Justin's HIV Journal

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Supreme Court Prop 8 and DOMA Rally

I work in downtown Washington DC and I love it.  But recently did you know that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and Prop 8 is having a hearing at the Supreme Court to determine whether or not they are constitutional.  Lets first start with the facts shall we?

PROP 8: is a California state constitution amendment which passed in late 2008 in there state elections. 

Proposition 8 came directly from Proposition 22, which states that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the state of California.  BUT the Supreme Court of California decided in 2008 that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional which would leave up to the voters in late 2008 when they had their state elections.  Since California has a huge gay population with liberal alike people thought it would definitely turn in the liberals favor.  But alas it did not.  MORMONS, MORMONS MORMONS!!!!. (Not saying ALL Mormons are bad) Well hearing all this money was being secretly raised by those in the Mormon faith to ban same sex marriage in California once and for all.  Also the advocates for same sex marriage made one mistake as well.  People needed to take the message of same sex marriage outside the borders of cities that were already known to be liberal and start hitting more conservative parts of the state which did not happen. 

(PSSSTTT I was a canvasser for same-sex marriage in Maryland.  You know, going door to door advocating for it.  Well that's what we did hear in Maryland AND IT SEEMED TO WORK, point of reflection).

After the voted were counted in late November 2008 all in all the Proposition would add the amendment to California's constitution that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. BUT the U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 on August 4, 2010 because of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger. The Honorable Judge Vaughn Walker decided that  Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Walker then filed that Proposition was not to be enforced until the appeal which would not be held until February 7th, 2012, when the circuit court ultimately agreed with Walker's ruling. Walker was also under scrutiny because he himself was gay, but was later to be excused because the law was unconstitutional which had nothing to do with Walker's sexuality.  But the court still said that no more marriages can take place until further appeals take place.  On June 5th 2012 was court denied hearing anymore cases on Proposition 8, so opponents of Prop 8 filed to request that the Supreme Court review the case, on July 30, 2012. On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court granted the proponents' petition.  The Supreme Court is looking into if this is constitutional and heard arguments on March 26th, 2013.

DOMA: is a Federal law that restricts benefits and marriage recognition to ONLY opposite sex marriages in the United States.  Unfortunately, in 1996 the after passing both the houses in the U.S Congress the bill it was signed into law by one of my favorite President Bill Clinton.  The former President now regrets having signed DOMA into law and wishes he could take it back.  Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have gone on record in support of same-sex marriage.  One of the main problems with DOMA was Section 3.  Section 3 states that when it came to same-sex marriage federal benefits like insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns are NOT recognized. 

After 8 years of a lack in leadership from Former President Bush, President Barack Obama was voted into office.  The Obama administration determined that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional and said that it would not defend it in court.  Republican leaders decided to use the Dept of Justice to try to defend it in court, but Section 3 would be later found unconstitutional by 8 federal courts.  The main issues that people spoke on were issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.  The Supreme Court on March 27th, 2013 heard arguments on both sides.