Metro Weekly

White House Briefing: Bond, Bankruptcy, Immigration and Obama

In today’s White House briefing both Metro Weekly and Kerry Eleveld with Equality Matters got in questions about LGBT issues, with Eleveld following up on her column regarding Brian Bond’s departure from the White House and Metro Weekly asking about this past week‘s developments regarding DOJ’s new policy not to oppose joint bankruptcy filings by same-sex married couples. Neither question elicited much of a response from White House press secretary Jay Carney.

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From the transcript:

     Q    And on just a completely unrelated subject, it’s been reported that Brian Bond, who was in charge of constituency relations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, is leaving the White House for the DNC.  Currently, there’s no senior LGBT advisor to the President on this issue, arguably one of the biggest civil rights questions of his presidency.  Does he — does the President plan to appoint someone to advise him on these issues going forward? 

     MR. CARNEY:  I don’t have any personnel announcements for you.  I think that his record on these issues is something he is proud of and he gets advice from a lot of quarters.  I don’t have an announcement for you on that. 

     Chris. 

     Q    On July 7th, DOJ announced it would no longer oppose married, same-sex couples who are seeking to file joint bankruptcy petitions.  And that was a move that DOJ had opposed in the past, basing it on DOMA.  You in the briefing room, however, in the past have said that the President doesn’t have the ability to waive [sic] a magic wand and change policy. 

     MR. CARNEY:  I wish he did.

     Q    And that was with regards to immigration situation and same-sex couples seeking equal treatment.  Can you explain what the difference between those situations is, and also, whether or not the President supports DOJ’s decision to allow same-sex couples to file join bankruptcy petitions?

     MR. CARNEY:  Chris, I honestly haven’t talked about this with him in terms of that specific decision by DOJ, so I’d have to refer you to that.  I think the overall principle that he doesn’t have a magic wand — although some of us wish he did sometimes, maybe this week in particular — to make things happen is just a statement of fact.  And there are processes that involve legal analysis and decisions that obviously are handled over at the Department of Justice.  So I just don’t have any more information for you on that. 

     Q    But the President has said that until there are final court rulings that he expects DOMA to be enforced.  Is this situation — does the President feel that this is enforcing DOMA by allowing same-sex couples to file joint bankruptcy petitions?

     MR. CARNEY:  I haven’t had that conversation with him.  I mean, I can take that question for you.

[Image: Carney at White House press briefing on June 27, 2011.]

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