders, and right now Obama is leading the way.

      13. I see where you’re coming from and where Ron is coming from. As a former Obama supporter, I’ve defected to the Ron Paul camp. With that said, I still wish he would have let this go. I’ll still vote for him if he runs for sure but now he’s going to have a very difficult job of attracting more social liberals to his side. And yes, there is no way he could have let this go because he’s a man of principle but I think we will soon see the cost of him making this statement, especially with the media dying to tarnish him even further.

      14. I like David’s point above, that benefits should be equal (or nothing) for all. While I admire RP’s principled stances on most issues, I have to say that he’s failing to lead on this issue of civil rights.

  5. You guys do not understand why Ron Paul is not happy about this. He is actually in favor of the states rights. When a specific state is not in favor of gay marriage, then gay marriage is not allowed. Now the law did not passed. If there is a license brought in by two gay people who want to get married in that state but are from another state and have a gay license from that other state, then that state would have to use that license from that other state even though gay marriage is not written or allowed in that state. This law protects the interest of that specific state. It seems like that license is more powerful than that state and that does not make sense.

    1. Obama is refusing to defend DOMA because of a belief that section 3 is unconstitutional – the part that disallows federal benefits for those legally married in their own states. DOMA has already been ruled unconstitutional in at least two federal lawsuits.

      Why is Paul going out of his way to defend DOMA?

    2. Obama is refusing to defend DOMA because of a belief that section 3 is unconstitutional – the part that disallows federal benefits for those legally married in their own states. DOMA has already been ruled unconstitutional in at least two federal lawsuits.

      Why is Paul going out of his way to defend DOMA?

      1. Well, guess what you said. You said “Federal” benefits. Federal=Government. The federal lawsuits do not know how to interpret the constitution.

      2. It’s one of those gray areas, but will probably be decided by SCOTUS in favor of plaintiffs, as there is no governmental reason for discriminatino under the standard of strict scrutiny. It’s not an exact analogy, but it will be like SCOTUS ruling that all states must recognize interracial marriages.

      3. It’s one of those gray areas, but will probably be decided by SCOTUS in favor of plaintiffs, as there is no governmental reason for discriminatino under the standard of strict scrutiny. It’s not an exact analogy, but it will be like SCOTUS ruling that all states must recognize interracial marriages.

      4. Well, the supreme court has read the constitution and carefully not fall to the temptation that government is a necessity.

      5. Change the “has read the constitution” to “has to read the constitution”. That’s an error on my part.

      6. I didn’t believe it at first either. While Benton claims this has always been RP’s position, it’s the first I’ve ever heard of Dr. Paul’s personal belief on the issue.

    3. No libertarian believes in “states’ rights.” Libertarians believe in individual rights, not “rights” of government. “States’ rights” is a nonsense phrase coined by pro-slavery activists in the 19th century to “justify” why people should be their property despite federal constitutional guarantees of liberty for all.

    1. Um he is the representative of Texas but he is protecting Iowa’s interest like he would do for the interest of other states.

      1. This confirms it. He’s running for President.

        He’ll satisfactorily explain his position on gay rights to the left is the presidential debates, but he’s got to win the Republican nomination first.

        And that means Iowa.

      2. In other words, he’s towing to the right in order to gain the nomination?

        I’m not opposed to that, if that’s the case, since the chances of him getting elected by remaining absolutely rigid in his positions is practically nil.

  6. I really respect Dr. Paul and think he would make a great President. Having said that, I think he’s wrong on this issue. What happens when some church decides that only white men can marry white women? I think everyone has the right to freely associate with anyone else and that no contract should be exclusive to any specific set of people.

    1. You don’t understand this. First of all, the church won’t do that because, they don’t care if it is interracial as long as there is a man and a woman involved. The church=house of GOD. GOD says to reproduce and spread among among the domain. How do you do that? You do that by letting a man marry a woman. You can’t reproduce with two natural males. The contract (What I am thinking is the DOMA) won’t ban gay marriage to the states that allow it. Let them have it. It “PROTECTS” the states that do not want gay marriage so they won’t have it in their area.

      1. I love Ron Paul, and I’m still figuring out where I stand on this particular discussion, but with respect, Kevin’s argument annoys me. Reproduction has no relevance to marriage whatsoever no matter how much you want it to. Reproduction happens all over the place with or without marriage, and I am completely in favor same-sex couples being allowed to adopt any of the millions of orphans who need a healthy, loving, nurturing, family environment. I challenge anyone to find me one LEGITIMATE study that suggests a family with same-sex parents does not offer that, or that parents’ sexual orientation has anything to do the orientation or values of their children. Straight parents have gay kids ALL THE TIME. Single and same-sex parents (gay or otherwise) have and raise straight kids ALL THE TIME. I worked in childcare for years and some of the greatest families I knew had same sex parents, and you know what? All lot of kids need parents, and my concern for life happens to reach beyond the zygote stage. I could give a damn what any church or a state government wants to determine about the “sanctity” of an irrelevant institution, or its supposed correlation with healthy reproductive practices in a society.

