Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, July 9, 2009 8:12 pm

Clarity coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lex @ 8:12 pm

Holy cow. Massachusetts has sued the federal government over the Defense of Marriage Act:

BOSTON – Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, sued the U.S. government Wednesday over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law. Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Coakley said at a news conference.

Man. I’m not even a lawyer and I can still see many, many veins of legal argument here. The equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment. States’ rights. Establishment v. free exercise.

This could finally usher in the legal, constitutional Era of Adam & Steve, or it could end up being for gays something like what Dred Scott was for slaves.

This will inevitably end up before the Supreme Court. Now, what that court might look like by the time that case gets there a few years from now is a whole ‘nother question and may well determine the outcome. If I had to guess, I’d say that in front of the current court Massachusetts would lose 5-4. But — say it with me, kids — I Am Not A Lawyer.

I’ll also predict this, although I generally suck at predictions: Whichever side loses at the Supreme Court level will push for a constitutional amendment.

1 Comment

  1. Pretty cool post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.

    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

    Comment by Zack — Friday, July 10, 2009 5:19 am @ 5:19 am

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