Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the Ropes After SCOTUS Hearing Today

With DOMA on the ropes after arguments were heard by the US Supreme Court, hard right is in meltdown mode

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) pertinent provisions:
The main provisions of the act are as follows: 
Section 2. Powers reserved to the states
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship. 
Section 3. Definition of marriage
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Americans are finally waking up to the fact they are sick and tired of being told how to live their lives by the evangelical hard right as they are trying to do once again this time on DOMA.  Used to ask on websites who made them the judge and jury of anyone which would infuriate the hard right to no end.  You cannot imagine how disgusted I am at the 'my way or no way' crowd who wants to govern how you live your life every day based on their agenda.  'Narrow minded' are two words that come to mind today to describe the hard right evangelicals who are now opposing the right of two gays to marry.  Would someone please tell me what difference it makes to the hard right evangelicals because frankly it is none of their business.

Still have not recovered from the fact that the US House of Representative Republicans in this time of austerity has spent $3M of our tax dollars to defend  the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which I never understood.  What right did the House Republicans have to spend out money on a social issue?
Huffington Post reports: 
House Republican leaders took over the legal defense of DOMA in the spring of 2011, when Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Obama administration would no longer defend it on the grounds that they found it unconstitutional. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders hired attorneys at the law firm Bancroft LLC to represent the House in court cases involving the federal ban on gay marriage — all with taxpayer dollars. 
On Jan. 4, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who chairs the House Administration Committee, signed a revised contract with Bancroft LLC that increases the spending cap to $3 million to allow Bancroft attorneys to keep defending DOMA in court. The revised contract also bears the signatures of Bancroft partner Paul Clement and Kerry Kircher, general counsel for the House of Representatives.
Personally think the House should take $3M out of their budget and return it to the US Treasury.  IMHO they had no right to spend our tax dollars on DOMA.  House Republicans by all accounts are about to lose the war not just the battle when it comes to overturning DOMA at the Federal level:
A majority of the Supreme Court justices delivered a beating to the Defense of Marriage Act during oral arguments Wednesday, signaling a positive outcome for marriage equality.
The four liberal-leaning justices and Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared deeply skeptical that the federal government has legal justification for treating gay and straight couples unequally. They seemed inclined to overturn Section 3 of the 1996 law, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage and thereby denies benefits to gay and lesbian couples even if they are legally wed in their states. 
In his line of questioning, Kennedy, who has a track record in favor of gay rights, repeatedly contended that the federal government had exceeded its constitutional authority.
“You are at real risk of going in conflict … with federal police powers,” he told Paul Clement, the lawyer arguing in favor of upholding DOMA. When Clement tried to argue that it was a valid exercise of federal power and does not infringe on states’ rights, Kennedy responded, “I see illogic in your argument.” He wondered why Congress could deny marriage benefits in states “where the voters have decided” that same sex marriage ought to be legal.
Some of the reaction on the right to the possibility that DOMA may be overturned has made me laugh as they see one of main issues going down in flames.  Never has made sense to oppose gay marriage when it is an individual matter.  No one is telling churches they have to marry gays or anyone else so I don't see a problem.  There are a lot of gays in a relationship that is more enduring then heterosexuals IMHO.

Personally have thought it was a state's rights issue for years up to a point.  If a gay couple has been married in a state recognizing gay marriage, then I think their marriage should be recognized wherever they move.  Think it is shortsighted for states to oppose gay marriage but it should be up to voters.  In Oklahoma I would have bet a lottery never would have been passed but it did.  Once you get in the voting booth, no one can see your vote and from reaction I have seen locally not sure DOMA would be upheld here today. Thought I would include some comments from the hard right to show some examples of how out of touch today's Republican Party has become:

Former Governor Mike Huckabee:
Huckabee:  Evangelicals Will Walk if GOP Backs Gay Marriage
Mike Huckabee warns that Republicans risk losing the vote from evangelical Christians if they back away from their opposition to gay marriage. 
Last week, Ohio Sen. Bob Portman announced he has reversed his position and now supports gay marriage. 
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee — and ordained Southern Baptist minister — was asked if he sees the GOP ever pivoting and backing gay marriage.  
“They might. And if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk,” he responds.
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX):
Rick Perry Warns Of 'Unsettling Time In Our Nation's History,' Says Gay Rights Activists Lack 'Tolerance' 
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) stood before conservatives gathered at a Faith and Family Rally in Austin on Tuesday and spoke about what he perceives as a sustained attack on their values by gay rights activists. 
“This is a very unsettling time in our nation’s history,” Perry said, according to the Associated Press. “These are the days when a person is vilified when they state that they believe fundamentally that marriage is between one man and one woman.” 
Perry spoke just hours after the Supreme Court heard arguments on Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban. On Wednesday, the justices will consider a case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 
Perry went on to suggest that the decision by LGBT rights advocates to fight for equal treatment was proof that they were themselves intolerant. 
“The underlying problem is that there is this very vocal, very litigious minority of Americans willing to legally attack anybody who dares utter a phrase or even a name that they don’t agree with,” he said. “In a twisting of logic, they insist on silencing the religious in the cause of tolerance. Now I ask you, where is the tolerance in that?”
Guess Perry doesn't see himself as being intolerant which shows how far his head is buried in the sand.  His comments are the height of intolerance.

Red State's Erick Erickson:
Erick Erickson Pretty Certain Gay Marriage Is Step One Of Leftist Holocaust Against Christians
What [libertarians] ignore is that the left will never take marriage out of the hands of the government. The left cannot. But it goes beyond that. The left cannot take marriage out of government because for so long it has been government through which marriages were legitimized to the public and the left must also use government to silence those, particularly the religious, who refuse to play along.
We would be remiss if we didn't include Rush Limbaugh's comments since he seems to speak for the hard right GOP today:
Limbaugh: High Court’s ‘Exalted’ Lawyers Should Not Decide Gay Marriage
Conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s “nine exalted lawyers” should not validate gay marriage because it is against the will of the American people. 
“The court could issue a narrow ruling that would create a right to gay marriage in California only, maybe a few other states, or it could announce a constitutional right to gay marriage everywhere,” Limbaugh said on his afternoon radio show. “Do you realize what the problem is with all of this? The problem is that, once again, nine exalted lawyers are determining something that has been a tradition since beginning of time. Nine exalted lawyers.
For more comments from the right, please visit Media Matters.  The hard right with their comments is in a total meltdown that DOMA will be overturned.  From Pat Robertson, to Focus on the Family James Dobson, to Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mark Davis on Rush, and others, the meltdown mode is picking up steam - waiting now for the usual it is the end of the world comments.  Just think the conservatives have several more months before a SCOTUS ruling comes down.  They may totally implode by then.

From all reports it looks like that DOMA passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton on Sep 21, 1996, may be history in June.  Today Bill Clinton opposes DOMA and has come out in favor of gay marriage saying it was a mistake to sign the original bill and now wants DOMA overturned.

Stay tuned as the meltdown on the right continues!

No comments:

Post a Comment