- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
- U.S. Navy admiral ‘receptive’ to giving Chinese counterpart a tour of carrier
- Islamic State orders female genital mutilation for Mosul girls, U.N. says
- U.N. school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed
- Obama encourages ICE to stand down, say former border agents
Ruling likely to send gay marriage issue to Supreme Court
Question of the Day
A federal appellate court in Manhattan said the federal government’s marriage law is unconstitutional, raising the likelihood that gay marriage will end up before the Supreme Court.
If Ms. Windsor had been married to “Theo” rather than “Thea,” she would have owed nothing to the federal government, argued her lawyers, including those with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“Yet again, a federal court has found that it is completely unfair to treat married same-sex couples as though they are legal strangers,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU project for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, said Thursday.
For instance, the defense argument that DOMA preserves “a traditional understanding of marriage” is “not an exceedingly persuasive justification for DOMA,” Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs and Christopher F. Droney wrote for the majority, noting that anti-sodomy laws have been struck down despite traditional views that the practice was immoral.
Also, because states decide whether to permit same-sex marriage, “DOMA does not, strictly speaking, ‘preserve’ the institution of marriage as one between a man and a woman,” the majority said.
Notably, the 2nd Circuit Court agreed with the plaintiffs that, as part of a discrete community, same-sex couples deserved “intermediate scrutiny,” which raises the bar for defenders of DOMA to make their case to uphold the law.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives is defending DOMA, which passed in 1996 with broad bipartisan support and was signed by President Bill Clinton. Former Solicitor-General Paul Clement is leading the defense team. Groups supporting DOMA include many state attorneys general and traditional-values groups.
The gay-marriage issue is expected to reach the Supreme Court. Several cases are vying for attention, and in September, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told University of Colorado-Boulder students that “I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term.”
In its petition for a high-court hearing, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders argued that its federal case against DOMA, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, should receive immediate review because the case raises “a question of national importance,” plaintiffs’ families and children are suffering under DOMA, and there are conflicting federal decisions on DOMA’s constitutionality.
The section of DOMA under litigation is the one that says that for purposes of federal benefits, the United States defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and defines spouse, husband and wife accordingly.
New York began performing and recognizing gay marriages in 2011.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- David Tyree hired by Giants in a move bashed by gay-rights groups
- JAMA opinion piece calls for ending lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men
- HIV rate drops in U.S. for most groups; percentage for young gay, bisexual men up
- VH1's 'Naked Dating' outrages parents group
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare enrollees faking for freebies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq