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Forum Discussion for Section 3 of DOMA, Prop 8, and the Supreme Court hearings taking place over these two issues.
Where do you see the court landing on DOMA and/or Prop 8?
On 3/26/13, The Supreme Court will be hearing the case of the legality of a California ballot initiative that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples, known infamously as Prop 8. The next day, the court will consider the constitutionality of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.
So, for the first time, the Supreme Court will be hearing over the gay marriage issue, framed by two very polarizing pieces of legislation, that to my mind are both discriminatory and inherently against the ideals of equality and liberty that are rite in the very pennings of our constitution. But, I digress... This is a very interesting case.
First off, with DOMA. This was passed in 1996 by the Clinton Administration. Both Clinton and several members of his administration have since publicly said that it was a mistake and that they think it should be repealed. On top of that, President Obama has publicly said that (at the very least) certain sections of DOMA are straight up unconstitutional. Problem is, they don't feel the need for immediate action. Instead, they say that if it does come up in court during his administration, they will not defend DOMA. This is in regards specifically to Section 3 of DOMA, which goes like this:
Section 3 of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.
Okay. So, The Supreme Court will be hearing the case of United States v Windsor, which is a case against this very Section 3 of DOMA, to determine its constitutionality. They will also be debating and considering the constitutionality of DOMA as a whole. Before that though, they will consider California's Prop 8, which the state has voted on twice, both times narrowly passing, banning same sex marriage, to determine its constitutionality as well.
I am glad that this hearing will have specific focus on Section 3 of DOMA, as I believe that part in particular to be the worst of the bill. That part clearly and blatantly denies same sex couples of rights that I believe as taxpayers in this society EVERY law-abiding couple should have access to equally. Its a no-brainer; it's unfair and it should be repealed.
As for all of DOMA, I believe in equal rights for all. I think it should be repealed, along with Prop 8, just like DADT was. I see both DOMA and Prop 8 as legislative action that gets in the way of inherent civil liberties in this country, something that we have all collectively aspired to maintain and evolve since our inception. I see gay marriage being fully legal as a inevitability that will happen, right alongside marijuana/hemp legalization, and a few other key civil rights wins that have been a long time coming. Now, whether or not you agree about my personal drug ideals is one thing. But, I think a majority of people now agree that gay marriage is a civil rights issue. And, to discriminate against certain kinds of relationships goes against the very nature of our country's most cherished values, being equality and liberty.