Down with the Unconstitutional DOMA

In all of my emotion and being completely overwhelmed by the Oscar Grant trial, I forgot to post extremely good news.

From the Washington Post (which is an AP article), “Federal Bay on Gay Marriages is Unconstitutional, judge says.”

Choice Quotes:

A U.S. judge ruled Thursday that a federal ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional because it interferes with a state’s right to define marriage.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro’s ruling came in two challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.

Massachusetts said the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in the state, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

Tauro agreed, saying the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its citizens. The act “plainly encroaches” upon the right of the state to determine marriage, the judge said.

In a separate case, Tauro ruled that the act violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Although his rulings apply only to Massachusetts, they could have broader implications for other states in which same-sex marriage is legal if they are upheld on appeal.

DOMA is a terrible piece of legislation.  And it’s stupid and hateful.  This is one of those moments when the judiciary needs to check the legislative.  And I love that the judge used the 10th amendment of the US Constitution to do it because conservatives LOVE that amendment.  It’s right up there with #2.

More articles of interest:

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5 thoughts on “Down with the Unconstitutional DOMA

  1. While I agree that DOMA is a terrible piece of legislation, the MA court’s ruling is equally terrible since it has no basis in fact or law.

    DOMA doesn’t interfere with a State’s rights to define marriage. In point of fact, it supports and increases a states rights to define marriage – though at the expense of “full faith and trust.”

    Insofar as the equal protections clause – that’s also a fallacious argument. We have many laws regulating who can get married, and even who can have sex with each other; this is just another one from a legal standpoint.

    People shouldn’t be happy when bad laws are overturned based on equally bad court decisions. Legal precedence and the “body of law” have a way of turning on us and biting in the ass when we forget that.

  2. Jessica! I am loving this blog. Did you notice the different stock photos on Sullivan’s blog versus the citizen link piece? I went and read the latter, btw, and now have to clean my exploded brain off my laptop screen.

  3. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your arguments. I will have to think and digest all of this before I have any sort of response. Undoubtedly, higher courts will take up this ruling after it is appealed.

  4. Hi Sarah! Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog. And can I say for the record that this quote from CitizensLink is totally wrong when it comes to, you know, history: “The federal government settled the issue of marriage in the late 19th century when it refused to recognize polygamy as a condition of statehood.” What about interracial marriage, no-fault divorce, etc.? Blah. And then this: ““In the past, pro-marriage senators and representatives of Congress have rejected the need for a federal marriage amendment – unless and until a federal court found DOMA unconstitutional,” said Hausknecht, “or until a court declared same-sex marriage to be a constitutional ‘right.’ “Now is the time to re-evaluate and begin working toward the passage of a federal marriage amendment.”” That shit is scary.

  5. Such things are hard for anyone to digest, Luther. We ALL want what we want, and it’s hard to stand against anything that furthers our aims – especially when we feel those aims are “right and proper” – even when the actions that further those aims are wrong or hazardous.

    The ends justify the means when those end are just is a common philosophy but one that doesn’t take into account how those same means might be used / misused later.

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