Florida Challenges Against DOMA Abandoned

Arguments directly challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were dropped in Florida, Tuesday, in light of last week’s federal district court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Act.

Eight lawsuits were filed last year in Florida, seeking to establish same-sex “marriage” in the state. Arguments directly challenging the DOMA in three of those lawsuits were abandoned today, marking a victory for traditional marriage advocates nationwide.

“Today’s abandonment of the challenges to DOMA is a victory for traditional marriage,” said Matthew Staver, President and General Counsel of the Liberty Counsel (LC).

According to Erik Stanley, chief counsel of LC, the challenge against the DOMA was one of two arguments made by the pro-gay marriage advocates.

“Eight cases were filed seeking to have Florida establish same sex marriages. In three of those cases, they [the plaintiffs] not only argued that same sex marriage be established under State law – they said the Federal Defense of Marriage Act should be stricken down.”

“However, the judge last week upheld the federal Defense of Marriage Act in one of those three pending cases, and the rest of them abandoned their arguments,” he continued, referring to the decision by Judge James Moody to uphold the constitutionality in the case.

Stanley explained that while today’s announcement marks a shift in the strategy for gay marriage proponents, their goal of making gay marriage legal has not changed.

“The goal of same-sex marriage proponents remain the same, even though they may be shifting their strategy,” said Stanley. “They are turning toward more of a piecemeal approach by eroding efforts to protect marriages in the states, rather than going after the DOMA.”

Therefore, Stanley said, a federal marriage amendment must be passed to protect marriage once and for all.

“We firmly believe a federal marriage amendment is necessary because if they succeed in legalizing same sex marriages in the states, it will be an easy step to make that a nationwide policy,” said Stanley to the Christian Post. “We need to shut the gate before the horse gets out of the barn, because afterwards, it will be impossible to shut that gate.

Staver also agreed that a federal marriage amendment is the only solution to the current crisis.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the need for a federal amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Staver. “We still need a federal constitutional amendment so we don’t have to scour the wire services hour by hour to determine whether our marriage laws remain intact. Marriage is a fundamental basis of our society, and it must be preserved and stabilized on a national basis.”

In regards to the newly introduced Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) at the senate, Stanley said he is hopeful for its passage.

“We’re excited to see it was introduced again and hope it will pass this time,” said Stanley. “I think some of the changes in the senate will help in the passage for this amendment. The Senate leadership is making this a high priority, so that can help with the successful passage of the amendment this year.”

“But even if it isn’t successful this year, the federal marriage amendment will continue to come back year after year until they do pass it -- this issue is not going away.”