Civil Liberties

If Obama Is Right, How Can State Bans on Gay Marriage Be Constitutional?

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The Obama administration's new policy regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hinges on its conclusion that legal discrimination based on sexual orientation should be subject to "heightened scrutiny," a.k.a. "intermediate scrutiny." This equal protection test, which applies to discrimination based on sex, requires that disparate treatment be "substantially" related to an "important" government interest. It is more demanding than "rational basis" review, which applies to equal protection claims that don't involve suspect classifications or fundamental rights and requires only that a challenged law be "rationally related" to a "legitimate" government interest, but less demanding than "strict scrutiny," which applies to racial discrimination and requires a "close" relation to a "compelling" interest. Attorney General Eric Holder says DOMA, which bars the federal government from recognizing marriages between people of the same sex, cannot survive heightened scrutiny. If so, it is hard to see how state bans on gay marriage can be constitutional. Yet President Obama is still officially against gay marriage, although he says his views are "evolving."

It is possible to oppose DOMA on 10th Amendment grounds (since it favors some state marriage laws over others) without supporting the legalization of gay marriage. But if DOMA violates the right to equal protection because its distinction between gay and straight marriages is not substantially related to an important government interest, how can states draw the same distinction without violating the same right?

Matt Welch noted Obama's decision to stop defending DOMA yesterday. This morning Damon Root noted the executive power questions raised by the decision.

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  1. This seems to set a dangerous precedent for future presidents to cite when ignoring other laws they find inconvenient to their agenda. If the administration truly cared about axing DOMA it would have been done away with when team blue had an unstoppable majority.

  2. Fucking 14th, how does it work?

  3. “This equal protection test, which applies to discrimination based on sex, requires that disparate treatment be “substantially” related to an “important” government interest.”

    You have an institution based on a sexual relationship, so it difficult to imagine why distinctions based on sexual differences are not relevent to the definition of what constitutes a qualifying relationship for that institution. The government interest was in promoting the stability of the famial relationship of biologically viable couple for any children they may produce. Unfortunately, the Obama administration unethically dropped that line of argument from their defense of DOMA.

    The administration is now considering it unconstitutional, not because they cannot make the argument that a legitimate government interest is served, but because they do like the argument that a government interest is served.

    1. …do NOT like the argument…

    2. The government interest was in promoting the stability of the famial relationship of biologically viable couple for any children they may produce.

      What about promoting the stability of the familial relationship with an infertile couple who wish to adopt?

      Your argument is lame. Marriage is an institution “based on a sexual relationship”? That’s it? That’s what marriage is about?

      If the government is truly interested in promoting familial stability, what’s it doing about the fact that more than half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce?

      Are you positing that it’s impossible for same-sex couples to provide a stable, loving, nurturing, healthy family life for children?

      I guess in your universe, as long as the parents are opposite sex, then we’ve satisfied the goal of making sure families are stable.

      In any case, the government has more than sufficiently demonstrated it SUCKS at doing much to look after “the best interests” of children.

      Yeah, we heterosexuals are really doing wonders for “familial stability”. &lteye; roll>
      There’s nothing “unethical” about dropping a particular argument that you determine is disingenuous and lame.

      I have yet to be convinced that a legitimate federal government interest is served by legislation defining “marriage” as between opposite sexes only.

      1. “What about promoting the stability of the familial relationship with an infertile couple who wish to adopt?”

        Same sex couples are infertile with each other by definition. Comparing them to couples infertile by medical condition is lame.

        “If the government is truly interested in promoting familial stability, what’s it doing about the fact that more than half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce?”

        The bad policy which has led to that result is not an excuse for even more bad policy.

        “Are you positing that it’s impossible for same-sex couples to provide a stable, loving, nurturing, healthy family life for children?”

        Not impossible. Not ideal either. Besides, the important distinction is that same sex couples can never have a natural child between them. Why the government must recognize such relationships is something you are not adequately explaining.

        “I guess in your universe, as long as the parents are opposite sex, then we’ve satisfied the goal of making sure families are stable.”

        No. It is a place to start as men and women bring different things to theparenting table.

        “In any case, the government has more than sufficiently demonstrated it SUCKS at doing much to look after “the best interests” of children.”

