Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
We have seen this story play out in countless midterm elections before. Members of the party the President belongs to run as far away from him as possible and members of the opposition try to tie members of the President's party to him at every turn.
When is it time to throw in the towel and accept that the tide has turned? Napoleon must have asked himself this very question after being humiliated in the Battle of Waterloo and summarily exiled for the remainder of his life. It's also the same question many anti-gay marriage activists must be asking themselves after the Supreme Court refused to wade back into the gay marriage debate.
Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona's "religious liberty" bill last evening, putting the brakes on what could have been one of the most discriminatory laws in the country had she given it her approval.
The Obama administration announced on Thursday that same-sex married couples can qualify for Medicare hospital and physician benefits for the first time. The decision, coming after a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal ban against same-sex marriage, allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine the eligibility of married gay applicants to Medicare, the federal government's healthcare program for the elderly and the disabled.
For the fourth time in three months, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped forward marriage equality in a state that had banned it, with his work cited by the federal judge invalidating Virginia's ban on same-sex nuptials. Following her predecessors in Utah, Ohio and Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen name-checked Scalia and his dissent from last year's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in her decision Thursday to overturn Virginia's ban on gay marriage.
Last summer, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision equalizing the treatment of all married couples under federal law. But it opted not to address the more fundamental question in a related case: whether gay and straight couples are entitled to equal protection on the state level, where marriage law is made. That extraordinary dodge was seen by some experts as a disingenuous way of seeking a middle ground in the rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's ban on same-sex marriage. Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia fumed that it amounted to "legalistic argle-bargle.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday said the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage mean the issue is “decided as a nation” and “the argument is won.” “The bottom line here, let’s not be too shy about it: The federal ban on recognizing same-sex marriages is dead. California’s ban on recognizing...
The Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote. "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.
And it has all come down to this. Over four years ago, superlawyers Ted Olson and David Boies – who opposed each other in the Bush v. Gore presidential election case – came together to challenge California’s ban on same-sex marriage on behalf of two California couples. In the next few days, the Supreme Court is finally expected to rule on whether that ban (known as Proposition 8) and the federal Defense of Marriage Act – which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law – are constitutional. But then again, it might not . . . . So let’s talk about the same-sex marriage cases and what the Court could do with them in Plain English.
It seems clear that five justices expressed enough dismay at the federal government’s intrusion into an essential state function that come decision time, DOMA will be DOA.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case testing the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Here is the transcript of the hearing, along with the audio.
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Videos