We all have gay friends, gay relatives, gay neighbors, or gay co-workers. (Some of us even have all of the above.) For the first time, it looks like our dear friends and relatives have a real shot at the same legal rights that apply to any married couple, as the Supreme Court listens this morning to arguments against the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. I hope and pray that those rights are finally recognized by the Court, and that the best American traits of generosity and inclusion are reflected in their decision, because to decide otherwise is not only crazy, it’s indecent:
An 83-year-old former IBM programmer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a law that cost her more than a quarter of a million dollars and deprived her, and thousands of other gay couples, of federal marriage benefits.
At issue is the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, passed by overwhelming margins in both houses of Congress in 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton. It bars federal agencies from recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal.
The arguments are being heard just one day after a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which put an end to same-sex marriage in that state, was brought to the high court. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hinted that it might be hesitant to issue any kind of sweeping ruling declaring that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The justices seemed wary of issuing a broad decision that would apply to any state outside of California.
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