Monday, June 20, 2011

DOMA defense update

Chris Geidner fills us in on the recent motion filed in the first DOMA case to be defended by the Congressional Republican caucus.

Background: the Obama Administration has decided that the Dept of Justice cannot defend DOMA, the defense of marriage act that renders my legal marriage federally invisible, because they believe it is unconstitutional. However, the law remains on the books and is still in force. Congressional Republicans have decided to spend your dollars on a private attorney to defend the indefensibly hate-filled DOMA. (Meanwhile, a repeal bill entitled the Respect for Marriage Act is moving slowly through Congress).

This particular DOMA case is of a legally married California woman, Karen Golinski, who has sought health insurance benefits for her wife from her employer, ironically the 9th Circuit Federal Court. The Court has actually supported Golinski but the Administration's Office of Personnel Management has refused to comply based on DOMA.

Now the case is a lawsuit, and Paul Clement, the attorney hired by the Republicans, will vigorously defend DOMA and attack same sex couples.

Treating us as second class, according to Clement, is justifiable because (1) gay marriage is new, (2) the whole procreation thing (he goes into Gallagher territory) and (3)

Finally, it bears emphasizing that DOMA’s effect is limited. DOMA only defines marriage for purposes of benefits—and burdens—, created by other federal laws. … Congress "did not penalize" same sex couples; it "decided not to offer them a special inducement."
I also find it interesting that he throws in a line about "political power" of gay rights supporters. You may recall that in the Prop8 trial, the relative powerlessness of LGBT people was contested.

Here's the ultimate test of power: do we have enough power to protect ourselves politically without the courts? do we have enough power to ensure our EQUAL TREATMENT under the law? DOMA and Prop8 prove that we so not.

There is no justification for DOMA and the deliberate harming of legally married same sex couples. None, except religiously-inspired bigotry, ignorance, hate and fear.

All of which will no doubt be given a glossy paint job by Attorney Paul Clement.

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