Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Will Massachusetts Judge Decide On Repealing Unconstitutional DOMA Law?

Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley and Asst. Attorney general Martha Healey went to court today against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). This is the second time in three weeks the attorney general has asked U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro to rule the law violates state sovereignty when it comes to marriage licensing.

The case “Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services” would determine if indeed the 15,000 same sex couples who wed in Massachusetts are being discriminated against by the Federal Government’s passage of DOMA.

Lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department, Christopher Hall, argued the federal government has the right to set a standard for federal benefits which includes that certain rights only go to heterosexual marriage couples. He also noted that the federal government has in other instances regulated (read redefined) the definition of marriage in certain immigration cases. After questioning by Judge Tauro, Mr. Hall agreed the law did indeed state a different (and hence double) standard.

The last time I looked, I as well as many other citizens who pay taxes didn’t think it is the same to equate the rights of same sex couples (or heterosexuals) to marry with immigration. It is but one more attempt to muddy the waters of equality and justice.

Ms. Healey stated :

Never before has the federal government told a married couple that they are married under state law but not under federal law

While the LGBT community is awating a hopefully possitive outcome to be swift in coming, Justice Tauro has not set a definitive date for his ruling but did state that he would rule soon.


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