SCOTUS Speaks – DOMA Is Dead
After screwing up on the Voting Right’s Act decision, SCOTUS got this one right.
The Supreme Court Thursday struck down as unconstitutional the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside.
The court said it violated equal protection to provide benefits to heterosexual couples while denying them to gay couples in the 12 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex couples may marry. The law passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton recognized marriage as only between one man and one woman.
A thought: Say what you will about the imperfect presidency of Barack Obama. Criticize him all you want for not having done it all as you might have wished. Phony scandals aside – Benghazi, IRS and the other fabricated scandals that live only in Sean Hannity’s wet dreams – there are some legitimate areas of concern. Violation of privacy by the feds is one of those areas where debate is welcomed.
But when you look at the big picture, you’re forced to admit that some big stuff has gotten done – and if not yet done, it’s at least being discussed. We’re talking health care reform, Wall Street reform, immigration reform, marriage equality, gay rights, the end of Bush torture polices, ending wars and climate change. These are big issues and Obama has taken them all on – albeit, some more successfully than others.
Marriage equality was inevitable in a country with a rich history of eventually doing the right thing no matter how long the abusive practice of discrimination had gone on (slavery, voting rights, women’s rights…). This day was going to happen at some point but when Barack Obama stated a year ago that his views on same-sex marriage had evolved (I believe they evolved long before then but that’s another story), and his administration stopped defending DOMA, you knew that this day was going to come sooner rather than later.
This is a presidency of historical proportions.