Defending DOMA

Recently, the Manhattan Declaration filed an amicus brief (“Friend of the Court”) on behalf of its 535,000+ signers in USA v. Windsor a case coming before the Supreme Court this spring questioning the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as one man, one woman in federal law. John Mauck, the attorney who authored the brief, explains in an op-ed in the Washington Times why DOMA is important:


The Manhattan Declaration describes marriage as “the first institution of society… on which all other human institutions have their foundation.” Understanding what marriage is – and why it matters – could not be more important.

Pending before the Supreme Court is USA v. Windsor, in which Edith Windsor, a lesbian claiming unfair treatment under federal estate tax law, seeks a declaration that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Because resolution of that and a companion case will decide how the Equal Protection Clause applies to marriage laws, the Court decision will not only affect federal policy, but will almost certainly impact outcomes in various states in a number of cases seeking to invalidate traditional marriage.

For example, in Darby, et al. v. David Orr, now at the state trial court level, homosexual rights activists are seeking to have the Illinois definition of marriage changed to include same-sex couples, even though Illinois enacted a strong Domestic Partnership law in 2011 effectively granting homosexual couples the same rights as married couples, except the use of the word “marriage.”

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  • Gregory Peterson

    What’s the word for people who try to forbid for other law abiding adults what they allow for themselves? When I was a kid, they were called “racists.”

  • Kullervo

    What about the Full Faith and Credit problem with DOMA?

  • Steve W

    I signed the MD in 2011. So why should I support DOMA? Because true unconditional love between a man and woman, a couple that will someday unconditionally love the children they will be blessed to have, needs a visible and substantial way to show that God has given his blessing and approval for this union. Man can give his approval to any union he desires – homosexual, man/beast, or man/idol – but only God will approve the union of one man with one woman for the procreation of the world. All the rights of a married couple can be given by man to unholy unions and a true democracy needs to adhere to the judgment and desires of the majority. However, the majority must not abdicate its role to the minority. But here is the REAL TEST for all: If God said that you must give up all the rights your country gives to you under the “banner of marriage” if you want to have my blessing in your union how would YOU ANSWER? Would the monetary benefits, the death benefits, the hospital visitation benefits, etc. rule your decision? For me, I would give up all of that man offers for God’s blessing on my marriage.

  • alvin james

    I just want to be the first to say that’s it’s not perverted at all to spend all your waking hours thinking about other people’s sex lives. It’s the Christian way.

  • Juliana

    Do some research on marriage Honey. It is a transaction. The fact is: the governement shouldnt be regulating who you get in bed with, who you want to share your assets with. The truth is: the government already does. The other truth is: if the governement is already regulating this then we should ALL get those benefits. People like you, speaking of freedom is nothing but a bunch of bullshit. Religious freedom? you allow religious freedom until it does not adhere to your religious beliefs. Religious freedom insofar as it is what you believe is right. Move to the freaking midwest, let people be happy. We all gonna still be having a lot of gay sex even if you dont want it. And now, we’re getting married.

  • Louis Polito

    Here are two comments I sent to my granddaughter regarding same sex union.
    1) Why are we here? We are here because Someone created us. It’s undeniable that the Creator made man and woman to be biologically complementary. It’s a natural law. It’s also undeniable that we have been given free will. This free will gives us the power to break laws, behavior that society disallows. Why should society allow the natural law of the union of man and woman called ’marriage’ to be broken? Allowing same sex union to be called ‘marriage’ breaks this natural law. Holding this position is not homophobic or lacking tolerance, it’s merely accepting a basic direction given us by our Creator.
    2) As to the marriage topic, disregarding the moral aspect same sex union, marriage is a term specifying the spiritual and pro-creational union of a man and woman. Same sex union may be spiritual but cannot be pro-creational, therefore the term marriage should not be used to describe that union. Ambiguity is never desirable. Let’s give same sex union another name.

    • John Evans

      Louis – it is quite deniable that a creator made man and woman to be biologically complementary. I’m an atheist, I deny it. I would also hesitate to invoke ‘natural law’ when homosexual behaviour occurs in hundreds of non-human vertebrate species in the wild.

      As for your 2) argument, it would also deny marriage to sterile straight couples. Is that part of your goal as well?

  • Jim

    Please explain how “freedom of religion” means you get to force me to live according to your religious laws.

  • SophieUK

    “Why should society allow the natural law of the union of man and woman called ’marriage’ to be broken?”

    Society is not doing anything of the sort. Natural laws cannot be broken by legislation – the very idea is absurd.

    “Holding this position is not homophobic or lacking tolerance, it’s merely accepting a basic direction given us by our Creator.”

    No, it’s homophobic because you’re saying that you should have rights that they shouldn’t. Accept what you believe to be your Creator’s “basic direction” and let others live by their own beliefs.