Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NYT: The Future of Gay Marriage

With George Zimmerman literally getting away with murder of a young black and the United States Supreme Court's cowardice in its narrow ruling in the Proposition 8 case last month, one thing is clear about America: some citizens are deemed lesser in their rights and humanity than others and America's laws reinforce this inequality and at best second class  citizenship.   In a main page editorial, the New York Times laments the situation and slams New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his cowardice in pandering to Christofascists on the issue of marriage equality in New Jersey.  Here are excerpts:

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, is standing by his 2012 veto of a measure to allow gay couples to marry and is refusing to free Republican legislators to follow their conscience on an override vote. Mr. Christie is imposing a large ideological tax on thousands of couples and their families whose interests he is supposed to protect. He is depriving them of federal benefits, which their tax payments help underwrite.

The Defense of Marriage Act ruling struck a blow against injustice, but it also accentuated the unfairness to same-sex couples who would like to get married but live in states that do not permit it and therefore cannot take the same advantage of more than 1,000 federal benefits available to other couples (unless they get married in one of the states where same-sex marriage is legal). By disposing of the California case on narrow procedural grounds, the Supreme Court avoided the necessary reckoning about the fundamental violation of equal protection created by state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. It perpetuated a mean and irrational patchwork in which duly wed couples may not be considered married when they cross state borders.  

Eliminating that unfair system will require a multipronged effort — to add more states to the list of 13 that permit same-sex marriage and to challenge remaining state laws that violate the standards of equal protection as the Defense of Marriage Act did. Last Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a challenge to a Pennsylvania law that allows marriage only between a man and a woman and rejects other states’ marriage equality laws.

These suits aim to build on Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, including his insight that the federal government’s refusal to recognize some marriages denied married same-sex couples a “status of immense import” and deprived children of “the integrity and closeness of their own family.” The same can be said of denying gay couples the right to marry in the first place, . . . . .

House Republicans spent millions of taxpayer dollars on private lawyers’ fees to defend the Defense of Marriage Act’s indefensible discrimination when the Obama administration decided it would no longer do so.

Even now, though, there is a serious risk that legally married individuals will lose out on valuable Social Security and veterans’ benefits because language in the applicable statutes seems to determine whether couples are married based on where they live rather than where their marriage was celebrated.  

The Times gets it right.  These bans on gay marriage do not "protect marriage."  They have one purpose and only one purpose: to harm sames sex couples and punish them for failing to conform to Christofascist religious dogma.  Once again, religion proves itself to be a vicious evil.  Shame on Chris Christie.

No comments: