Day of Decision: Supreme Court on Prop. 8 & DOMA

When I began writing this, the SCOTUS decisions for Prop. 8 and DOMA were expected either Monday (6/17), Thursday (6/20), or next week. At this point, we can cross off Monday. Here’s hoping it’s today!

In anticipation of the decision, LGBT communities across the nation have events penciled in. These events will either be a celebration or protest, depending which way the rulings go. According to John Lewis, an organizer with Marriage Equality USA:

When something major happens in the LGBT civil rights movement what you do is go to Castro and Market to be there with the community win or lose

Here’s a map of some of the events. Wow, I am embarrassed at the poor showing in New England. Shout-out to Boston for carrying the whole region.

NYC gathering is at the Stonewall Inn (where else?) at 5:30 PM.

SF is at Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro District (where else?) at 6:30 PM

For the rest of the country, check your local listings. CA has a ton of them!

Implications of the Prop. 8 decision:

The high court could rule a few different ways. It could strike down Prop. 8 in California, it could decline to rule, which would uphold the 9th Circuit Court decision that struck down Prop. 8. Both of those scenarios would make same-sex marriage legal.

The court could also uphold Prop. 8, which would uphold the ban on same-sex marriage.

DOMA: Edith Windsor versus the United States of America

Edith’s partner of 45 years, Thea Spyer (whom she married in 2007 in Canada), fell ill and died. Edith (now 83) was left with a tax bill of $360,000. If their marriage counted, she would have been exempt from the death tax.

Edith can tell you the story better than I can and I can’t embed the video here, so I beg you to go to this link, scroll down a bit, and watch Edith tell it herself. Please go see the video—Edith is adorable.


Why DOMA is bad

Apart from the obvious, married same sex couples face a discrimination never faced before by any other married couples in US history. In 48 states, the age of consent for marriage is 18 without parental consent. In Nebraska, it’s 19 and in Mississippi, it’s 21. It is a fact that a couple of 18-year-olds can get married in NY and if they move to MS, they are still married and enjoy all the rights and benefits of their marriage. In other words, MS is REQUIRED BY LAW to recognize NY marriages. In 20 state, you can marry your first cousin. You’re still married if you move to one of the other 30 states. Before 1967, interracial marriage was not legal in all states and while an interracial couple would likely have faced hostile neighbors, they would have faced them as a married couple. DOMA manipulates the full faith and credit clause of Article IV of the Constitution.

Why DOMA was good

DOMA took the pressure off. Without having to worry about pissing off the other 49 states, MA was able to make same sex marriage legal. I doubt we would have had the rapid pace of adoption by the other 11 states if DOMA was not in place. The LGBT community has some pretty nasty things to say about Bill Clinton regarding DOMA, but I wonder if the man wasn’t playing a little 11-dimensional chess of his own.

Check out this map of same sex marriage laws by state with a time slider.

It’s the economics

Back in March 2013 when SCOTUS was hearing these arguments, I passed by a few articles and blog posts where people felt that marriage equality was not as important as some of the other issues we were facing (economy, jobs, jobs, economy). They wondered why we were wasting time on it when the important stuff wasn’t getting done. I was horrified, mostly because I thought these folks were friendlies, but also because it hit me how little people understood about the fight for marriage equality.

Marriage equality isn’t only about queens throwing the perfectly elegant wedding or dykes throwing whole wheat natural weddings, although there’s nothing wrong with a good celebration of love and committment.

Marriage equality is also about economics. A “family” is a recognized economic unit in our country. When a straight couple says I do, they get 1138 rights, on the spot. There are medical rights, property rights, and more. An LGBT couple making a similar commitment has to meet with a lawyer to file hundreds of contracts to get nearly the same. I say nearly because several hundred of the 1138 rights cannot be filled by contractual agreement.

With the economy being what it’s been, legally married couples have significantly more options for family-level financial decisions to weather the storm. I think that this is important.

What is not important is arguing and resisting—it’s the right thing to do on so many levels.


23 Responses

  1. I really hope today is the day…

  2. It’s a good day anyway!

    Exodus International, the Christian ministry known for its “pray away the gay” therapy for homosexuals, issued an apology “for years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole.”

    The group also announced it was closing down after 37 years.

