A three-judge panel for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has declared the Federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. DOMA, as the Defense of Marriage Act is sometimes referred to, declared that the Federal Government only recognized marriage as being between one man and one woman.
From USA Today:
A U.S. appeals court Thursday declared that the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The unanimous ruling said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman discriminates against gay couples because it doesn't give them the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples.
The three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't rule on the law's other politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal.
The panel also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The court focused much of its ruling on issues of Federalism. It noted that laws regarding marriage and domestic relations have always been the laws of the states and not the United States.
What is interesting are two very important points that were not addressed. First is do gay couples have the constitutional right to marry and whether states will be forced to recognize homosexual marriage if the state has already passed a law expressly refusing to recognize those marriages.
A few predictions here:
First, the obvious one is this case will end up in front of the Supreme Court. There is a high likelihood DOMA will be declared unconstitutional by the Supremes. As a matter of politics, all four of the liberal justices will vote to declare it unconstitutional. They will only need to peel off one of the conservative justices to get a majority. The will probably peel off Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which declared unconstitutional laws banning homosexual sex acts.
Assuming DOMA is declared unconstitutional, then the two remaining issues, which are not covered by this litigation are whether there is a constitutional right for homosexuals to marry and whether another state must recognize a homosexual marriage, even if that state has done as North Carolina recently did, amending its constitution to define marriage between one man and one woman.
While it is hard to say on the right to marriage issue, I am surprised there has not been more litigation on the issue of recognition of gay marriage by other states. Whether you like it or not, the issue is fairly clear-cut.
The Constitution has something known as the “Full Faith and Credit” clause. It states:
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
A marriage recognized by a state is a public act. Currently married couples that move from one state to another do not have to be remarried in their new state. As long as the marriage in a previous state was done in accordance with the laws of the previous state, it must be recognized.
Whether we like it or not, because the liberal states have enacted homosexual marriage, sooner or later the Supreme Court is going to say those marriages must be recognized by all fifty states.
While there are many religious and moral arguments that can be made about this, the simple fact is for the last sixty years or so; the left has been attacking the basic family unit. The end result of this has been the creation of poverty where none existed before. It has been the creation of an under class, born and raised in poverty, unlikely to escape poverty and encouraged to engage in the same behaviors that landed their parents in poverty.
Given the left’s track record in this area, they should not even be allowed to offer an opinion much less pass laws as they are doing in some of the east coast liberal freak show states.
Marriage is no more a "State's rights" issue than our other Rights given us by God; unalienable Rights. The only real "marriage" issue correctly decided at the State level is the "age of maturity" or age at which children may marry without parental approval.
The 10th Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The state has the right according to the Constitution. Whether a state chooses to use that right or leave it to the people is the choice of the state. If I am wrong legally(man;s law) about it that please provide some evidence.
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man...
Thanks for the cheery outlook on the future.
The sense of same-marriage act is if long to sit on ass, suffer garbage and shoot bull then finally someone will pay for it. This is surest path to success!
Our boy named Barack had grown in dysfunctional family and has created an even more dysfunctional family named America
Anything that helps us, makes us helpless. This is results of Obama's administration's spendings based on increasing debts and decreasing jobs
I don't really believe homosexuals are "JUST THAT". I have a cousin that is gay,but last year he wanted to marry a woman. I believe its just a perversion. The Bible says it is a sin for a man to lie with a man,(the same goes with women". I believe in Gods laws, not mans.!
I am confused as to why is any govn't involved in marriage which more rightly resides in churches.
I see the court is concerned about 'benefits' -- is that all marriage is about?
Domestic partners already enjoy all benefits except social security.
My spouse cannot collect on social security as my spouse (thank you jerk Reagan) because he was a federal employee who did not contribute social security while working there.
However, he always contributed to ss because he worked two jobs.
No sympathy from me at all because this is all about social security.
Right about Social Security, Kathleen.
Think about survivor benefits. That is a lot of money - could mean up to $3000/month for life, plus increases.
People will be living a lot longer too.
If someone wants to stick their thumb in Gods eye, they will do so without my blessing or support. If asked my opinion, I will state it without shame.
It takes One Man and One Woman to conceive a child and that is the basis of civilization for the last 5 - 10 thousand years.
One Good Thing we have to look forward to is THE IMPEACHMENT OF THE RESIDENT AND HIS CABINET!!!!
Government has no business being involved in marriage, other than enforcing contract rights.
Marriage is a religious matter and should be kept away from politicians.