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DOMA on Trial


E.J.

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Today Justice Jeffrey White heard testimony as to whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was in violation of the US Constitution when it was applied to deny spousal benefits to Karen Golinski, a legally married federal employee. In advance, White, a George W. Bush appointee, provided a list of questions that he wanted addressed.

Full story here:

http://www.boxturtle.../39827#comments

Full list of questions here:

http://metroweekly.c...ngQuestions.pdf

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I read the stories in our local newspapers (the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune). This sounds like a negative start for the proponents of DOMA.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I read quickly through the PDF, and it seems to me that Justice White's questions attempt to be open-minded rather than negative towards the idea of same-sex partnerships/marriages. As I read it, he's asking the two sides to answer those points and defend why they claim for or against those points. In other words, positive rather than negative from the Justice toward the possibility of same-sex relationships and family units.

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Colin, do you mean a negative to have DOMA repealed, or a negative for those who want to keep Doma?

Aussie brains need stuff spelt out for them. :blink::wacko:

I guess when I took Beginning Russian in intermediate school (7th grade) the requried double negative of that language stuck in my head and is reflected in how I worded my post.

What I meant is that Justice White's questions, by challenging the constitutionality of DOMA, pose serious difficulties for those who are defending DOMA in court.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I guess when I took Beginning Russian in intermediate school (7th grade) the requried double negative of that language stuck in my head and is reflected in how I worded my post.

What I meant is that Justice White's questions, by challenging the constitutionality of DOMA, pose serious difficulties for those who are defending DOMA in court.

Colin :icon_geek:

I still get in trouble with the double negative thing after taking russian. However, the judge's questions are very informative of his approach and give the proponents of DOMA an uphill battle. For a little understanding, we should probably point out who is arguing which side.

President Obama has instructed the United States Department of Justice to not only REFUSE to defend DOMA in court, he has instructed them to GO TO THE COURT and argue as to why DOMA is unconstitutional. The DOJ (Department of Justice) official in charge of civil rights cases for this area showed up in court himself to argue to this judge that DOMA is unconstitutional. This is so unprecidented the judge commented on how this official's presence was an honor and an indication of the very strong opinion of the DOJ.

Then we have the attorneys for the plaintiffs. They're they ones who filed ths suit (again the ACLU) and who are responsible for this trial even happening. Once again, it is the ACLU pushing forward for gay rights here.

Defending DOMA is a set of attorneys hired by the House of Representatives (normally it would be the Department of Justice, but as noted previously, they are arguing that the law is unconstitutional). The defense attorneys call themselves the Bipartisant Legal Advice Group but the Judge is questioning who they are and their statement that they represent the interests of Congress in defending DOMA, and by extension the American people. The judge's questions to them are enlightening because we know certain facts about the BLAG (Bipartisan Legal Advice Group).

1. The committee that 'hired' the BLAG consisted of the Republican (3) and Democratic (2) Leaders in the House of Representatives.This committee voted 3-2. Can you guess who were the three and who were the two who opposed hiring a BLAG? (Hint: it was a party-line vote). By asking the questions he did, the answers will be entered into the court record showing teh "Bipartisan" part of BLAG is actually false and that the defense of DOMA is NOT Bipartisan.

2. Other questions dealt with rather the BLAG represents all of Congress, or just part of Congress. The BLAG was only approved by the House of Representatives, not by the Senate. As a result it will be shown that the BLAG only represents the interests of the House of Representatives. Added to #1, the judge can find that the BLAG is misrepresenting itself. They do not represent Congress, they represent the interests of REPUBLICAN in the House of Representatives only. This drastically cuts down the viability of any of their arguments.

If you are an American and you voted for a Republican in Congress last year - thank you so much. Thanks to you there is a group hired by Republicans in the House of Representatives defending DOMA. If Democrats had been elected instead and retained control of the House, we'd have seen not only the Department of Justice telling the court that DOMA was Unconstitutional, we'd likely have had concurrence from Congress, not what we see here today.

Remember that when we vote in 11 months.

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Many times over the years I've heard "It doesn't make much of a difference if I vote for a Republican or a Democrat." Between DOMA and DADT, I think there is a very clear picture that there IS a major difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to our rights. Take a further look at everything Republicans in state legislatures across this nation are doing to take away our rights and the picture gets even clearer.

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Many times over the years I've heard "It doesn't make much of a difference if I vote for a Republican or a Democrat." Between DOMA and DADT, I think there is a very clear picture that there IS a major difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to our rights. Take a further look at everything Republicans in state legislatures across this nation are doing to take away our rights and the picture gets even clearer.