        So it should do nothing? Especially when strong marriages show better off more emotionally well adjusted kids?

        “There’s nothing “unethical” about dropping a particular argument that you determine is disingenuous and lame.”

        A lawyer has an ethical responsibility to argue his clients case zealously, dropping one of the client’s best arguments because the lawyer personally does not buy into it is unethical.

        “I have yet to be convinced that a legitimate federal government interest is served by legislation defining “marriage” as between opposite sexes only.”

        Your inability to comprehend is your personal problem.

        1. “What about promoting the stability of the familial relationship with an infertile couple who wish to adopt?”

          Same sex couples are infertile with each other by definition. Comparing them to couples infertile by medical condition is lame.

          Why? Your argument is based on “naturally able to have children” and infertile couples are naturally not able to have children.

          “If the government is truly interested in promoting familial stability, what’s it doing about the fact that more than half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce?”

          The bad policy which has led to that result is not an excuse for even more bad policy.

          You think this is the result of government policy? Really?

          “Are you positing that it’s impossible for same-sex couples to provide a stable, loving, nurturing, healthy family life for children?”

          Not impossible. Not ideal either. Besides, the important distinction is that same sex couples can never have a natural child between them. Why the government must recognize such relationships is something you are not adequately explaining.

          Again, why is the “naturally” so central to your argument? How many children are in foster care looking for stable parents? Isn’t there a compelling state interest in maximizing the number of placements possible?

          “I guess in your universe, as long as the parents are opposite sex, then we’ve satisfied the goal of making sure families are stable.”

          No. It is a place to start as men and women bring different things to theparenting table.

          And same sex couples are all made up of identical sets of skills because all men are exactly alike and all women are exactly alike?

          “In any case, the government has more than sufficiently demonstrated it SUCKS at doing much to look after “the best interests” of children.”

          So it should do nothing? Especially when strong marriages show better off more emotionally well adjusted kids?

          Again, why do you assume you need a man and a woman for this?

          “There’s nothing “unethical” about dropping a particular argument that you determine is disingenuous and lame.”

          A lawyer has an ethical responsibility to argue his clients case zealously, dropping one of the client’s best arguments because the lawyer personally does not buy into it is unethical.

          Best arguments are not typically unconvincing even to those trying to make them.

          “I have yet to be convinced that a legitimate federal government interest is served by legislation defining “marriage” as between opposite sexes only.”

          Your inability to comprehend is your personal problem.

          As is yours.

        2. Barely Suppresed Rage,

          You seem to be misunderstanding. MJ is arguing from a legal standpoint. You’re talking more philosophically. Good or not, the state has broad powers to regulate. And it is indeed assumed that all laws fall within that power UNTIL they are overturned in court. MJ is arguing that state-level regulation of marriage is within that power. Whether you agree with any ONE specific regulation is not the issue, the idea is that they DO have the right to regulate in that area of society.
          For example, I dislike Euclidean zoning, and would like to see it replaced in a lot of areas with a much looser industry vs. everything else form of zoning. But that doesn’t change the fact that the state DOES have the right to regulate land use in general.

          1. Even from a legal standpoint, it is not unethical to not appeal a trial court ruling, if you have concluded you won’t win anyhow, or – in this case – that the law cannot legitimately be defended.

            I’m far away from a fan of anything the Obama administration has ever done, but I don’t buy the crocodile tears from the right-wingers who get their panties all in a bunch and claim that Obama is somehow violating the Constitution or acting unethically here.

            The president has no constitutional or ethical obligation or duty to appeal a lower court ruling that a particular law is unconstitutional – especially if the president and his legal advisors believe the ruling to likely be correct anyhow.

            I’m not saying it is unconstitutional, I’m not saying it’s not – to be honest, I haven’t studied this issue to any real extent, so I haven’t developed a strong opinion one way or the other as to its constitutionality.

            But I am totally not swayed by the lame argument that government somehow is coming to the “defense” of traditional homosexual marriage by enacting legislation that defines marriage as between man and woman only. I also don’t see that the institution of traditional marriage is “under attack” by some grand “homosexual political agenda”.

            Someone is going to have to explain to me how forbidding Steve and Bob from having the state recognize their commitment to each other in any way preserves or saves my marriage to my wife, or affects my daughters’ future potential marriages.

