Chief Justice John Roberts may have proven his cousin’s faith in him wrong during today’s hearing into the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). According to Mother Jones Magazine “Roberts: Politicians are ‘falling all over themselves’ to endorse same sex marriage so gays and lesbians have to be ‘politically powerful.’” Of course, The Gays are not so powerful as to be able to get DOMA taken down in the United States House of Representatives.
In so stating this, Roberts has sided with the very men who denigrate his own marriage, which never produced a biological child, and his children, both of whom are adopted.
Though, Roberts is only partially correct. As with the latter half of the 1960′s the majority of the Democratic Party is on the side of history. Indeed, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr announced his support for same-sex marriage today despite his father’s pure homophobic hatred for marriage equality. In fact, Ruben Diaz Sr, a State Senator from New York, was addressing a couple thousand people today at a National Organization for Marriage rally opposing the taking down of DOMA at the time that his son penned:
“My decision, which comes after years of thought and reflection on the issue, is informed by the experiences I have had with close friends, family and loved ones.
“For example, my chief-of-staff, Paul Del Duca, has for decades worked to help the people of this City. He has helped people find housing and jobs, he has dedicated his professional life to assisting those in need. Why, then, should he and his partner Damion—whose wedding I stood witness to—be denied the same rights of any other loving and committed couple? Moreover, why should my niece, Erica Diaz, be denied the ability to get married when her time comes?
“When marriage equality was made legal in 2011, many opponents predicted that it would have negative consequences. That has certainly not been the case. It is my contention that our city and our state are better off than they were before marriage equality became the law. Not only has our city seen an incredible financial impact from marriage equality, the quality of life for myself, my family and my friends has not suffered one bit.”
Among the issues brought up during the oral arguments during US v. Windsor was the fact that DOMA hurts military families. The arguments regarding that are on about page 80 of the transcript.
Allyson Robinson, the Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN, stated that “Gay and lesbian service members and their families are clearly being denied the equal protection under the law that the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution demands – and that discrimination is hurting our country. The stories of military families are among the most compelling examples of how DOMA wreaks havoc on American lives and actually compromises our national security. It’s unconscionable that any American would be asked to risk his or her life to defend this nation and then be treated as a second-class citizen by the military.”
OS-SLDN noted that:
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts today, the real life example of Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who died following a battle with cancer as she and her family were fighting DOMA in court, was brought to light by her widow, Karen Morgan. The surviving spouse, though legally married in the State of New Hampshire, is denied key survivor benefits due to DOMA.
The Morgans are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought in October 2011, McLaughlin v. Panetta, challenging DOMA on behalf of eight gay and lesbian military families. Lead plaintiff in the case, Casey McLaughlin, addressed yesterday’s United For Marriage Rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The McLaughlin case is stayed in the U.S. First Circuit pending the outcome of ongoing Supreme Court consideration in the Windsor Case.
Meanwhile, it appears that the pivotal vote will be Justice Kennedy, but this is not surprising. The hope is that he will be the only person to argue that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of states’ rights and not on gay rights.