        That being said (and I’m sorry for straying in the direction of a tangent) I believe in the principles of small government, and leaving marriage laws up to the states, but I’m also a passionate about equal rights, and I do not believe my socially progressive view makes me any less moral, or any less concerned about good family values.

        So here is my question and concern regarding this issue. If one of these wonderful families who happen to have a to moms or two dads (whether it’s a gay parents or just nontraditional family structure-which many times are the result of parents dying ensuing circumstances) are on a road trip through a state that has exercised their right not to recognize the parent’s relationship as life partners, or their legal benefits, and they get into a terrible car accident, what happens at the hospital? If one of the parents is in critical condition and only family members are allowed in the room to see that parent, but their gay and the kids aren’t blood related to the parents (I’m assuming if they won’t recognize same sex gay marriage they won’t recognize gay adoption), will the hospital be allowed to deny them visitation rights? Could we pass a federal law to protect these families in such instances, or would that be too much big government for you social conservatives who think traditional marriage needs to be protected against homosexuality instead of divorce. Should states be allowed to outlaw divorce? That seems to be the number one killer or traditional family structures if you want to look at studies.

        Like I said, I’m still figuring this one out. I believe in states allowing states to define their own marriage laws and letting citizens vote with their feet. Social progress can happen organically when good examples are set, so I feel like I’m generally a believer in state’s rights, but I’m also a social progressive and I believe in the protection of equal rights, so I have study this one a little more. I worry about these GOOD families getting into the scenario I describe above. I worry about the 13 year old girl who was raped by her uncle and has to travel to another state to get an abortion and salvage her youth.

        I suppose I should stick to the marriage issue, but these are some of the philosophical territories that I struggle with regarding states rights. I consider my-self pro-choice because I do believe that a variety of extreme instances can occur, which many of us could never relate to, when abortion IS the most humane and moral option (I respect your right to disagree). But I don’t want abortions to happen anymore than someone who considers themselves pro-life (never mind if they’re also pro-war and pro capital punishment), and I want to find solutions that will prevent them from happening as much as possible in our society. But when your solution is to ban something, it goes underground (this is true about homosexuality, abortion, drugs, prostitution etc) and if a state outlaws abortion it would force girls in desperate situations have to drive to another state somewhere, right?

        I’m sorry I’ve gone off on another tangent. Like I said I love Ron Paul, and I like small government principles, but I also love my gay brothers and sisters and I’m a life-long social progressive, so I struggle to find a comfortable stance in these areas. Any light that can be shed on my concerns, specifically regarding the marriage and DOMA (in the interest of staying on topic) will be appreciated.

        Thank you

      2. Your not reading my words carefully. I am just saying what the church is. I did not give an opinion. Same sex couples cannot reproduce, they can adopt. Reproduction does not equal adoption.

      3. I see. Sorry about that Kevin. It’s a subject I’m sensitive about because there are a lot gay folks I care about. I see what you were saying now. Should have read more closely;)

      4. Don’t worry Justin. I understand what you are saying. We as a people have the right to be whatever we want and we choose it not the government. Government can’t force us to be who we are. Don’t let the government tell all gays, straight, black, white, hispanic, disordered, who we should be and how we should live our lives. Tell the government to protect the gays, straight, black, white, hispanic, disordered that are being encroached and stripped away from their liberties to be who they want. I am ECONOMICALLY CONSERVATIVE but SOCIALLY LIBERAL.

      5. Don’t worry Justin. I understand what you are saying. We as a people have the right to be whatever we want and we choose it not the government. Government can’t force us to be who we are. Don’t let the government tell all gays, straight, black, white, hispanic, disordered, who we should be and how we should live our lives. Tell the government to protect the gays, straight, black, white, hispanic, disordered that are being encroached and stripped away from their liberties to be who they want. I am ECONOMICALLY CONSERVATIVE but SOCIALLY LIBERAL.

      6. I see. Sorry about that Kevin. It’s a subject I’m sensitive about because there are a lot gay folks I care about. I see what you were saying now. Should have read more closely;)

      7. Historically churches have often been the center of support for discriminatory policies, so stating that the “church won’t do that” is kind of like saying “our government is always looking out for us”. Referencing GOD does not help in this argument. The whole argument here is that everyone deserve the same rights of association. Period. We’re talking about LEGAL rights, not witchcraft or ritualistic cults (i.e. churches). States should not have the right to determine the legality of a contract between consenting parties provided the contract is not illegally impinging on the interested parties rights.