            Of course, it is a public policy question, but everyone wants to find the answer guaranteed somewhere within the Constitution. As with most of these types of questions, the Constitution likely does not contain the answer.

            1. The president has no constitutional or ethical obligation or duty to appeal a lower court ruling that a particular law is unconstitutional – especially if the president and his legal advisors believe the ruling to likely be correct anyhow.

              Indeed. And, of course, they have said they will continue to comply with the law until the courts tell them it is voided.

            2. I don’t think them dropping their defense at this point is unethical, but undermining the defense in the trial court was.

              “Of course, it is a public policy question, but everyone wants to find the answer guaranteed somewhere within the Constitution. As with most of these types of questions, the Constitution likely does not contain the answer.”

              Then you have a problem with the homosexual activists who are pursuing their goals through constitutional challenges rather than through the normal means of changing public policy by legislation and referendum.

  4. The government interest was in promoting the stability of the famial relationship of biologically viable couple for any children they may produce.

    That one always makes me giggle. They may have dropped it because they couldn’t make the argument with a straight face.

    Obama: come on guys, try it again…but this time without laughing…you’re gonna need to keep a straight face in court.

    Lawyer: The government interest in DOMA has to do with promoting the stability of the famial relationship [snicker] of biologically viable couple for any children [chortle] they may produce…[gaffaw]…I’m sorry… I just can’t do it.

    Obama: That’s it. We ain’t defending this thing anymore.

    1. It’s not the fault of the people who passed DOMA that progressives are childish and stupid.

      1. I most decidedly am not progressive – that word makes my stomach turn – but I agree that the “argument” is disingenuous at best.

        It’s really the right-wingers being icked out by teh gays. Oh noes!! Not teh gays!!

  5. “But if DOMA violates the right to equal protection because its distinction between gay and straight marriages is not substantially related to an important government interest, how can states draw the same distinction without violating the same right?”

    Obviously, they cannot, if administration’s argument is correct. So either all stae marraige laws have unconstitutional for over 140 some years, or the Obama and Holder are putting forth a novel interpretation of the Constitution that is substantially nonsense.

    1. Not sure I agree with you here.
      The 10th looms large.

    2. And makes the argument that DOMA is wrong on 10th amendment grounds laughable. Either the states have a right to regulate marriage internally or they do not. Suggesting that DOMA interferes with that right but the way to rectify it is to have the federal government impose a definition of marraige that must include same-sex couple is ludicrous.

      1. You are missing the argument. The idea here is that the Federal government is saying that it “can’t” impose a definition of marriage when states have differing criteria. The federal government can’t pick and choose which definition is “correct.”

        1. If Holder’s opinion carries the day, the federal government will precisely be telling the states what criteria constitutes a marriage, because their argument is that government on any level cannot exclude same-sex couples from marriage. It is the consequence of the logic of their argument.

          1. This equal protection test, which applies to discrimination based on sex, requires that disparate treatment be “substantially” related to an “important” government interest.

            Not all levels of government have the same interest in all issues. I don’t buy it. This argument says the federal government can’t discriminate between definitions supplied by the states.

            1. Touche’

              and then the question comes in, if some state start allowing polygynyous marriages, can the feds dscriminate against that definition? Dealng with that would be hell with the tax code

              1. If polygamy/polygyny were the issue at hand, you’d have a point.

                It isn’t and you don’t, apart from the fact that it WOULD, indeed be hell with the tax code – which is probably the main reason poly ISN’T legal here.

                DO BETTER!

            2. The decision by the administration is relatively narrow (now). If the state of Iowa says that two men are legally married in the state of Iowa, then the federal government cannot treat that couple differently than a man and woman that the state of Iowa says are legally married.

              1. So if two men, lawfully married in Iowa, sue the feds to file a joint tax return, the feds will not defend DOMA.

              2. The federal government ALREADY refuses to treat such couples equally with betterosexual couples, and not merely with Iowans, but also with Massachusettians (?), Connecticutters (?), Vermountains (!), 18,000+ Californian couples, etcetera, thus cutting legally married couples out of the Equal Protections Clause (and we won’t even get into the Full Faith & Credit Clause). Why ARE gay American citizens kept out of so much of the Constitution?

