- Posted June 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
House GOP to Ask Supreme Court to Review DOMA
The showdown over same-gender relationships, legal status and equal rights under the Constitution may land in the lap of the Supreme Court much sooner than anyone had thought.
Republican members of the US House of Representatives have signaled their intention to ask the Supreme Court to make a determination about the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
This is a suprise move on the part of GOP lawmakers. The move seems to be in reaction to loss after loss in federal courts in trying to defend DOMA. Perhaps, however, it is in reaction to President Barack Obama's announcing support for same-gender marriage.
Many had thought the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling vacating Proposition 8 in California would be the case that would eventually have the Justices ruling on whether GLBT members had the constitutional right to legal recognition of same-gender unions along with the same rights and privileges afforded straight relationships.
Reportedly, the House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group asked a federal judge in Connecticut to delay consideration of a pending case in the state to allow BLAG to ask the Supreme Court to decide the merits of DOMA.
BLAG has taken on the role of defending DOMA after the President directed the US Justice Department to not defend the law as he felt DOMA was unconstitutional. Since then BLAG has taken up the cause of DOMA.
As a gay male in a long-term relationship, I welcome a review of the Court to determine the constitutionality of DOMA.
At the same time, as has been our tradition in this country, I believe it is still up to each individual state to determine whether to grant marriage, civil union or domestic partnership licenses in each state.
If BLAG does indeed ask the Supremes to intervene, it doesn't mean the Justices will accept to review the matter. The Justices may decide the law is not yet ripe for picking by the Supremes. Then again it would bring some certainty to the issue if the Supreme Court does put it on its fall session.
As I have stated many times, I believe the thorniest issue is the use of the one word marriage in relation to granting GLBT members equal rights and privileges under the law. While many GLBT will accept nothing less than a license with the word marriage on it, for me and my life partner, Iohn, it doesn't matter if it says marriage, civil union or domestic partnership.
To us all that matters is that we be treated with the same equality under the law that is afforded to straight couples in long-term relationships which have been licensed by the state.
From the Cornfield, the significance of this unexpected move by BLAG should not be lost on anyone.
Would BLAG make its appeal to the Supreme Court, however, if the President had not come out for same-gender marriage?