UPDATE: It turns out that upon further research Scott Simpson has been with the Justice department for over 20 years and is not a Bush II appointee. This shows the danger of wrong information going viral on the Internet. I apologize for my mistake and have struck out the relevant parts.
Update II: I wanted to post links to some sites that deserve Kudos for their excellent reporting on the topic not swayed by simple emotion.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community has perhaps rightfully felt betrayed by the Obama White House. Obama promised to work to end policies of discrimination and yet has taken few concrete steps. Moreover, the brief filled by the Department of Justice in favor of the Gay Marriage ban was viewed as a slap on the face by many. These are valid criticisms and valid feelings of betrayal, and yet one of the most absurd memes that emerged out of the outrage was the idea that the Obama DOJ is corrupt and tainted by the fact that “gasp” a Mormon filled the brief. Unfortunately, Andrew Sullivan, whom I respect and revere in most regards, seems to have been the first to make a post mentioning that Senior Trial Counsel and Bush appointee W. SCOTT SIMPSON is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yet, as soon as this information became widespread anti-Mormon arguments began to spread with virility.
One very easily swayed blogger shifted from viewing the DOMA brief as legitimate and valid to decrying it merely because a Mormon was involved in some capacity.
Are gay rights advocates truly suggesting that a Mormon is incapable of serving in the Justice department of a Democratic administration or effectively carrying out ones duties objectively? The amount of post proposition 8 vitriol that has emerged against Mormons has been rather disgusting. American Thinker has a great round up of Anti-Mormon efforts that have included personal attacks against ALL members of the church regardless of their voting status.
No one in this country should lose his job or be targeted for discrimination because he or she donated or voted for a specific campaign. Catholics and Orthodox Jewish groups were also very involved in the fight for Proposition 8 and other “traditional” marriage bans, but I don’t see a call to boycott all Catholic owned industries or to refuse to tip Jewish waiters. What’s worse, Mormons are now being subjected to the same types of arguments that were popular against Catholics or even Jews only a few decades ago. Mormons are declared to be unable to be distinguished as individuals because we all supposedly vote as a unified bloc. We supposedly are unable to think for ourselves and blindly “followed the prophet.” This CBS news article wonderfully explores some of the stereotypes about Mormons that are widely held. I am a Liberal Mormon that voted against a gay marriage ban in Florida and I view that as consistent with my church membership. Elsewhere, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/3/5/705204/-The-LDS-church-is-NOT-trying-to-oppose-civil-union-in-Illinois”>>I wrote about how quick members of the blogosphere were to assume the actions of individual members constituted official church position.
For the record, I’d like it to be made clear. My actions do not represent my church and every one of its actions do not automatically represent my views or thoughts. I am a thinking individual encouraged by my faith to think through and come to my own conclusions on spiritual matters through the guidance of the church prophets and the gift of the Holy Ghost that I possess.
I think the actions of LGBTQ advocacy groups have lost them a lot of legitimacy. I for one will not contribute to LGBTQ groups in the next election cycle because I know that my money that I donate will actively be used to further a bigoted campaign to target individual members of my faith for their affiliation. No one is asking LGBTQ groups to give money to the Mormon church or to any of its official functions, but the campaign against Mormon individuals is simply uncalled for.
Likewise, the assault on a single Mormon involved in the writing of this brief is absurd. I am actually upset that a bush holdover was given this task at all because I do think that a new administration should not be using holdovers to write a brief on such a controversial matter precisely because of the impression that it creates, but his religious views should not be viewed as a dominant or significant factor.
Never mind that a single individual can not write a brief and singlehandedly get it submitted. Never mind that the DOJ and Obama have embraced these arguments overall. Nevermind that the DOJ employs many bush holdovers of various faiths. Of course, a Mormon conspiracy must be involved here. Give me a break!
And for good measure let me offer a bit of argumentation in defense of the DOMA brief. Legal experts do say that the DOJ in all but a few circumstances clearly and vigorously must http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=25735″>defend statues on the books.
While the Supreme Court does not have to defend laws that are http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/nonexcut.htm”>egregiously and obviously unconstitutional, it is clear that DOMA does not fit under this. The clearest precedent on the federal level Baker V. Nelon that still dominates dismissed arguments being advanced by Gay Rights advocates today and it is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_v._Nelson”>>not clear at all how a federal court would rule in this case.
Moreover, it can be argued that if the DOJ is defending a statute should put forward the strongest case that it can. The DOMA brief contains a whole slew of arguments that have been rejected on the state level as states have overturned gay marriage bans or laws but that have NEVER been addressed on the federal level. Arguments equating homosexuality to pedophilia or bestiality may be disgusting but they should be included for sure as they have been used on both the state and federal level before and have never effectively been rebuked by a court. Until these arguments are clearly rejected they should be brought forward as they will give courts an opportunity to look at them and obviously reject the logic.