            3. The administration decision does not say (not yet anyway) that Missouri is forbidden from restricting marriage to a man and a woman.

  6. The middle part of your first paragraph reads like it was written by an eighteenth century philosopher. How hard can it be for the government to say the state should not discriminate?

    This is not meant to be a criticism of Sullum’s piece but of the overly complex legal form used by today’s bureaucrats that create as much confusion as clarification.

    1. A state cannot make distinctions on how it treats relationships with substantially different consequences? Not all discrimination is bad.

      1. A state cannot make distinctions on how it treats relationships with substantially different consequences?

        Could you elaborate how same-sex marriage has substantially difference consequences than different-sex marriage?

        1. yeah…. TEH AAAYYYYDDDSSS!!!

        2. Yeah…. TEH AAAYYDDSSS!

        3. yeah… aids. LULZ!

          1. yeah… aids. LULZ!

            Erm… as in heterosexuals don’t get HIV?

            1. it was a joke, einstein, a joke

              1. Yeah, I was thinking it mighta been.

                Ya gotta use them < sarcasm > tags, ya know?

              2. Not a very funny one.

          2. Gays no longer represent the highest percentage of new AIDS cases in the US; black females do.

        4. NM beat me to it.

      2. Not all discrimination is bad.

        Just so long as it’s applied to someone else, right?

  7. It seems to me that the executive branch is saying the law is unconstitutional. Which is fine by me, except why are we paying those high electric bills at the big white building (OK! its Washington and they are all big white buidlings) enscribed “Supreme Court of the United States of America”??? Just saying we’re kinda short on money and we should try and save when we can…

    Oh, and all this scrutinying sounds pornographic…I mean, if I said I was gonna give you the scrutinying of your life….

  8. blaaargghhh…

    all that talk upthread gets confusing

    now I think ne of the first things to recognize is that DOMA does NOT discriminate against gay marriages in any criteria except for taxes and tax benefits for married couples. Or does it? Are probate and family courts affected if there are issues across state lines between two married gays? I don’t even know how probateand family courts work on the federal/interstate level

    1. There is SOOO much wrong with your post, I hardly know where to begin.

      Yes, probate and family courts are affected – even WITHIN State lines, nevermind across them.(FYI, the DOMA contains specific language that EXEMPTS ITSELF from the Full Faith & Credit Clause, which is why couples legally married in one equality State can be shit on the moment they cross any State line. How ANY such law could be considered “Constitutional” in the first place escapes me.)

      Legally married gay couples can also be forced to testify against their spouse. In fact they are denied all of the 1,176 Federal benefits that betterosexual couples get. Then we devolve into the myriad discriminatory State laws too numerous to mention.

      To say “I think [o]ne of the first things to recognize is that DOMA does NOT discriminate against gay marriages in any criteria except for taxes and tax benefits for married couples” is a crock of shit.

      But thanx 4 playing anyway.

  9. What’s next? Obama decides to ignore the second amendment, the first amendment, the fourth amendment? Government shouldn’t even in the marriage business anyway.

    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..r-and.html

    1. the problem is if the government is in the business of enforcing contracts, it is no matter what you do

      Now at the same time that holding people to their word is one important aspect of freedom, especially when it comes to property rights, doing so does LITERALLY actually LOWER one person’s freedom under the other person’s POWER to hold that person to their word. People accept this readily when it comes to business and property, but not so much when it comes to their ENTIRE LIVES. I think this is part of what created the no-fault divorce legislative disaster. People now have broad personal freedom, but included in that is the ability to fuck someone over in marriage. You can cheat left and right on someone and still get free money after a divorce. And even prenuptial agreements are limited in what’s enforceable.
      Luckily, as much as people like their personal freedom, they also don’t like getting fucked over. People DO go into marriage with the expectation that whoever cheats IS breaking the agreement and should NOT get any benefits and IS less worthy to be a parent, regardless of what the courts say.

      The only solution is some middle ground that allows for enforceability of the marriage contract, INCLUDING child support – i.e. a parent CAN be considered less worthy to be a parent (or at least have much less of a claim to child support) if he/she cheats, as long as he/she agrees to said agreement first, and barring findings of child abuse.
      I’m thinking it may even be a good idea not to allow marriage without a prenuptial agreement. Cut the problem at its root. Also, if you can’t make it through said negotiations and still get married, the you probably wouldn’t have been capable of handling marriage in the first place.

