Amusing Responses to DOMA Ruling

Amusing Responses to DOMA Ruling June 1, 2012

As you’ve probably heard by now, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, even after applying the lowest level of scrutiny, the rational basis test. You can read the full ruling here. As you might imagine, the wingnuts are in full freakout mode over it and saying funny things like this:

Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, argued Thursday that the ruling is “bizarre” for requiring the federal government to accept Massachusetts’ definition of marriage, and violates the federal government’s right to determine the application of federal benefits.

“For a Massachusetts-based court to just audaciously proclaim that the federal government is wrong and has to recognize a unique social experiment in Massachusetts for the purpose of providing benefits is bizarre and a violation of the principles of our federalist system,” Mineau said, according to Reuters./blockquote>

Mineau doesn’t seem to understand that this is, in fact, a federal appeals court. The fact that it is “Massachusetts-based” is completely irrelevant to the authority it has to overturn laws passed by Congress. The court found that there was no rational basis for the law, in part because the law doesn’t actually address the issue that Congress used to justify the law:

Although the House Report is filled with encomia to heterosexual marriage, DOMA does not increase benefits to opposite-sex couples–whose marriages may in any event be childless, unstable or both–or explain how denying benefits to same-sex couples will reinforce heterosexual marriage. Certainly, the denial will not affect the gender choices of those seeking marriage. This is not merely a matter of poor fit of remedy to perceived problem, but a lack of any demonstrated connection between DOMA’s treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted goal of strengthening the bonds and benefits to society of heterosexual marriage.

This has been the problem all along with the anti-equality arguments, of course. They start by talking about how wonderful marriage is, then say marriage equality is bad without ever bothering to fill in the missing bit of logic — how does allowing gay people to get married do anything at all to heterosexual marriages? It doesn’t, of course.

By the way, two of the three judges were appointed by Republicans.

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