      8. Historically churches have often been the center of support for discriminatory policies, so stating that the “church won’t do that” is kind of like saying “our government is always looking out for us”. Referencing GOD does not help in this argument. The whole argument here is that everyone deserve the same rights of association. Period. We’re talking about LEGAL rights, not witchcraft or ritualistic cults (i.e. churches). States should not have the right to determine the legality of a contract between consenting parties provided the contract is not illegally impinging on the interested parties rights.

      9. 1. Church and government are two different things. (your analogy does not make sense)
        2. I am just saying what the church is.
        3. What consenting parties? It is constitutional that states have rights.

  7. I am a big Ron Paul fan, but his concern is misguided. DOMA was intended to provide an exception to the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the Constitution by allowing states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages from other states. However, DOMA was only a codification of the common law exception to the FF&C Clause whereby states may refuse to enforce the laws of other states if those laws are repugnant to the public policy of the refusing state. This exception was always upheld in the face of a state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages. Therefore, DOMA really does nothing other than to codify the preexisting practices of the states.

    Ron Paul, as an advocate of small government and states rights, should recognize that DOMA was an unnecessary exercise of regulatory power by the federal government. The rights of the states with respect to same-sex marriage were adequately protected by the public policy exception prior to DOMA. This decision by the Obama administration does nothing to the autonomy of the states.

  8. So, Shane. Where did you get this? Many are sensing a bogusness about this statement, and I agree. There are factual errors, and why the specific mention of Iowa?

    1. I received it by email. The appeal to states rights is consistent to his message though. He, to my knowledge, has never expresse being in favor of same-sex marriage. If this turns out to be bogus I will retract, offer an apology, and restrict who I receive press releases from. I have no reason to believe that this isn’t authentic at this time however.

      1. Hi, Shane.

        What is at issue here is Section 3 of DOMA, which says the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages legally contracted in states that permit it. So far, Section 2, which does not require states to recognize other states’ same-sex marriages, has not successfully been legally challenged.

        Yet the news release seems to focus on Section 2. The references to Iowa seem out of place, since Iowa currently allows same-sex couples to marry and, I assume, recognizes same-sex marriages from other states.

        Couple that with the allegation that the Obama administration will cease to “enforce” DOMA seems to indicate that Dr. Paul is out of touch.

        As a side note, it is interesting that there were three threads on the latest DOMA issue, two of which have two replies apiece. However, this one featuring Ron Paul went through the roof, to the point of being unreadable.

  9. I believe this country would be in much better shape today if Ron Paul had been president instead of Bush OR Obama. That said, this is one of the few issues with which I take exception with Dr. Paul. Usually, he is fighting against the government interfering in our lives, but now he wants the government to tell us who can marry whom? I don’t care if it is state government or federal government, there are so many things I find more important in this world than the definition of a legal marriage. I can’t imagine how it effects my life if two guys or two girls think that marrying each other will make them happy.

  10. People seem to seriously miss the point that Ron Paul is defending. He isn’t saying gay marriage is evil… he is saying that it should be up to the states to define marriage, not the federal government. This is so controversial, and so divisive that, if people want it legalized a state or city should be allowed to do it. That way if people who are truly against gay marriage, can either move to a different town or state, where it is not legal. If the federal government legalizes it, you can’t really move to a different country. He just wants limited government, and getting rid of DOMA, just expands government further into the issue of marriage, and limits further state rights.

    1. The defense of Marriage Act is all about defending marriage.

      Why is the federal government in the business of defending marriage?

      DOMA defines marriage in a particular way. By agreeing with DOMA, you are endorsing a definition of marriage as set by the federal government. If you are for freedom to choose your own partner, you would not be in favor of the government having ANY definition of marriage.

      This isn’t about limiting government. It’s about expanding the federral government’s role in marriage.

      1. Wrong government did not define it, it has been defined in history far longer than america has existed. It points out the obvious to those that would seek to corrupt it for their own gain at the lose of others.

      2. Funny how if it is has been “Defined” for so long they why have gay relationships been accepted before?
        In fact… Why is it that Animals, some very intelligent animals for that matter, who have no sense of “corruption” have homosexual, life-long relationships?

        Just a thought Steve.

