The marriage equality arguments and actions continue, at federal and state levels. When the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear DOMA and Prop 8 cases, it didn’t stop state level actions, which remain very important. But Jeremy Hooper, at Good As You has a very good point regarding the Justices: “These nine people may soon be the last nine Americans to vote on any U.S. citizens’ marriage. Ever.”
About the Prop 8 and DOMA arguments before the Court in March, from Nan Hunter, at The Nation:
Is the Supreme Court Argument Over Gay Marriage Really All About Straight People?
It’s Game On in the culture war. Those defending California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have filed the initial set of Supreme Court briefs in the cases that will be argued in late March. Reading these briefs leads you to a surprising conclusion: the gay marriage debate is really all about heterosexuals. …
The briefs argue that the single most compelling reason either to prohibit same-sex marriage (Prop 8) or to forbid any federal agency from recognizing a same-sex marriage that is valid under a state’s law (DOMA) is to bribe heterosexuals who engage in “accidental procreation” to get married. …
Of course, the efforts to reframe the arguments are obvious. And given the just as obvious changes toward marriage equality, sort of understandable.
The Prop 8 campaign relied heavily on ads suggesting that same-sex marriage made it more likely that homosexuality … could infect innocent children. DOMA had an additional and openly partisan twist: it was introduced and enacted in the summer of 1996 as a Republican tactic to force every incumbent Democrat to condemn or endorse gay marriage, the latter amounting to political suicide for all but those in the most liberal districts.
But a lot has changed, and defenders of DOMA and Prop 8 are trying to, well, “adjust” might be too mild. As Hunter writes, the defenders
… hope and gamble … they can reframe this history into one of policymaking grounded in rational economic choices. In this version, denying same-sex couples the option to marry is actually a backhanded shout-out to the gays: because same-sex couples are so deliberative and dedicated when they decide to become parents … , they don’t need the enticements associated with marriage as incentives to follow through on commitments to their children. …
Hunter also argues that there are evident “(f)ractures in the conservative political landscape” visible in the briefs filed.
Begin with the fact that neither of these two laws is being defended by the official legal officers of the respective jurisdictions that enacted them. California’s governor and attorney general abandoned defense of Prop 8 three years ago, and the Justice Department followed suit with regard to DOMA in 2011.
Hooper has created a Facebook page, March 4 Marriage.
LIKE this page for all the upcoming details on how we can and will counter NOM at SCOTUS on March 26 (and all throughout the month of March).
… Loving same-sex couples have waited long enough. With momentum at our backs, we are ready to make March 2013 our most major turning point yet.
The national change in perspectives on “same-sex” marriage, or better, marriage equality, is obvious. For example, Equality Texas announced that two state representatives, Rafael Anchia of Dallas (D-103) and Garnet Coleman of Houston (D-147),
… filed legislation … to repeal the constitutional amendment added to the Bill of Rights to the Texas Constitution in 2005. The amendment denies same-gender Texans in committed relationships the freedom to marry or enter into a civil union.
As I said, a lot has changed. Now, “two-thirds of Texas’ voters … support some form of legal recognition for lesbian & gay couples.”
As long as DOMA exists, however, state and even federal steps toward marriage equality are significantly limited. As Hunter writes:
In the end, … it will boil down to the nine Justices and … most likely the contest will be decided by just one: Anthony Kennedy … . Justice Kennedy wrote both of the Court’s most important decisions in the field of gay rights: Romer v. Evans, striking down a Colorado state constitutional amendment that blocked enactment of civil rights protections for lesbians and gay men, and Lawrence v. Texas, which declared all sodomy laws invalid. It’s a pretty good bet that he will get the last word on marriage too.
Whatever the Court decides, regarding the Prop 8 and/or DOMAs, the losing side won’t give up. Even if the pro-marriage equality side loses one or both, though, I’m confident that LGBT equality in general, including marriage, will continue increasing.
(March 4 Marriage via Good As You)