Defense of Marriage Act Protest

Mountain Goat has a post on Boise’s joining “the national call for marriage equality” with a gathering scheduled for this Saturday, January 10th.  The gathering place will be the steps of Boise City Hall.  The mission: “To speak out against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).”

doma-protest

Bob Barr, the original author of DOMA, wrote it in 1996. As he states in an opinion piece published Monday, Jan. 5th in the LA Times,

The law has been a flash-point for those arguing for or against same-sex marriage ever since President Clinton signed it into law. Even President-elect Barack Obama has grappled with its language, meaning and impact.

I can sympathize with the incoming commander in chief. And, after long and careful consideration, I have come to agree with him that the law should be repealed.

Of course further reading of Barr’s op-ed piece does not highlight his sudden support of same-sex marriage, rather it’s to address simply – ‘the primacy of state g0v’t over the federal.’  You can see that in his brief discussion of the Hawaiian case and the impetus of the original penning of DOMA.

I believe we need to reduce federal power over the lives of the citizenry and over the prerogatives of the states. It truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves.

And more definitely here:

I’ve wrestled with this issue for the last several years and come to the conclusion that DOMA is not working out as planned. In testifying before Congress against a federal marriage amendment, and more recently while making my case to skeptical Libertarians as to why I was worthy of their support as their party’s presidential nominee, I have concluded that DOMA is neither meeting the principles of federalism it was supposed to, nor is its impact limited to federal law.

Barr calls the limiting of rights as “one-way federalism.”  It’s what been used as “a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions” and to limit rights under various federal laws, specifically “immigration, Social Security survivor rights and veteran’s benefits.”  Below is the listing from Mountain Goat’s site

  • Social Security survivor and pension benefits
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Medical decision making rights
  • Inheritance rights
  • End-of-life decisions (burial)
  • Family leave under the federal “Family Medical Leave Act”
  • Employment and housing protections

See ya there, Saturday.

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