Federal judge rules nation-wide gay marriage ban unconstitutional

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

RawStory today:

A U.S. district judge in Boston, Massachusetts declared Thursday in two separate rulings that a nation-wide ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it prohibits individual states from defining what marriage is and is not.

In one decision, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro, according to a breaking Associated Press report, “said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.”

Obama administration attorneys had argued that in administering federal benefits, the federal government has the right to require marriages are between a man and a woman. That case is Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, which was litigated by attorneys for the Boston-based rights group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

In another decision also issued Thursday, Judge Tauro noted that the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996 during the Clinton administration, violated protections inherent to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

“The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment,” he ruled, according to the AP. “For that reason, the statute is invalid.”

That ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who contended that legally married gay couples in Massachusetts had been unjustly denied federal benefits.

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    • Edger on July 9, 2010 at 12:08 am
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  1. ….. is that part of the ruling was based on the dreadful state’s right’s argument that each individual state has the right to make up its own definition of marriage.

    Which means, of course, that overall the judge also appears to have validated the entire, sordid Proposition 8 mess here in CA, where you had the LDS Church in Utah decide to fund and work for some Republican candidates and had those bishops standing at the pulpit on Sunday, telling them that working on this Prop 8 campaign was expected as a part of their religious duties. (thank God for some of the braver Mormon bloggers who documented what went on).

    The “leader” of the Democratic Party at this point in time, just is not all that into universal civil rights or he’d have been a slightly fiercer advocate for equal access to medical care for all citizens/residents, have booted DADT out the door by now, and have done a bit more than announce that Federal government employees can get their civil union relationships on the shared employee benefits roles.  

    And I’m not even getting into the Stupak thing.

    Living in a state which is constantly doing this stupid ballot prop sh*t,  we could theoretically have some group next decide that all couples too old to breed should be divorced by the state, because they were not contributing to society or cultural preservation, or some other nonsense.  

  2. Appeal to the First Circuit, which will take a while, or appeal directly to the US Supreme Court, if it will hear it.  The latter, no matter how you count the votes in anticipation, is eventually going to uphold DOMA.  That’s why DOMA sucked from the first minute of Clinton’s signing it.

    I applaud the District Judge, but this decision ain’t going no where.

    • RUKind on July 9, 2010 at 5:32 am

    The City on the Hill doesn’t always shine but when it does…

  3. possibly uphold DOMA. If they’re strict constructionists, marriage definitions should be left to the states. And I think they would rule that way. Let’s fight this battle at a state to state level, because we’ll get 1/4 of the states to expand their definitions of marriage, and the rest will follow in due course.

    For those unlucky people living in places like Oklahoma, they need to  marry in a friendlier state and then sue for recognition in their home state in Federal Court. As a general rule, contracts have to be recognized in all states. I live in Calif, and I’m confident that same sex marriage will prevail in the next referendum.

    I would also like to see the Healthcare law ruled to be unconstitutional since money is speech, and mandatory purchase from private companies violates speech and forces people into compulsory contract, a form of servitude. The driver insurance analogy was always a bullshit argument.

    And on and on and on————–

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