  3. Not today 😦

  4. Bill Clinton was smart. He did what he could considering the climate of the time.
    Sorry it isn’t happening today Sophie. 😦

  5. In other news, Donna Brazile & Karl Rove dance together (literally).

    It’s news because I guess it’s something you don’t see every day. Presumably, it was for some community event to prove that epople from across the aisles can come together for the good of the community. I doubt these two could do anything for good, even by accident. And I thought they had their first dance back in 2008 when they made their own private grand bargain.

  6. My state passed a marriage equality law this year and the attempt to get the law to a referendum for the next election flopped. I’m not a big fan of marriage, so the issue is not an important one for me. But, I do understand the issue for LGBT folks. It will be interesting to learn how the SCOTUS rules, especially those strict constructionist justices.

  7. Hugo, what’s your state?

    Interestingly, I have no desire to get married (which pissed my ex off, which is why she’s my ex–well that and I refused to embrace Obama in 2008) but I do want it to be legal across the land, just like it is for everybody else.

  8. What’s in Brazille’s had in that photo? Did she use a sanitizing wipe on Rove? He should have used one on her too. They are both nasty critters. Didn’t they collaborate before the 2008 campaign? No integrity. No principles!

    Speaking of lack of integrity, McCaskill is at it again. Singing the praises of Hillary. She just discovered that Hillary is the best qualified person to POTUS. Politico reports that she claims Hillary called her after she issued the “Ready for Hillary” statement.

    I hope Hillary told her to shut her pie hole.

  9. Maryland, Sophie.

    I never had a desire to marry, but did so to placate the ex, and turns out I was right the first time. Just not my cup of tea. But I did have the option to do it or not do it. I understand why it is hurtful and harmful to not have that option. So, live and let live.

  10. Just watched the video with Edith. She is cute and looks great for 83. The economic issues are the most compelling for me. Too bad she can’t get some of that $360,000 refunded.

  11. Rove and Brazilenut! Ha! I spit when I say their names.

  12. I guess I should have given a warning to wear your special glasses. I only pointed it out because the article made it seem like this was new–like they had never collaborated on anything else before.

  13. This is rich. The federal government hires contractors to conduct background checks of all feds. The one which reportedly did the background check for Snowden, the NSA/Booz Allen Hamilton leaker, has been under criminal investigation for faking the background checks. We The People paid them $200 million to conduct these background checks.

    What’s wrong with that picture? Who is doing the background checks on the contractor’s investigators? Out-freaking-rageous!

  14. I think one of our biggest problems is the overuse of contractors to do government work. I believe it happened in the name of shrinking government, but it didn’t shrink the cost of government one bit. In fact, it made it more expensive and it provided opportunities to reward friends in the private sector with handsome contracts. And their quality of work sucks.

  15. I agree 100%, Sophie. The argument that they save tax dollars is totally bogus. And they don’t take the oath that feds and military take. That bothers me a lot.

    Believe it or not, Congress passed a law during the Bush admin that requires the FDA to contract out inspections of some regulated medical products. What could go wrong with industry inspecting itself?.

  16. I’m not a proponent of legalizing pot, but I don’t think this guy belongs in jail. In my state he’d get PBJ or a STET. I love what he said about not distributing–he never has enough for himself. LOL! And the lady just likes her wine coolers. Too funny. Hope he has a good lawyer.

  17. Fredster or anyone else who kows about Yahoo. . . I tried the steps you listed in the last post about getting rid of Yahoo Partners… I couldn’t access the “manage apps and websites”. It did not appear. I got through the sign-in and the account settings. But that took me to a bizarre page that wanted me to do some kind of profile for Yahoo. I signed out as i didn’t know what I was doing. It there a way to eliminate a yahoo account?

    I’ll be checking in later tomorrow,but i’ve got to go to bed. i’m exhausted tonight. too many probs on the home front.

  18. leslie, I’ll try to get with you later today, here at Upps.

  19. Screech — new post.

  20. Sophie, excellent post.

  21. Sophie — Looking forward to the update. My guess: DOMA falls; and Prop 8 is decided on ‘no standing’ grounds, leaving 9th Cir. decision intact.

  22. […] on another most excellent post from SophieCT…..hint..hint. But in the meantime, I felt something had to be put up to mark […]

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