Sunday, July 11, 2010

The best offense is a strong defense?

Now that a federal court has ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, what are the options available to us and to Obama?

* Do nothing more. In that case the ruling only applies to Massachusetts and not to the other states and district where gay marriage is legal.

* Get judges in the remaining states where gay marriage is legal to make the same decisions. With each additional state the precedence becomes firmer and the cases easier. The risk is judges who rule against us.

* Get Congress to overturn this part of DOMA. This Congress? How about the one elected in 2010? Right. Estimated time of accomplishment: a generation.

* Let the Department of Justice take it before the Circuit Court of Appeals and then on to the Supremes. As much as we don't like the idea of Obama defending this nasty law it may be the quickest way to make it go away.

I still wonder if it has to be the DoJ that has to defend the law. I don't know the answer.

Is the Tea Party for us or against us? It may depend on how the issue is worded. Some Tea Party leaders say they like the idea that DOMA is declared unconstitutional. That means the federal government is not meddling in state affairs, which is a good thing. It's still good even if the state offers federal benefits to married gay couples. However, some have noted that "states rights" usually means a state that wants to maintain its bigotry and doesn't want the feds to interfere. That's confirmed by some of the Tea Party comments -- states had better, by golly, ban gay marriage.

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