Thursday, October 18, 2012

NY Appeals Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act


Well, there's no doubt this was coming:

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined Thursday that the federal law violates the Constitution's equal protection clause, ruling in favor of widow Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian who sued the federal government for charging her more than $363,000 in estate taxes after being denied the benefit of spousal deductions.

The court upheld a lower court's decision in a 2-1 majority ruling and determined that America's gay population "has suffered a history of discrimination" similar to that faced by women in years past.

In this particular case I agree with the ruling in a narrow sense. The plaintiff suffered financial damages, and on that basis the law was discriminatory. Far better to abolish estate taxes altogether, since the estate's money comes from income that has already been taxed once.

But that's not the way this game was going to be played.It was designed to be a precedent to influence a coming Supreme Court ruling.

There are seven states that have legalized same sex marriages, California, New York,  Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, plus the District of Columbia.

 In every case, this was achieved through judicial or legislative action. In fact, when it comes to direct referendums to legalize same sex marriage, the record is 31-0 against, and in several cases, California, Massachusetts, and Iowa among them, laws permitting same sex marriage were implemented in spite of the very clear wishes of substantial public majorities.

 The tactics being used to promote same sex marriage are almost exactly the ones its advocates swore would never be used to force same sex marriage on the states back when they were arguing against the need for a Constitutional Marriage Amendment. They claimed that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) would prevent states from having same sex marriage forced upon them by lawsuit.

They knew, of course, that DOMA, if it couldn't be destroyed legislatively, could be destroyed in the courts. That's exactly what's happening.

Even worse, the U.S. attorney general, who swore an oath to defend America's laws in court has stated publicly that his office will not defend DOMA.

That, of course, is one of the  arguments against same sex marriage. The method by which it is being implemented sets a precedent for the Nanny State to force anything else it deems necessary  on an unwilling populace.

Today's ruling is largely a formality, since the question of same sex marriage is going to be reviewed by the Supreme Court in the form of a case concerning California's Proposition 8, an amendment to the state's constitution banning same sex marriage that passed overwhelmingly in a referendum but was overruled by one judge on the state supreme court who happened to be a homosexual after the same court had previously ruled that Prop 8 was constitutional prior to the election.

It will be interesting to see how the High Court rules.

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