President Obama has said his view of same-sex marriage is “evolving.” Apparently he thinks that the law should be based on a kind of Darwinian jurisprudence that allows it to “evolve” and become whatever the ruling politicians at a given moment say it is (or isn’t).

How else to explain the decision by the president and his attorney general, Eric Holder, not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996? The Senate vote was 85-14; the vote in the House was 342-67, an indication of overwhelming public support to keep marriage for opposite-sex couples.

Let’s leave aside for the moment any moral, religious, historical, or cultural reasons for maintaining the legal status quo on marriage, which has precedent dating to biblical times. The president and his attorney general have concluded that because DOMA is being challenged before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which they say “has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated”—they will circumvent or overrule judicial authority and decide the matter for themselves. This “we are the law” thinking is what we oppose in Middle East dictators.

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