In a panel discussion at the liberal American Constitution Society Friday, President Obama’s staff secretary, Lisa Brown, expressed personal reservations about some of the language in the Justice Department brief against same-sex marriage that cited the ability of states to refuse to recognize incestuous marriages as a comparison with same-sex ones.
“It was an awful lot better that the brief that was written in the Bush administration,” Brown said, as first reported by Politico’s Josh Gerstein. “There’s no question — personal statement — that there were some cites in there that should not … have been in there.”
For many gay and lesbian Democratic donors, the brief — written in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which allows states to refuse to recognize gay and lesbian marriages — was so outrageous they dropped out of a major DNC fundraiser for the gay and lesbian community this Thursday.
At another point, the moderator drew applause after asking about the slow pace of progress on gay and lesbian rights issue.
Ron Klain, the chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, said, “I understand why people are impatient with the pace of progress. We have only been here 125 days, and in those 125 days have many irons in the fire. … I hope that next year when we have this conference and that question gets asked it doesn’t elicit the same kind of applause that it elicited this time.”
Think Progress has posted video of the event: