23 February 2011

DOMA: Defense of What?

Imagine this: According to the laws of your state, you are married.  But, according to the Federal government, you're not.

For anyone caught in that predicament, it's more than an inconvenience.  It could mean, among other things, a denial of benefits to the one who's committed his or her life to you.  

That is exactly the bind in which some people have found themselves for years.  While a few states have legalized same-sex marriages, most haven't.  Nor has the Federal Government.  In fact, homophobia is, in essence, encoded in Title 3 of the odious Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  It specifically does not recognize unions between people of the same sex.

Now Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Department of Justice will not defend that statute of DOMA.  While I applaud him on his stance, I wonder how much effect it will really have.  After all, Congress can still uphold it.  And that's what the House of Representatives will almost certainly do.  

So, while I hold out hope, I won't hold my breath.

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