Media Silent on Pelosi Intent to Kill DOMA

The news media aren't bothering to report it, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference last Thursday that if Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is elected President, she will fight alongside him to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Defense of Marriage Act upholds the traditional and centuries-long understanding of marriage – the union of one man and one woman – by freeing federal and state governments of any obligation to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.  Pelosi's statement means that if Obama wins the presidency, the two most powerful politicians in the country will be collaborating to radically transform marriage as we know it.

Pelosi's position ought to be big news in an election year, but the media elite have been completely silent.  The only report on the subject came from, one of the divisions of the Media Research Center, the parent organization of the Culture and Media Institute.

Pelosi made the statement in response to a question asked by reporter Josiah Ryan at a press conference on July 31. He asked, “Senator Obama has called for the forward repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and I'm wondering, if Senator Obama is elected President, if you'll support him in repealing that in the next Congress.”

Pelosi responded with a firm “yes.”  (For video click here.)

Nexis and Google News searches reveal that no major media outlets have reported Pelosi's comments.  In other words, the editors and producers for the networks, national newspapers and weekly magazines have decided that the declaration by America's leading lawmaker that she will help repeal the Defense of Marriage Act – and thereby force the federal government and states around the country to recognize (by way of expensive litigation no doubt) same-sex “marriage” – is not important. 

DOMA was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1996 under President Bill Clinton. It bans any federal recognition of same-sex “marriage” and protects states from having to recognize same-sex “marriages” contracted in other states.  Normally states are required to recognize “the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings” of other states under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

Currently same-sex “marriage” is allowed in California and Massachusetts, with the latter recently repealing a law that prohibited same-sex couples residing in other states from marrying there. Repealing DOMA could mean same-sex couples who “married” in either California or Massachusetts could move to another state that has passed an amendment recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman, sue the state for discrimination and force that state to recognize their “marriage.”   

Repealing DOMA would have major societal and cultural implications.  But rather than risk real reporting on a serious topic, the media are ignoring the story. They'd rather foam at the mouth over the presidential horse race.

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.