  11. People seem to seriously miss the point that Ron Paul is defending. He isn’t saying gay marriage is evil… he is saying that it should be up to the states to define marriage, not the federal government. This is so controversial, and so divisive that, if people want it legalized a state or city should be allowed to do it. That way if people who are truly against gay marriage, can either move to a different town or state, where it is not legal. If the federal government legalizes it, you can’t really move to a different country. He just wants limited government, and getting rid of DOMA, just expands government further into the issue of marriage, and limits further state rights.

  12. Shane–

    I saw your note, but you should have asked Jesse Benton if Dr. Paul is clear on what the Obama administration did. He sounds clueless.

  13. There is no reason to believe that Dr. Paul did not say this. The issue is not about marriage, but about reining in the power of the federal government in favor of broader states’ rights.

    He is trying to win over the traditional conservatives with statements like this…it appears as if he is in support of traditional marriage, but really all he is saying is that the federal government ought to restrain its power.

  14. There is no reason to believe that Dr. Paul did not say this. The issue is not about marriage, but about reining in the power of the federal government in favor of broader states’ rights.

    He is trying to win over the traditional conservatives with statements like this…it appears as if he is in support of traditional marriage, but really all he is saying is that the federal government ought to restrain its power.

  15. I don’t buy this for a second.

    Ron Paul routinely states that the Government should not be involved in marriage at all.

    1. Unless, gay marriage is being interfered/forced by the state that does not allow/have it. You do not understand how government is suppose to work. The government is defending not enforcing. If a state with gay marriage is interfered/forced by outside states or outside people to write appeal their gay marriage laws, the government should protect and defend the state with gay marriage because that is their own interest and their own decision.

  16. Ron Paul has said that the federal government doesn’t have a place in marriage. If 2 people want to marry then that is fine. As long as the federal government is not forcing churches or states to dictate what marriage can be.

    As a side note Kent Snyder was Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign coordinator and he was gay and died of pneumonia/aids. He was a great patriot who Ron Paul trusted because of his individualism and actions to preserve liberty for all Americans. Let us who support liberty forgot his name.

  17. Ron Paul has said that the federal government doesn’t have a place in marriage. If 2 people want to marry then that is fine. As long as the federal government is not forcing churches or states to dictate what marriage can be.

    As a side note Kent Snyder was Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign coordinator and he was gay and died of pneumonia/aids. He was a great patriot who Ron Paul trusted because of his individualism and actions to preserve liberty for all Americans. Let us who support liberty forgot his name.

  18. Ron Paul seriously missed the point of the President’s action. The President told the DOJ not to defend Section 3 of DOMA, not Section 2. Section 2 says that one state need not recognize same sex marriages of another state. Section 3 (the one being abandoned) says the Feds will not recognize same sex marriages EVEN IF they are valid within a particular state. i.e., the Feds are over ruling the decision within the state. This is NOT libertarian.

  19. Ron Paul seriously missed the point of the President’s action. The President told the DOJ not to defend Section 3 of DOMA, not Section 2. Section 2 says that one state need not recognize same sex marriages of another state. Section 3 (the one being abandoned) says the Feds will not recognize same sex marriages EVEN IF they are valid within a particular state. i.e., the Feds are over ruling the decision within the state. This is NOT libertarian.

  20. This is just political propaganda to slam Ron Paul. The only thing Dr. Paul is saying is that this is not and never should be a federal issue period. What happens when the next arrogant frikkin pres, gets in their and he decides he hates gays or mexicans or dogs or whatever. Wake up people the president has way to much power and we must put an end to it.

    1. silvernale–

      Not sure why you consider this propaganda, assuming it is true. And if this is not a federal issue, why is Dr. Paul supposedly upset that the president is refusing to defend it in court?

  21. I don’t know why RP would make this statement. The libertarian position is that there should be NO state sanctioned marriage, gay or straight, only private contract. It is every state’s responsibility to uphold the inviolability of mutual, private contract.

  22. Real libertarians have known Ron Paul is a fraud for a long time.

    Between his racist past (profiting to the tune of millions off of white supremacist newsletters and then claiming he never wrote nor read any of them), and his homophobic present, the man is a big-government conservative masquerading as a libertarian.

    That he thinks government — state government, federal government, or city government — should be “defining” marriage shows how much of a Big Government tool he really is. It should not matter what your neighbors or “the people of a state” think of personal relationships between adults, let alone “punishing” it through the law by making it less than equal.

    That Ron Paul supports government regulation of people’s relationships shows, once and for all, that the man is not a libertarian — he’s a fraud.

  23. ron paul`s view on gay marriage is clear if you youtube him-it`s mostly about keeping the government out of it
    however these laws and bills are interpreted may cloud your view on ron paul-i would suggest watch the videos then make an opinion

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