It’s not just DOMA. It’s not just “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The Obama administration is quickly distinguishing itself not only as the most pro-abortion administration ever, but also the most hostile to the traditional family.

President Obama said recently that he believes the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for federal purposes as being between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. He instructed his Justice Department to stop defending the legislation against lawsuits.

In fact, he has spoken in support of repealing the act, but his directive to the Justice Department comes just two months after Obama signed a bill repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in which homosexuals serving in the U.S. military were barred from revealing their sexual orientation.

But there’s more. Obama outlined his plans last spring when he proclaimed June 2010 as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month”: “We must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools, so all our children may learn in a supportive environment.”

And recently, the U.S. State Department issued guidelines that state non-governmental organizations that receive funding from the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration must serve “vulnerable and underserved refugees and other persons of concern,” including “lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.”

And Obama can be credited for knocking down another precedent. His new White House social secretary, Jeremy Bernard, is not only the first man to hold that position, but also the first open homosexual to fill the role.

It does not help the cause of the traditional family one bit when the person in charge of the planning, coordination and execution of official social events in the White House, perhaps the highest-profile symbol of America, is a “gay activist.”

What are Catholics and other people of good will who believe in the sanctity of marriage to do? Certainly pray, for one thing. Certainly do whatever needs to be done to uphold traditional marriage.

But also, it’s not too early to start thinking about making this an issue in the next presidential election. We are entering a critical time period, with 2012 just coming up over the horizon. True, hardly anyone has officially announced his or her intentions to run for president yet. But of those who are thought to be interested, there seems to have been a lackluster response to Obama’s recent announcement about DOMA.

This is our chance as Catholics. Catholics have tended in recent years to vote for the winning side. Since 2000, ours has become more and more a vote that is sought after. We helped Republicans take back the House of Representatives last fall. We helped Obama win the White House in 2008. We helped the Democrats gain the majority in Congress in 2006. And we helped George W. Bush defeat challenger John Kerry in 2004.

Apparently, we’re pretty bipartisan, but there are issues that are of enduring concern — and life and family must top that list. Are we willing to settle for an eventual nominee who is wobbly on those issues? Now is the time to identify and work for candidates who are strong supporters of life and family. Let’s not miss the opportunity.

In the coming months, the Register will be profiling every declared candidate, looking at their backgrounds and beliefs — and stands they were willing to support and those they weren’t perhaps brave enough to stand up for. We hope to provide the background Catholics need to make informed choices. The rest is up to you.