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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Marriage Equality advocates move on to the Defense of Marriage Act repeal

     With more states like Maryland approving same sex marriage many marriage equality advocates are  beginning to organize to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This Act was passed by Congress in 1996 with strong support in both houses of Congress.  At the time voting in favor of gay rights was seen as a losing position politically.  Support for same sex marriage in the general public was only at 28% in 1996.  This percentage has changed significantly and is quickly approaching 50%.
    Like many civil rights issues this question is more likely to be settled by the courts before Congress repeals DOMA.  The Obama administration has decided not to defend the act in court so it has fallen to the House Republicans to support this act when it comes to the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is has six different appeals of DOMA before it now.  The most prominent appeal is from California and the attorneys in this case are the odd couple of David Boies and Ted Olsen.  If these two names sound familiar they were on opposite sides in the Bush v. Gore case in 2000.
    Many advocates of gay rights and marriage are of mixed feelings about having the present Supreme Court ruling on challenges to marriage equality.  The four conservative justices are sure to vote to vote against any attempt to overturn bans on same sex marriage.  As usual the key justice in this decision would come from Justice Anthony Kennedy.   As the last election showed, time is on the side of advocates for marriage equality.  Public opinion is quickly moving to an acceptance of marriage equality, especially among the young who will make up more of the electorate in the next few years.  This civil rights issue will soon be seen in the same light as the civil rights efforts of the 1960's for racial equality.

  You may have noticed that I have had a link to a White House petition for repeal of DOMA on my blog page.   While the President can't repeal DOMA unilaterally it will be sign that their is a growing opposition to the law.

P.S. 1
Speaking of White House petitions the one gaining the most attention is the one for Texas to leave the United States.  It is interesting that 150 years after the Civil War many of the old Confederate States still have a desired to leave the Union.

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