Tuesday, March 3, 2009

G.L.A.D. v. D.O.M.A.

Okay. So today, a number of Massachusetts plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.* The case has been assigned to Judge Tauro. The complaint can be found here. G.L.A.D. has a spiffy website up here.

If you are generally sympathetic to gay rights and your first reaction was NOOOOOO!, you may not be alone.** The conventional wisdom is that we have a pretty conservative Supreme Court. But that gets punctured a bit when you look at gay rights cases. If you read the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (especially the pretty majestic third-to-last paragraph), and remember that counsel for the plaintiffs in that case wept tears of joy while Justice Kennedy read it from the bench, you might start to think that these plaintiffs, well, they have a shot. Don't they?

First order of business: watching the Obama Administration agonize about how to respond.

*Signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. What was going on in 1996? That was an election year? REALLY?!

**If you are neutral on the issue or unsympathetic, your reaction probably involved some grumbling about activist judges and then you went on with your day. That's cool. This is America, after all.


Anonymous said...

If the plaintiffs were really smart, they would have found a gay couple that would pay more in taxes if they are treated as married filing jointly, and have them file this lawsuit.

Terry Klein said...

I can't tell if that's a comment in opposition to (i) marriage, (ii) gay marriage, (iii) taxes, (iv) progressive taxes, (v) all of the above, or (vi) none of the above. If the idea is that gay people are lucky they can't get married because otherwise they'd have to pay higher taxes, I'd say that John Galt called and he wants his righteousness back.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about gay marriage? I am blissfully neutral about gay marriage. My comment was a mere observation that the interests of gay couples on this front are not uniform. The gay couples who are suing for recognition of gay marriage for tax purposes because they have a high income/low income mix are screwing the gay couples in the high income/high income mix, because the latter actually pay the marriage tax. Leave John Galt out of this -- he doesn't particularly care about gay marriage, either. By the way, lunch next week?