LGBTs await SCOTUS DOMA decision

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The conservative right against the liberal left once again. “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” Matthew 7:1.

The score is most likely 4 – 4. All tied up. It seems to always come down to the final vote. This is the American way. Never agreeing on anything. Always fighting, never compromising. At least this isn’t left up to Congress who seems to just let things expire, fall off cliffs and commandeer the reigns of reason.

The Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8 have both been discussed at some length by the Supreme Court of the Unites States. They are one of very few court systems that challenges lawyers to make logical arguments while avoiding the tripping hazards of a loose tongue.

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 5.38.53 PMStates have rights afforded by the Constitution. They have managed themselves seemingly well but have had many of their own right usurped by legislative and financial purse strings of the federal government. The task at hand for the SCOTUS is to protect the American citizens from themselves. Or others that have been denied the unalienable rights of all Americans.

So what if one state wants to honor your religiously recognized marriage approved by the court license and contractually binding union. Doesn’t this official obligation to represent each other in all binding contracts just act as a facade of the Power of Attorney? Move out of a state if you don’t like the regulations. Find a place where you can drive a junker of a car and pollute the environment or move to the one with the highest regulated clean air emission standards but still has the dirtiest air. There is no law prohibiting you from crossing the border between states.

Recognizing LGBT individuals is not a skill we teach our children, so I am quickly startled by people who define people with these labels. The real problem is this instant judgment. Any scenario requiring the notification of next of kin or medical emergency needing the legal guardian of a child or spouse can become an insurmountable hurdle. This is especially true if you have a legal union in one state but the state you’re currently in does not recognize it.

Reciprocity used to be a wonderful thing protected by the Constitution. Now we have a court system that dictates what can and can’t be delegated to the states. Upholding the Articles and Amendments is their job. The right to marry the person I love is not regulated. The recognized legal bond I enter into with that person has some hurdles but can be accomplished in certain places. The difference is the extra privileges that come with choosing a member of the opposite gender. There are far more if that path is chosen.

If the SCOTUS strikes down the DOMA, it could open the legal benefits coffers to those previously excluded. Many things would change.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked, “Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis … for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them?”

On the other side of the bench sits the chief justice. His view on the issue is very different. “The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples,” said Chief Justice John Roberts.

He is defending marriage. I’m a big fan of religious marriage. I just don’t think the government needs to protect marriage. Churches have gotten pretty good at protecting their beliefs and traditions. Does another minority have to march on Washington to drink from the same fountain or enjoy the right to fill out the same paperwork at the county courthouse?

“You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet?” asked Justice Samuel Alito.

Yes, yes we do.

At some point, our representatives, judges and executive officers must stop projecting how difficult things may be by choosing to be inactive because it’s too difficult to deal with the result and just do what is best. “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead,” said Admiral David Farragut.

The effects of any decision are far reaching. Adoption agencies run by religions would see a change in funding from the federal government. The list stretches endlessly on to the subject of tax shelters. I other words, LGBT people would have rights too. What is the world coming to? Equality I hope.

Justice Anthony Kennedy has only one of nine votes. The SCOTUS is a one-man-band waiting for him to play the song. DOMA defines marriage as, “Between a man and a woman.” Maybe marriage is between a man and a woman. Maybe what needs revision is not the name we give the religious matrimony, but the legal bond between two equal partners.

The arguments are too numerous. The federal government passed a law in 1996 that just isn’t good enough in 2013. Issues of discrimination, individual power of the states, federal interpretation of the 10th Amendment and religious freedom are just a few.

My opinion, if worthy of your ears, lets get a new constitutional amendment. It’s down to the final vote. Final score 5 – 4 Whigs defeat robes.

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