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New York appeals court rules DOMA unconstitutional


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New York (CNN) -- A federal appeals court in New York became the nation's second to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, finding that the Clinton-era law's denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

 

The divisive act, which was passed in 1996, bars federal recognition of such marriages and says other states cannot be forced to recognize them.

 

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined Thursday that the federal law violates the Constitution's equal protection clause, ruling in favor of a widow named Edith Windsor, an 82-year-old lesbian who sued the federal government for charging her more than $363,000 in estate taxes after being denied the benefit of spousal deductions.

 

"What I'm feeling is elated," said Windsor. "Did I ever think it could come to be, altogether? ... Not a chance in hell."

 

The case centered on the money Windsor wanted back, but raised the more looming question of whether the federal government can continue to ignore a state's recognition of her marriage and financially penalize her as a result.

 

"Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public," wrote Dennis Jacobs, a conservative judge in New York.

 

A federal appeals court in Boston made a similar ruling in May, but the moves are considered largely symbolic as the issue is expected to eventually be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

"This court has a limited jurisdiction," CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said. "But this is a very favorable decision for those who believe that the Defense of Marriage (Act) unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples."

 

Those who back striking down the law "believe this decision will give them a very strong position arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in the future," he said.

 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also weighed in on the three-judge-panel's decision, saying it "provides further momentum for national progress on this important civil rights issue."

 

In February, the Obama administration ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the law, though a GOP-backed group has since taken up the issue in courts across the country.

 

Currently, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

 

Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota are voting on the issue in November referendums.

 

Five states -- Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island -- currently allow civil unions that provide rights similar to marriage.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/18/justice/new-york-appeals-court-doma/index.html

 

Read the ruling (PDF)

 

I personally have mixed feelings on gay marriage. On one hand, I feel obligated by my faith to say it's a sin and shouldn't be legal. On the other I feel obligated to allow free will and let God be the ultimate judge. And on a "third hand" I feel government shouldn't be in the marriage business at all, straight or gay.

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Only problem is your faith has zero to do with what should be or shouldn't be legal

 

Also keep in mind, that there is the religious ceremony of marriage and there is the legal contract of marriage

 

no one is asking for the church to change what they want to do - but just not deny that two consenting adults can enter into a marriage contract and have the legal protections it affords and remedies when it ends

 

there is a huge difference there ....... once that difference is understood and accepted I don't see how anyone can really oppose it and it will eventually be the norm - until then the courts will have to continue to cycle through things like DOMA

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Ugh, don't even get me started.

 

We all have equal rights here in this ol' country. The same equal rights that grant one freedom of religion grant another freedom to be gay and do gay things. Only at points where these freedoms offset is something generally against the law. That is to say, if I kill you, I've taken your freedom away.

 

The same equal rights allow straight people to be married (and that meaning... the rights to visitation, etc.) should apply to gay people. The church sure as hell doesn't need to recognize if if they don't want to, that's fine. But by stopping gay people from getting married (or equivalently by stopping gay people from having visitation rights, etc.), you are taking away their freedoms.

 

See what I did there?

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Ugh, don't even get me started.

 

We all have equal rights here in this ol' country. The same equal rights that grant one freedom of religion grant another freedom to be gay and do gay things. Only at points where these freedoms offset is something generally against the law. That is to say, if I kill you, I've taken your freedom away.

 

The same equal rights allow straight people to be married (and that meaning... the rights to visitation, etc.) should apply to gay people. The church sure as hell doesn't need to recognize if if they don't want to, that's fine. But by stopping gay people from getting married (or equivalently by stopping gay people from having visitation rights, etc.), you are taking away their freedoms.

 

See what I did there?

 

Governments are allowed to do stuffs that restrict people's (peoples'?) freedoms, and governments can prohibit individuals doing things that don't directly (depending on how you define this word) impact other individuals. It's still a question of where you draw the line.

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Only problem is your faith has zero to do with what should be or shouldn't be legal

 

Also keep in mind, that there is the religious ceremony of marriage and there is the legal contract of marriage

 

no one is asking for the church to change what they want to do - but just not deny that two consenting adults can enter into a marriage contract and have the legal protections it affords and remedies when it ends

 

there is a huge difference there ....... once that difference is understood and accepted I don't see how anyone can really oppose it and it will eventually be the norm - until then the courts will have to continue to cycle through things like DOMA

 

 

In all fairness what you have described is a civil union.

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No one's asking a church to perform a ceremony they don't want. But it's ridiculous that the state, which is a secular institution, should be able to deny same-sex couples the right to a legal marriage (by using religious reasons, since there is no secular reason to deny a same-sex marriage that makes any sense).

 

Next year is going to be a big one, as it's expected that SCOTUS will be hearing a case on DOMA at some point. There are like 5-6 currently working their way through the court system.

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Until this nation has a nationalized religion they really should not be legally allowed to deny any same sex couple the same rights allowed for opposite sex couples.

 

The same should apply to states as well, as this is not really a 10th amendment issue allowing them to do whatever they feel.

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.

 

Or C. I don't buy what people like yourself sell.

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.

 

Or C. I don't buy what people like yourself sell.

 

What exactly am I trying to sell?

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.

 

Or C. I don't buy what people like yourself sell.

 

What exactly am I trying to sell?

 

Your brand of social justice. Now...

 

 

 

Is it working?

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.Your second sentence/paragraph was pure troll magic. I'm going to remember it and use it in the future.

 

 

Define please. I'd like for the definition of troll to be established so that we may use it going forward.

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A couple points - the document you sign when getting married is a "marriage license" - this has different ramifications than a "civil union" ........ I long thought that a compromise would be to change the verbiage of the legal contract entirely for everyone and use that as the basis for laws, insurance, etc.

 

However, there is also resistance to that (mainly emotional) by both sides ..... at this point though, a civil union doesn't carry the same weight and is not adequete

 

also - we do have waterfront property here in AZ and it's relatively expensive (and usually completely manmade) ..... if you have some at a good price, I could be interested :)

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Let the extreme faction of the Republican continue to rule the elections and I wouldnt be totally surprised if that movement is began.

 

 

Ah, you're one of those people. Which website's your poison? The Raw Story? HuffPo? Think Progress?

 

Im none.

 

If you want to believe the tea party (the extreme faction), which won going away in 2010 has done good for this nation in terms of things moving forward and things being accomplished then i have some prime waterfront property to sell you in Arizona.

 

This nation has simply moved to a political system of extremes, if you cannot see this then you either a. live on the extremes or b. simply do not care.

 

This is a joke, right? Look up the tea party darlings' budget proposals. They're total jokes. It's not extreme, whatsoever. In fact, it's an insult that people perceive it to be extreme.

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Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does (82.03%).

 

Reject emissions trading: Stop the "cap and trade" administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. (72.20%).

 

Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification. (69.69%)

 

Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words – the length of the original Constitution. (64.9%).

 

Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities. (63.37%).

 

Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%).

 

Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: De-fund, repeal, and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (56.39%).

 

Pass an "all-of-the-above" energy policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation. (55.5%).

 

Reduce earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%).

 

Reduce taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax, and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011. (53.38%).

 

 

Please, point out the crazy.

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