A Word in Edgewise: Ding Dong, DOMA’s Dead–Isn’t It?


On June 26th, SCOTUS, having pushed voter rights back a half-century the day before, took a step forward in civil rights for GLBT citizens by declaring DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional and letting gay marriage resume in California.

Marriage is now the state’s call. A recent Forbes piece raised many business and personal issues. One example, noted contributor Steve Harris, is that with marriage defined by state rather than federal law, “the surviving spouse in the case may now be able to defer over three-hundred thousand in estate tax.”

SCOTUS slew one head of the dragon, but Section 2 is still alive, declaring that states don’t have to recognize marriages from other states. With California back in the running, some 30 percent of Americans live in states that recognize same sex marriage, but if you’re married, or about to be come August first, check carefully before you and your spouse decide to relocate.

Section two will have to be addressed, particularly since it violates what is familiarly called the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” of the Constitution. That clause, Article IV, section 1, says that states within the United States have to respect the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”

I write this on the eve of Pride weekend, when there is great rejoicing–as indeed there should be. But along with the beads and beer, I ask you to remember that all the bigots and religious right-wingers that have opposed GLBT equal rights for decades, have not budged an inch. They’re still out there, pushing the one-man one- woman version of marriage they claim is Biblical, despite Solomon’s many wives or David’s peccadilloes.

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas (R), tweeted through crocodile tears, “My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same-sex marriage is OK: ‘Jesus wept.’”

“Jesus wept,” appears in John 11:35, and occurred after Jesus had heard that Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was dead four days. Jesus wept in empathy–then brought Lazarus back to life. There is not a word; not a syllable attributed to Jesus in the New Testament about homosexuals. For or against.

My own take: That Jesus today, seeing a severely discriminatory law struck down, would indeed have wept–for joy.

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