Federal Courts Finally Acknowledge What We’ve Always Known

I am not entirely sure how DOMA came to be passed into law.  I am not entirely sure how the government accepted it and proceeded to enforce it.  It makes literally no sense as a piece of legislation, for a whole bunch of reasons, and its existence mocks not only the LGBTQ community, but pretty much anyone who has any respect for the Constitution as well.

That’s right, I am talking to you, radical conservatives who insisted we needed to “defend marriage”, who insist that the Constitution may as well be the Bible.  You know why?

Because DOMA is unconstitutional.

Opponents of DOMA have been saying as much for years.  YEARS.  Why?  Because it is so OBVIOUSLY a problem that even someone with as little legal education as me can tell you that if the constitution relegates power over marriage to the states, then there cannot be federal legislation which allows the federal government to reject marriages that the states accept as legitimate.

In February 2011, President Obama decided that the Dept of Justice would stop defending DOMA in court.  He announced that the DoJ would no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and those of us who hate DOMA were thrilled.

But DOMA remained law.

Hopefully, however, that is about to change.  Because while all the “crazy liberals” (call us what you want, Tea Partiers) have been saying that DOMA needs to go for years, federal judges are starting to agree.

Earlier this year, two California judges ruled against DOMA on the basis that it interferes with due process laws for married same-sex couples.

On May 24, in a case called Dragovich v US Dept of Treasury District Court Judge Claudia Wilken in California declared that DOMA violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause; it prevents same-sex couples in California from fully participating in the California Federal Employees Retirement System.  (What’s awesome is, this is not even the reason I just gave you for why it is unconstitutional, which just goes to show how many problems there actually are with DOMA).

Score three for Team Get Rid of DOMA

THEN, this week in Boston, a ruling in response to two lawsuits, one initiated by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the other by state Attorney General Martha Croakey came to the conclusion that DOMA was unconstitutional simply because it denies that it “denies gay couples the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples”.

Oh, heck yeah it does.

The court kept its decision pretty narrow, focusing on the federal privileges part, but that doesn’t change the sentiment: DOMA needs to go, and here is why.

Of course there were people there defending DOMA, including representatives of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.  Members of organizations such as the Massachusetts Family Institute (because “family” still has the most narrow definition possible for these people) also came out in support of DOMA.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the court made its decision.  It only affects states within the First Circuit-~-that is, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire-~-and the court has already said it won’t do anything until the Supreme Court makes a decision.

And that was a court with two Republican judges sitting on it.  Three judges, two appointed by presidents that were, let’s just say, not so friendly towards gay marriage.  Which just goes to show that stupid partisan politics do not determine constitutionality, folks.  The freaking constitution does.

It is looking more and more like DOMA is going to end up in front of the Supreme Court before too long.  And I don’t know about you, but I cannot WAIT to watch the Supreme Court explain to us all the multitude of reasons why DOMA is unconstitutional, and we can finally be rid of this pathetic excuse for a law forever.


~ by Randi Saunders on June 1, 2012.

One Response to “Federal Courts Finally Acknowledge What We’ve Always Known”

  1. […] when I discussed VAWA in this post, and I talked about them when I covered courts challenging DOMA here, with a few other posts that dealt with or mentioned LGBTQ issues in between, but realistically […]

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