  10. Republicans deserve part of the blame here. They passed the stupid law in the first place.

    In fact it makes being a libertarian all the more icky because of the fucktarded republicans. I now have to stand by these vile fuckers in saying that Obama is over reaching his powers….even though the law Obama is choosing to ignore is disgusting.

    Of course DOMA in my opinion is unconstitutional…of course Obama is not calling it that. He is just ignoring laws he does not like because he does not like them.

    Of course Obama had the White House, the Senate and the House.

    Why the fuck did he not repeal the fucking thing?

    Isn’t this the sort of thing democrats are supposed to do?!?!

    Oh yeah i forgot it is more import for gay democrats like Tony to get Obamacare passed rather then push to repeal DOMA. Better to leave the hard work for log cabin republicans.

    This whole thing is vomit worthy….it is also one more example of why when ever a politician dies a squirt of endorphins goes off in my head and a little light fills my heart with warmth.

    1. Republicans deserve part of the blame here. They passed the stupid law in the first place.

      Part of the blame?

      I now have to stand by these vile fuckers in saying that Obama is over reaching his powers….even though the law Obama is choosing to ignore is disgusting.

      How is not doing something overreaching his powers? The executive branch is just leaving the judicial branch alone to make their decision based on the case presented by the people bringing the lawsuit. I didn’t hear any plans to stop complying with DOMA in the meantime. Did I miss something?

      1. From Holder’s letter:

        Notwithstanding this determination, the President has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive’s obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality. This course of action respects the actions of the prior Congress that enacted DOMA, and it recognizes the judiciary as the final arbiter of the constitutional claims raised.

        1. Notwithstanding this determination, the President has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive’s obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality. This course of action respects the actions of the prior Congress that enacted DOMA, and it recognizes the judiciary as the final arbiter of the constitutional claims raised.

          This simultaneously good news and terrible news.

          Obama should agree with Republicans to spending cuts and repealing Obamacare if they attach an amendment that repeals DOMA.

          He still has tremendous powers to end some of the most grotesque laws and policies of our government. He won’t do it though. He thinks Obamacare and massive government spending is more important then ending discrimination by law.

          1. Obama should agree with Republicans to spending cuts and repealing Obamacare if they attach an amendment that repeals DOMA.

            That is a pretty lopsided deal in favor of the Republican position, don’t ya think? Maybe they can drop the whole abortion thing and agree to immigration reform to sweeten the deal.

      2. Yeah, to me it’s analogous to a prosecutor deciding not to press charges against a suspect because of a lack of evidence or something. It’s completely within the rights of the prosecutor to exercise such discretion — he’s not obligated to expend finite resources on every single matter that is brought to his desk.

        This is the same thing. The DOJ is not legally required to expend its resources on cases which it believes cannot be won. End of story. They’re allowed to make hold ’em/fold ’em decisions.

      3. How is not doing something overreaching his powers?

        So if the President instructed the FBI and DOJ to not enforce Myranda rights to suspects you would consider that ok?

        If the executive branch is instructed by law to comply with the law then chooses not to comply there is a fundamental problem.

        I understand that you could give a shit about rule of law and checks and balances and have no principles beyond those of rah rah rah Team Red…but understand not everyone agrees with your partisan hackery.

        1. a) The DOJ has not announced that it won’t be complying with the law — only that it won’t be defending one specific provision against legal challenges. Big difference.

          b) How exactly is defending the DOJ decision evidence of Team Red fetishism?

        2. That is a first. I just got called TEAM RED…and for supporting an Obama administration decision.

          So if the President instructed the FBI and DOJ to not enforce Myranda rights to suspects you would consider that ok?

          We could get into the complex semantics here (is a decision NOT do do something a positive ACT, because it is MAKING a choice?), but the reality is that your example and what the administration have done are not analogous. In your example they would be actively circumventing a law…rather than passively letting another branch of government make a decision. Pretty clearly different.

          If the executive branch is instructed by law to comply with the law then chooses not to comply there is a fundamental problem.

