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August 25, 2009

Judge Dismisses DOMA Challenge

A judge dismissed a California gay couple's lawsuit claiming that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, a week after U.S. Justice Department lawyers defended the law.

The couple had argued that the law, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, discriminated against gay men and lesbians. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the broader constitutional questions.

During his campaign, Obama promised to work for DOMA's repeal. While defending the law, government attorneys wrote that it was discriminatory. "This administration does not support DOMA as a matter of policy, believes that it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal," they wrote.

Here's more from the Associated Press:

Brian Raum, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group that has joined the government in defending the federal marriage law, said Carter was right to dismiss the case on procedural grounds.

The federal government cannot be sued in state courts, Raum said.

Smelt and Hammer's lawsuit could be back in a federal court in a matter of months, when "ultimately it will come down to the merits," he said.

Earlier this year, a gay rights group in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on constitutional grounds, and the state brought a separate case arguing that the law interferes with its right to establish its own marriage laws.

Comments

President Obama has been all over on this issue, depending on whom he was addressing. I was okay when he said he did not agree with gay marriage himself but thought there should not be legislation against it. I notice he never says that any more. My biggest disappointment with him (and I actually voted for McCain) is that he seems very much a politician. No better and no worse than other politicians....but definitely a politician.

Said Fraulien: "My biggest disappointment with him (President Obama) is that he seems very much a politician." The poll numbers show that disappointment, too.
Mark Twain said quite perceptibly: "There is no distinctly Native American criminal class...save Congress." I would expand that to all of our elected officials and the cronies they appoint. And I would add this: love your country; but never trust the government. Hopefully, same sex marriage is never given constitutional status. If it is then there is no logical reason to deny polygamists status as well...then polyamorous relationships will be next, followed by really, really creepy stuff.

Quoth GP:"...the religious right wants to savage America's highest ideals..." Let's put it to a vote to our founding fathers since they articulated our highest ideals. All of you in favor of same sex marriage, raise your hands. Looking...Looking...Looking. Nope. Don't see any hands. Sorry, GP. I don't think there were any constitutional signers that were in favor of same sex marriage. So, I'm thinking they would say that not allowing same sex marriage doesn't violate any constitutional principle. So then, let's check all of recorded history. Nope. Don't find it there either. Seems like same sex marriage is pretty much a recent fringe innovation. And seems like the "religious right" are on the side of history, too. And, GP, nobody says you can't marry - it just has to be the right gender. Except in certain states. So, if you want to marry someone of the same gender, go there and get married to whomever you want to. I will send a gift. But apparently you think the constitution says and means whatever you think it says and means. But this is not Wonderland.

GP: Re: Anna's quote. Well, there you are, GP. Your approach to interpreting the constitution is similar to the Red Queen's approach to defining words: "A word means whatever I want it to mean." But this isn't Wonderland.

GP et al: Just several questions - no satire, sarcasm, etc. intended:
1. If same sex marriage is ratified, shouldn't by logical necessity polygomy be allowed? Polyamorous marriage? Marriage of people and animals?
2. Would the term civil unions satisfy the gay community just as well as the term marriage? (see, I didn't use the word homosexual because you said that word was offensive - I didn't know that until now)But I don't see the difference between civil unions and marriage.
3. What would the legal ramifications be if same sex marriage was ratified? In other words, what would legally happen to traditional Christians who preach against the gay lifestyle? Several years ago a Pentecostal preacher in Sweden was jailed for hate speech - he preached against homosexual (their word) behavior.

If a man wants to marry his Lassie - I say go right ahead as long as he can get Lassie to consent to the union.

Polygamous relationships were practiced for quite sometime. In some cultures they still are today and these cultures are very anti-homosexual to the point of death. I really don't see the correlation.

If civil unions conveyed the exact same rights as marriages do, then there's no issue. Currently such laws are however creating second class peoples and that's not what our constitution allows.

Allowing gay marriages would have no impact on what a church wants to preach. A church is impacted only on discrimination issues. A church cannot practice discrimination and still expect to have tax exempt status. This would not be fair would it? How do you justify a church discriminating against people whose taxes it gets?

Churches preach about adultery (well very rarely, but they still do.) They will still be free to preach about gay marriages as well.

And no such event of a Swedish pastor being jailed for preaching about homosexuality actually occured.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/10/29/5506

Is just one link that I found explaining exactly what transpired.

The law states : No religion will be required to change its religious policies with regards to same sex couples and no officials will be required to solemize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs