Posted this morning in the New York Times:

BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts found Thursday that a law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, ruling that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

Judge Joseph L. Tauro of United States District Court in Boston sided with the plaintiffs in two separate cases brought by the state attorney general and a gay rights group.

Although legal experts disagreed over how the rulings would fare on appeal, the judge’s decisions were nonetheless sure to further inflame the nationwide debate over same-sex marriage and gay rights.

If the rulings find their way to the Supreme Court and are upheld there, they will put same-sex marriage within the constitutional realm of protection, just as interracial marriage has been for decades. Seeking that protection is at the heart of both the Massachusetts cases and a federal case pending in California over the legality of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Where will this ruling take us? What will happen to all the state ‘defense of marriage’ laws all over the United States? How do same sex marriage bans differ from previous racial marriage bans that were ruled unconstitutional in the 60’s?

6 Thoughts to “Predictable: Judge Topples U.S. Rejection of Gay Unions”

  1. Rick Bentley

    This is a no-brainer … it’s disgusting that it even came up. Marriage is reserved to the States.

    I note that Clinton signed the act in 1996, and Obama was defending it in court. We really don’t have two political parties. We have two sets of corrupt elitists who collude. Gay people were unfairly conspired against not only by most Republicans, but by Democratic Presdients too, who signed and fought to uphold the most blatantly unconstitutional measure. There’s no integrity in either party.

  2. Rick Bentley

    Having said that, I believe that it’s a state matter and individual states can ban same-sex marriage.

    And having said that, surely this whole debate will cease within a decade or two, as the “interracial” marriage issue did.

    Can the Federal Govt. pass a law that says same-sex unions don’t qualify for any Federal benefits and so forth? I would think yes. Is it morally justifiable to do so? No. Are most people ready for the federal Govt. to accept same-sex unions? I think so.

  3. So let me understand this correctly. Rick, you are saying that its ok to have a law that says someone is married in Virginia but if they go to West Virginia, they aren’t married?

    That is just plain screwed up.

    So how about filing your income tax? If you are in West Virginia then you can’t file jointly but if you are in Virginia you can?

  4. Rick Bentley

    It’ll have to be clarified by courts or legislatures, but that inconvenience doesn’t mean that states do not control the definition of marriage. They rather obviously do.

  5. It seems wrong that we can have a patchwork of marriage laws. I am all for civil unions being controlled by the state …and I mean the United States. Same civil union rules for everyone. Marriage can be handled by churches.

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