News about President-to-be Obama’s planned agenda for the immediate future is certainly making for a lot of speculation in political circles. Indeed, during his campaign Obama made a lot of promises to the various interest groups who helped him reach the White House. Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to write a series of postings about what we ought to expect from the Obama administration. Today’s posting will feature his agenda on social issues.
The list I’ve compiled below is by no means exhaustive. These are the major planks of the liberal social agenda which President-to-be Obama will likely sign into law:
1. He will reverse many of the executive orders of the Bush administration, including those dealing with abortion and other right-to-life issues. For example, he will reverse the so-called Mexico City Policy, thus reinstating funding to organizations which perform abortions in foreign countries. Granted, I’m not a big fan of executive orders in general because I believe that only Congress can make law and set policy, but this will be a setback for the right-to-life movement nonetheless.
2. Obama has promised to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act” which would gut virtually all regulations at the state level dealing with abortion. In other words, all of the hard work done at the state level by pro-life groups would be nullified with the stroke of a pen. This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and further sets the precedent for nationalizing these social issues in a way that hasn’t been done before. Not only would this legislation be a death-blow to the pro-life movement, but it would further erode federalism as well.
3. Obama also promised to sign into law a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was passed during the Clinton administration. It allows the states the authority not to recognize same-sex “marriages” from another state, therefore giving the states more sovereignty over these judicial acts. DOMA was basically Congress using their authority under Article IV, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution which allows Congress to regulate “the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.” It was a good compromise at best and even a lot of Democrats supported it.
However, if this new Congress does vote to repeal DOMA and Obama signs it, then the situation would revert back to the “Full Faith and Credit” clause (that is, Clause 1 of Section 1) which would force every state in the Union to recognize same-sex “marriages” performed in any state which allows it. In other words, this would be a nationwide legalization of same-sex “marriage.” Again, federalism flies out the window.
4. Federal funding for Planned Parenthood will increase like never before. Under President Bush, we saw record level amounts of Federal subsidies going to Planned Parenthood and we should expect more of the same under Obama. Aside from the fact that these subsidies are unconstitutional, Planned Parenthood remains the nation’s largest provider of abortions.
5. Aside from the possible repeal of DOMA, the homosexual lobby will score huge legislative gains in other areas as well. So-called “hate crime” legislation will be passed which will add homosexuals and other “sexual minorities” to the list of groups covered by current “hate crime” laws. This will be yet another stepping stone toward eliminating free speech and religious liberty by targeting social conservatives, Christians, and others who are morally opposed to homosexuality. Right now under Canada’s “hate crime” laws, someone can be fined thousands of dollars for making public statements against homosexuality or quoting certain Bible passages.
Another piece of legislation likely to pass is the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” (ENDA), another unconstitutional act which would force employers–yes, even churches and religious organizations–to hire homosexuals. Of all the pieces of legislation I’ve talked about in this posting, expect to see the “hate crime” bill and ENDA pass very easily. The dangers posed by these two pieces of legislation are not readily apparent to most people as they don’t actually take the time to research the full implications.
Looking at all of the proposed changes on these social issues under the Obama administration, America is going to take a dramatic shift to the Left in terms of policy. Some conservatives are predicting that passing any number of these pieces of legislation will cause a huge backlash (something akin to 1994), but I disagree. I don’t think most Americans really care about social issues anymore. As many pundits have pointed out, the vast majority of people have their minds focused on economic issues right now. Given that most younger people have readily accepted same-sex “marriage” and abortion-on-demand, I don’t really see a future in which social conservatism will remain a viable political force.