San Francisco, CA – As the festivities for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge winds down, the issue about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is starting to heat up again.
A provision on the DOMA act that prohibits legally married same sex couples from equally availing benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples was deemed unconstitutional by the Federal Appeals Court today, May 31st in Boston, Massachusetts.
Although it is not an official ruling that the entire Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, it does paint a picture of what could happen next year when the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the DOMA law which limits marriage to people of the opposite sex.
The gay-rights activists have won this round but there is probably going to be a rebuttal from the other camp. With election time drawing near, this is going to be one of the hottest issues that the presidential candidates would most likely debate about. President Obama has already expressed his support for same sex marriages (although, he has lately been having a habit of supporting any group that could help him get re-elected).
This could also set the stage for the modification of Proposition 8 since in California, same sex marriages are still banned and the case is still being tried in San Francisco at the California Supreme Court. The DOMA prevents same sex marriages that were done in states that legalized the union from being recognized by other states that had a ban on it. Surprisingly, even if San Francisco is the gay capital of the United States, no gay is still allowed to be married.
Keynote people who were at the Massachusetts hearing were Judge Michael Boudin (he wrote the argument/comment on Massachusetts vs The U.S Department of Health and Human Services), Judge Juan Torruela, and Sandra Lynch (an appointee of former President Clinton).
In his argument, Judge Boudin stated: “To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage.”
This new ruling has potential to push forward all agendas being promoted by a few interest groups but it may also have the potential to trample the rights of many. A lot of politicians will certainly have this issue on their platforms and speeches to gather as many votes as they can.
And going back to Proposition 8, in the event that it gets modified and same sex couples will be allowed to marry in California maybe the Golden Gate Bridge will be the site for more weddings instead of suicides — just an unrelated thought …