          There is no LAW requiring the executive branch to actively defend/appeal judicial decisions.

          I understand that you could give a shit about rule of law and checks and balances and have no principles beyond those of rah rah rah Team Red…but understand not everyone agrees with your partisan hackery.

          Which team am I a partisan hack for again? As an independent voter I get confused.

  11. I agree with Greg…get government out of marriage.

    If a state allows gays to marry, then, from what I’ve read, DOMA would prevent them from receiving the same treatment as a heterosexual married couple by the federal government in terms of taxation. If this is true, does that not make it unconstitutional?

    1. …. does that not make it unconstitutional?

      One can formulate and posit all the arguments one can muster, but the answer just isn’t that simple, obvious or clear. If it were easily demonstrated that it is or is not unconstitutional, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      I’m betting this is not the end of litigation over the question, though.

    2. ” DOMA would prevent them from receiving the same treatment as a heterosexual married couple by the federal government in terms of taxation”

      Um, DOMA DOES prevent them from receiving the same treatment as a heterosexual married couple by the federal government in terms of taxation – and inheritance, and spousal benefits, and immigration, and legal aspects (such as not being tequired to testify in court against your spouse), and, in fact, in ALL 1,176 FEDERALLY regulated issues that pertain to marriage.

      This has been the case sine 1996. CATCH UP!

      It is demonstrably UN-Constituional. Not only does it contravene the Equal Protectins Clause of the Constitution, it also contravenes the Full Faith & Credit Clause, whereby ALL contracts legal in one State are recognized in ALL other States.

      In fact, the DOMA contains language that specifically EXEMPTS ITSELF from these provisions of the Constitution. How could ANY such law be ‘Constitutional’ in the first place?

      Damn Bill Clinton to hell.

  12. How about we all put up or shut up: The government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Don’t give anyone any extra special goodies because half the time they decided to make a large, expensive life-changing mistake.

    Isn’t this the place where we continue to say that gov’t attempts at social engineering are worthless at best?

    Make it a contract which any 2 adult parties can enter to share assets, liabilities, power of attorney etc.

    1. For that matter, why limit it to parties of two?

      You’ll get plenty of support for the “get the government out of marriage” line of thinking here, including from me. But, clearly, it’s a pipe dream.

      1. “why limit it to parties of two?”

        When polygamy/polyandry is legal for betterosexuals, then we can discuss it logically. Multiple spouses is not the issue (nor the goal) of equal treatment before the law for glbt citizens.

    2. “Make it a contract which any 2 adult parties can enter to share assets, liabilities, power of attorney etc.”

      Um, I hate to point this out to you, but that’s exactly what marriage IS.

  13. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it since you DON’T HAVE TO BE GAY to marry someone of the same sex.

  14. There was a time when libertarians understood that the “appeal is mandatory” lie was a non-partisan conspiracy to expand federal power (i.e, “Nothing Washington does is EVER unconstitutional!”), regardless of any “how many politicians can dance on the head of a pin” quibbles about “separation of powers.”

    I suppose next we’ll see hundred-comment-long threads here about those damn “activist judges.”

  15. The Rev Wright taught me about the homosexual thing: it is unnatural. As President, I can mandate as I please.

  16. How is applying the term marriage to gay relationsh?ips insulting to religious people? Marriage may have been a religious term first, but in this country, it is civil aswell, and so long as it remains civil, then gay couples should have equal rights to get married (no, churches should not be forced to marry gay couples). So long as there are Civil Unions for gay couples and Marriages for straight couples, then there will be difference?s, and thus inequality.

  17. “If Obama Is Right, How Can State Bans on Gay Marriage Be Constitutional?”

    Um, they AREN’T. They contravene gay people’s rights to liberty and justice for all, to the pursuit of happiness, to equal treatment before the law, to the Constitutinal promise of the Full Faith & Credit Clause whereby legal contracts are recognized between ALL States.

    The DOMA contains language that EXEMPTS ITSELF from some of the Constitutions provisions. How could such a law EVER be considered ‘Constitutional’? Is a puzzlement.

  18. The purpose of marriage is to establish legal kinship where none previously existed. Why this should be denied any couple of legal age escapes me.

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