Since February of this year, when President Obama announced refusal to protect the "Defense of Marriage Act", many Department of Justice lawyers who were once defending the Act have backed off from the fight against various challenges and complaints against the "one man one woman" theory as basis for marriage. Some have even opted to defend and support the same sex marriage side. There are legislative activists who initiate national protests, in hopes of bringing these lawyers who act against the ethics of professional conducts to justice.
The national protests initiated by the Pacific Justice Institute will file formal complaints against Department of Justice lawyers in 10 states, including California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Washington D.C. The contents of the protests touch on how over 30 Department of Justice lawyers dealt with 18 cases of complaints against legalization of same sex marriage, who not only gave up defending the "one man one woman" basis of marriage as outlined in the "Defense of Marriage Act" and thus gave up on the American people who they represent, but also teamed up with the supporters for same sex marriage to file complaints against the American people, clearly failing to oblige in the ethics of professional conduct required by any practicing lawyer.
Where is the justice when legislative lawyers file complaints against the people?
Dr. Brad Dacus, the chairman of the Pacific Justice Institute, stated on the 20th: "When the Federal government and related organizations were accused based on the "Defense of Marriage Act", Department of Justice lawyers should be representing the American people and not the President or the Attorney General. The Department of Justice 's act of giving up on the people is already quite abominable, but to join and ask the opposing party to assign judgment on its own side is something that is immoral and should be brought to justice."
Chairman of the Bay area Pacific Justice Institute Board of Directors, Li Shao-min, bluntly stated that what the Department of Justice lawyers were doing was a "tragedy of the Democratic system". First of all, President Obama, as the head of the country elected by its people, refused to defend for the "Defense of Marriage Act", thereby going against his people's wishes. This, in and of itself, is already failing to perform his duties. Besides, when the country's legislation was being attacked, the Department of Justice lawyers should undoubtedly protect the present law. However, they not only did not do their part, but also turned their heads against their own, and used the information available to them to complain against the American people and government.
The San Francisco Chinese Christian Churches Union bravely spoke on behalf of 13 San Francisco Chinese Churches. Rev. Dr. Franco Kwan of the True Sunshine Episcopal Church spoke to the Gospel Herald, saying, "The Department of Justice lawyers should protect the proposals and rights of the legislature and the people, but they have now reversed the muzzle of the gun and used what has been provided to them as information to protect their people to help overthrow the "one man one woman" marriage system. This kind of action is unacceptable. How can we rely on the Federal government to protect the country's justice in the future?"
Some complaints against the "Defense of Marriage Act" have touched on the above-mentioned issues recently. The Department of Justice will make two applications to the Federal Supreme Court on September 11th, requesting review on many same sex marriage-related cases that do not qualify for Federal welfare protection. These cases involve 6 to 7 same sex couples from California, Connecticut, and Vermont. One of these cases involves a lesbian residing in New York, named Edie Windsor. After her same sex partner passed away, she was asked by the U.S. government to pay USD$363,000 in taxes. According to the Federal tax code, as an heir to the spouse's assets, she should not have to pay property taxes, but she was discriminated based on the "Defense of Marriage Act" not recognizing same sex marriage. The Department of Justice originally defended for the "Defense of Marriage Act", but now is asking the Federal Supreme Court to review the case. The "Defense of Marriage Act" is now facing the risk of being overthrown.
The last line of defense to protect the "one man one woman" system under the "Defense of Marriage Act"
The actions of the Department of Justice lawyers not only hurt the U.S. legislature and democratic system, but also threaten the "one man one woman" basis of the "Defense of Marriage Act".
The "Defense of Marriage Act" was signed and enforced in 1996 by President Clinton. The Act states that marriage is legalized when it is the unity of one man and one woman, which is enforced in all Federal laws. Under the protection of this Act, every state has its own right to not recognize same sex marriages registered in other states. Therefore, it has been quoted against legalization of same sex marriage in various states, and conservatives view this Act as the last line of defense for protecting the traditional concept of marriage.
Li Shao-min, as a Christian, stated: "We need justice and we need to stand up for Christ. The Department of Justice is not only attacking the people, it is also attacking the traditional concept of marriage. We should rise up for the next generation, for justice, and for religion."
As this is the year for the Presidential election, the topic of same sex marriage has become a point of consideration for many voters. Pastor Kwan said that the big problem with Chinese believers is to think that politics have nothing to do with them, and that one less vote does not make a difference. He pointed out that no matter what, we should not underestimate the influential power that we have by participating. If every one of us votes, depending on which side we vote for, that side will win, and mainstream society will then see this influential power.
He stated: "If so, we can control political benefits, to fight for the moral standards that we need, and not be steered or persecuted by others."
Pastor Kwan encouraged Christians to arm themselves with Christ's teachings and standards when considering candidates or platforms, when voting, or when voicing their opinions on political matters. We should consider which is more congruent with the standards of the church and tradition before making our choices.
Interested parties also called on Christians to pray for the U.S. to defend the current system of traditional marriage, and for this year's Presidential election.
At present, the Pacific Justice Institute solemnly demands that the Bar Associations in 10 states to impartially handle the topic of civil rights violations by the Department of Justice lawyers, and to investigate into these Department of Justice lawyers, in order to make them account for their actions of violation of professional conduct, and to protect the legislative and democratic body of the United States.
Pacific Justice Institute has set up a dedicated website to encourage signature petitions from the people to support this complaint action, and to wake up the many state Bar Associations to address the problem. Please visit www.NoWayDOJ.com to submit your signature.
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]