NY Times on ‘A Basic Civil Right’

Today’s NY Times editorializes on the Prop. 8 case on the eve of the June 16th closing arguments:

It’s not possible to know whether the final ruling in this case will broadly confront the overarching denial of equal protection and due process created by prohibiting one segment of society from entering into marriage. The Supreme Court has, in different cases, called marriage “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men” and a “basic civil right.”

The result, even if a win for gay couples, could be a limited ruling confined to the situation in California, where the state’s highest court granted the freedom to marry and voters later repealed it following an ugly campaign spearheaded by antigay religious interests.

But there are actions that can be taken now. States like New York should not put off acting on legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, President Obama extended a modest package of benefits — including day care and relocation allowances — to all partners of federal employees. Congress has a duty to extend to same-sex partners the rest of the benefits that are enjoyed by federal workers whose spouses are of a different sex. It also needs to repeal the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

That’s right. We shouldn’t have to wait for the courts, but that’s where we are. Congress does need to repeal DOMA. The President promised he would do that. Repeatedly. Instead, Obama’s administration is aggressively defending DOMA in the courts.

And, for the record, it was one year ago today, June 11, 2009, that the DOJ filed the infamous “pedophilia and incest” brief defending DOMA. John and I blew that story up open the next day, when we got our hands on the brief. That changed the way many of us viewed the Obama administration. And, they’ve really done nothing bold to earn back that trust. They’re still defending both DOMA and DADT in federal courts across the country. Sure, they given us a few crumbs — and a weak compromise on DADT repeal that doesn’t end the discharges. But, too many of our leaders accept those crumbs and won’t criticize Obama, just so they can keep getting invited to the cocktail parties and movie showings.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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