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Obama's Refusal to Defend DOMA (Research Paper Sample)


Research Paper 01 Instructions &Grading Rubric

Presidential Leadership in Domestic Policy-Making


Carefully read the grading rubric and all instructions, including the General Research Paper Instructions, before beginning this assignment.


In this Research Paper, you must:

1)    State a clear thesis regarding the president’s role in domestic policy-making and provide an example supporting your thesis. The example must be narrow and specific, such as President Obama’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Example: President Obama’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

2)    Explain the role of the president in domestic policy-making to place the example in context.

3)    Describe the example of presidential leadership precisely, including words and deeds.

4)    Evaluate the example of presidential leadership:

a)     Constitutionally – analyzing the issue of whether the Constitution authorizes the presidential actions in your example.

b)    Philosophically – analyzing the presidential decision in your example to determine what worldview(s) or philosophies likely provided the basis for the decision and evaluating the presidential decision in light of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

c)     Qualitatively – analyzing the issue of whether the decision to take the action in your example was a “good” decision (be sure to articulate what criteria are included in your definition of “good”).


You must include an introduction, body, and conclusion, along with a title page and reference list. (Note that the page requirement does not include the title page, reference page, and any appendices). Use proper formatting and headings.


Additional General Research Paper Instructions


For your Research Paper 01, you must compose 5–full pages that analyze presidential leadership in a distinct area. You must use strict, current Turabian format with 1-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman font. Include a title page and bibliography. The title page, bibliography, and any appendices used do not count toward the 5–page requirement. While your minimum requirement is 5 scholarly sources original to that paper, you must include citations to a sufficient number of appropriate scholarly sources to fully support your assertions and conclusions. This will likely require more than the minimum number of citations.


The Research Paper is a substantive writing assignment in an upper-level graduate public policy course. As such, you are expected to comport with the highest writing, research, and ethical standards. To do well on these assignments you must offer rich, well-supported analysis; mere opinion will not suffice. At this level, you will need to exhibit your mastery of basic writing and proofreading skills. Review your work for careless or simple grammar errors such as misspellings, incomplete sentences, comma splices, faulty noun/verb agreement, etc., prior to submission. Such errors will result in meaningful point deductions. Plagiarism in any form is prohibited and may result in failure of the assignment, failure of the course, and/or removal from the program.


Sources: I will upload the sources. I highly suggest reading the sources before writing your Research Paper. I also highly recommend you doing outside research on your own in odrder to complete this assignment (beside what I have provided). You MUST reference all the sources and include 3 biblical scripture/connections (as well as including proper page number for books, journal articles, etc).


  1. Book PDF by Edwards and Wayne (2014) “Presidential Leadership, Ch11 Domestic Policy Making”
  2. PDF “The Indefensible Duty to Defend”
  3. PDF “Integrating Equal Marriage”
  4. PDF “Obama, Marriage and Equailty, and the Health of Gay Men”
  5. PDF “Barack Obama's Political Theology, Pluralism, Deliberative Democracy, and the Christian Faith”
  6. PDF “President Obama Administration Correct Not to Defend DOMA”
  7. PDF “Legalism as an Executive Ideology, Foundations of Barack Obama's Leadership Style”
  8. PDF “Amending the Defense of Marriage Act, A Necessary Step Toward Gaining Full Legal Rights for Same-Sex Couples”
  9. PDF “The Defenseless Marriage Act, The Legitimacy of President Obama's Refusal to Defend DOMA”
  10.  PDF “The Obama Presidency, Hope, Change, and Reality”
  11.  PDF “The Obama Administration's Decision to Defend the Constitutiona Equality Rather than the Defense of Marriage Act”
  12. PDF “The Rule of the Demagogue”
  13. Website “ Supreme Court Rules Gay Couples Nationwide have a Right to Marry” at http://www(dot)washingtonpost(dot)com/politics/gay-marriage-and-other-major-rulings-at-the-supreme-court/2015/06/25/ef75a120-1b6d-11e5-bd7f-4611a60dd8e5_story.html.
  14. Website to help you write a clear and strong thesis at http://depts(dot)washington(dot)edu/pswrite/thesisstmt.html. I also suggest researching the Internet on how to write a clear thesis that is strong and to the point.


It is CRUCIAL to write persuasively, and think critically and analytically. It is also CRUCIAL to think outside the box.


“GRADING RUBRIC” is below – Follow it!







624: Research Paper 01: Obama’s refusal to defend DOMA
US presidents make decisions related to domestic, economic and foreign policies, but organized interest groups may lobby for specific policy initiatives. The President has political resources to help him/ her influence policy, but there are constraints that affect their ability to provide political leadership. Even as the President makes decisions on domestic policies there is a need to take into account past reactions from the press and the public on particular policies. President Obama’s call for ‘marriage equality’ for gay couples has been a contentious issue that has endeared him to some of his supporters, while pro- traditional marriage opponents have vehemently opposed his actions. The question of marriage is a moral issue with the constitution also providing a basis to understand how the marriage issue is framed.
Thesis Statement: President Obama’s support for repealing Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
Obama’s leadership and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
The framers of the constitution highlighted the separation of powers with the Presidents in a position to recommended legislations, executing the law and this has been the basis for domestic policy making. Even though, Congress was mostly associated with crafting policies in the early years, presidents have increasingly sought to influence domestic policy. For Presidents to succeed they need to promote legislative priorities while also packaging the message by taking into account the political environment. Despite opposition to same-sex marriages, Obama has framed the need to repeal aspects of DOMA as a human rights issue to drum up support for the recognition of same-sex marriages.
Since Obama’s stance to support equal rights for same-sex couples had no legal basis, the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or changing some of the provisions have been considered. The challenges to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples were present because of judicial decisions, statutes and constitutional amendments. Most federal provisions recognize that not all marriage benefits can be enjoyed by same- sex couples. DOMA clearly outlined that marriage was a legal union between a man and a woman, while it did not recognize the legal status of same-sex couples as spouses and no state was obligated to recognize same-sex marriage performed in another state . President Obama envisions the removal of federal restrictions for same-sex couples as the turning point for the recognition of these marriages.
In 2011, President Obama’s intention to do away with DOMA was articulated after he sought to have the statute lose its protection that is protected at the federal level. In the first term, the Democrats held majorities in both houses and Obama was on the offensive, but he changed tact in the second term having lost the lower house. President suffered losses in the 2010 midterm elections, but by stating that DOMA was unconstitutional the following year he drew attention to the issue of gay marriage. However, in his attempts to tackle the issue of equal marriage rights, he did not specify the best strategy to achieve this. For ‘marriage equality’ supporters, the main strategy was to influence the support of same-sex marriages, and draw parallels with traditional marriages. This strategy highlights marriage rights to incorporate same-sex couples in a wider jurisdiction, by framing the issue that there are essentially no differences between traditional marriages and LGBT community. Lenhardt argues that this perception has often divided advocates of same-sex marriages since it seeks to align such unions with the traditional marriage.
There is an element of acti...
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