New…ish Challenges to DOMA

This Monday, the New York Times published an article on recent challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, unfortunately titled “Gay Couples Begin Attack on U.S. Marriage Law,” as if we homos are solely responsible for the “denegration,” to some morally righteous minds, of the “sanctity” of the institution of marriage. The article, which can be read [here], cites a handful of couples who are challenging the legality of DOMA based on the grounds that their respective marriages, in states like Massachusetts and Vermont, do not ensure them any of the 1138 federal rights and benefits awarded to people whose marriages are recognized by the federal government.

One couple cited in the case, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, were featured in the beautiful 2010 documentary, Edie and Thea: A Lifelong Engagement.

What the existence of these challenges to DOMA recognize, at base, is that marriage IS a civil contract. These couples are not asking for religious benefits granted on behalf of a particular faith; no, they are asking for federal rights and benefits provided by the “government”– not a religious institution. The fact that the Obama Administration continues to support DOMA and that bigots continue to protest the recognition of all marriages between two people (although, that chair over there is looking mighty seksi….) based on a fundamentally incorrect understanding of the Constitution as derived from the “Christian Bible” (forget which one or which edition — any will do, it seems), in addition to a failure to  understand the Constitution as a living document (you know, if people other than “white” men want the right to vote, por ejemplo), completely baffles me and, frankly, effin’ pisses me off.

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