Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage really decided to raise the bar for unashamed audacity. The organization is now demanding that Obama’s Justice Department pay for Speaker of the House John Boehner’s defense of DOMA ( the Defense of Marriage Act):
“John Boehner and the House are stepping in to do the job that President Obama refused to do: defend a law passed by bipartisan majorities. The cost of hiring lawyers to defend DOMA should be deducted from the budget of the Justice Department,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “The $1.5 million cost of defending DOMA represent less than one-one hundredth of one percent of the Justice Department’s huge $28 billion budget. President Obama’s defection of duty is responsible for incurring this cost; he should trim some fat and find the money to pay for it.”
The Obama Administration decided not to defend DOMA because it felt that the law could not be defended. Speaker of the House John Boehner decided to take up the slack . . . and stepped into a hornet’s nest. He is now set to spend over $1 million on the defense of DOMA. The amount of the defense was earlier set at $500,000 but apparently the lawyer handling the case, Paul Clement, quickly went through this amount.
Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the defense of DOMA was rooted in chicanery and junk science:
1. Clement tried to sneak in the testimony of former NOM chair Maggie Gallagher in a way that would have kept her from being cross-examined.
2. A professor cited by Clement in a brief defending DOMA, Lisa Diamond, complained that her work was being distorted.
3. Clement is also citing – in a second hand fashion – junk science from discredited researchers. In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr. But Dent’s work – which Clement uses - cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies. He has published work which claimed, among other nauseating false things, that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums. (Editor’s note- the piece Cameron cited to make this claim – The Straight Dope – actually said that this claim was not true. Cameron dishonestly “flipped the script” to make it seem that The Straight Dope was affirming this claim.) Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year’s scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a “rentboy.”
It is for these reasons that Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) demanded a hearing on how money is being spent on the defense of DOMA.
Even if no one ignored that Boehner’s defense of DOMA is rooted in bad techniques and junk science – which I noticed NOM did ignore - the audacity of the organization here is astounding.
NOM just lost a court case in which it sought to hide donors in CA who contributed to the successful effort to pass Proposition 8.
Perhaps NOM shouldn’t worry who is paying for the defense of DOMA and focus on releasing its donors, as it has been ordered to by law and the courts.
On the other hand, maybe NOM can afford to pay for Boehner’s defense itself. As Jeremy Hooper discovered, the organization doesn’t pay for photos. It simply steals them from Reuters.