The separation between the ideologies of the two parties is wider now than at anytime in my lifetime. In my opinion, the Republicans are trying to protect the interests of a very small group of people at the expense of both everyone else and morality. The Democrats, who are not always right, are fighting a heroic fight just to maintain the status quo, or nudge us slightly in a better direction.

C

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I'm a bit out of my depth in this debate - I know what DADT stands for but I'm still a bit uncertain what DOMA means.

I can add a little light relief, though: An inner city school classroom, where the English teacher has just ubraided a child for saying 'we ain't got no chance cos when we leave school there ain't no jobs to go to!'.

Teacher: "Never say 'ain't got no' - that's what we call a double negative. If you haven't got no chance, that means you do have some chance. In the English language a double negative equates to a positive, so you defeat your argument by using it unless that's what you mean. It isn't the same in all languages - I believe in some languages a double negative still results in a negative. However, I don't believe there's any language in which a double positive equates to a negative."

Bored voice from the back of the class: "Yeah, right..."

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Defense of Marriage - so marriage is under attack? By gay men who want to marry each other? How? It seems to me that if marriage is under attack, it's being attacked by straight people who are unfaithful to their wives/husbands, who marry frivolously and divorce shortly afterwards.

It's always seemed strange to me that straight people, whose marriages in this country now end in divorce over 50% of the time, want to keep gay people from marrying in order to protect the institution.

C

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Defense of Marriage - so marriage is under attack? By gay men who want to marry each other? How? It seems to me that if marriage is under attack, it's being attacked by straight people who are unfaithful to their wives/husbands, who marry frivolously and divorce shortly afterwards.

Hey, they say it's being attacked because letting gays and lesbians marry will destroy marriage, that's what they say. And if you let them f'ng perverts marry each other then they'll be marrying animals like hogs and sheep and dogs and cats and goldfish and all that there animal stuff, and there's nothing to prevent that! That's what they say. So marriage has to be kept pure and Godly and from being attacked and destroyed by perverts. [sarcasm]

Colin :icon_geek:

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Hey, they say it's being attacked because letting gays and lesbians marry will destroy marriage, that's what they say. And if you let them f'ng perverts marry each other then they'll be marrying animals like hogs and sheep and dogs and cats and goldfish and all that there animal stuff, and there's nothing to prevent that! That's what they say. So marriage has to be kept pure and Godly and from being attacked and destroyed by perverts. [sarcasm]

Colin :icon_geek:

Glad you flagged your post as sarcasm, Colin - I'd never have guessed....

Pity sarcasm seems to be lost on the DOMA supporters.

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Parker's Law -- The humor appreciated by an individual is in inverse proportion to the zealotry he evinces.

Cole, I love your law. It's so true!

Colin :icon_geek:

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What's really funny is that the defenders of marriage went to court to try and uphold Proposition 8 (california ballot measuren that limits to marriage between one man and one woman in the state's constitution). Two couples sued with a very good legal team (two attorneys who in 2000 had both argued in the Bush v Gore legal case regarding the presidential election - one on the Bush side, one on the Gore side). Proponents of Prop 8 went ot court to defend the law because the Governor, Attorney General, and State Legislature all refused to defend Proposition 8 in court. You'd think the defenders of marriage would want the trial broadcast far and wide so everyone could hear their ringing defense of marriage, right?

Wrong.

The defenders of traditional marriage (christians) have fought tooth and nail to keep the recordings of the trial from going public. Their fear is that if people see and hear what they said during the trial, there will be a backlash against them. Isn't that something that is so very telling about why people want to keep gays and lesbians from getting married?

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What's really funny is that the defenders of marriage went to court to try and uphold Proposition 8 (california ballot measuren that limits to marriage between one man and one woman in the state's constitution). Two couples sued with a very good legal team (two attorneys who in 2000 had both argued in the Bush v Gore legal case regarding the presidential election - one on the Bush side, one on the Gore side). Proponents of Prop 8 went ot court to defend the law because the Governor, Attorney General, and State Legislature all refused to defend Proposition 8 in court. You'd think the defenders of marriage would want the trial broadcast far and wide so everyone could hear their ringing defense of marriage, right?

Wrong.

The defenders of traditional marriage (christians) have fought tooth and nail to keep the recordings of the trial from going public. Their fear is that if people see and hear what they said during the trial, there will be a backlash against them. Isn't that something that is so very telling about why people want to keep gays and lesbians from getting married?

I think there is also an element of subverting, suppressing the evidence of the other side; you know, those who are fighting for civic rights, equality rights, and human rights. The exposure to the reality, the justice of everyone being able to access the arguments of freedom from religious dogma is not something that the extremists want publicised or broadcast.

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