Federal Appeals Court: DOMA Is Unconstitutional

A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.

The Defense of Marriage Act — known as DOMA — defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman. At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. The ruling is a boost for gay rights advocates and the Obama administration, which in a rare move, has refused to defend a federal law in court.

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, a Clinton nominee, and Judge Juan Torruella, a Reagan nominee, joined in the opinion. It is in effect only within states with gay marriage laws covered by the 1st Circuit — Massachusetts and New Hampshire — and has limited enforcement. That means there will be no immediate eligibility for financial benefits currently denied same-sex married couples. No change is likely until the high court decides the matter.

Massachusetts had challenged Section 3 of the law on behalf of a group of seven couples. Similar lawsuits have been filed across the country. A bill known as the Respect for Marriage Act is working its way through Congress and would repeal DOMA. Congressional opponents of DOMA hailed the court’s opinion.

The case was argued in Boston last month. The lawyer for the couples said states have long-standing authority to control and define marriage, and that Congress has no right to intervene through DOMA, clearly designed, said the lawyer, as “disrespect” to lesbians and gays.

Both the California and Massachusetts cases could soon be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The justices would have the discretion to accept one, both, or neither case — perhaps deferring judicial review until a later time, after more lower courts have had time to debate the matter.

Are you for or against DOMA? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment box below!

Source: CNN

Image: The Blaze

OKC Shirts Mocking Seattle Pulled After Death Threats

Apparent death threats were sent the way of Warpaint Clothing, the company that humorlessly put the Lakers and Thunder duds together in a shirt — utilizing the former Seattle SuperSonics logo along the way. As a result, Warpaint has decided to stop selling the shirts because of death threats sent its way in reaction.

Warpaint, through its Twitter feed, didn’t exactly acquit itself well in attempting to defend the shirts it decided to print. From KIRO TV:

A few hours later, the company seemed to take a more conciliatory tone: “So much hate in the world. No disrespect meant. We appreciate where our team came from actually. Put your energy into something positive.”

And later: “We r (sic) saying thank you for such a great organization. We truly appreciate and respect the city of sea (sic).”

Finally, the company said it was dropping the shirt from its website: “After receiving death threats we have decided to take the shirt down offline. Sorry if we offended you Seattle.”

The shrugged shoulder approach doesn’t work, here.

This doesn’t fall directly in line with Miami Heat fans snarkily “thanking” Detroit Pistons backers for giving them the chance to draft Dwyane Wade, or your grandfather “thanking” his brother-in-law from Chicago because his Cubs sent Lou Brock down to St. Louis. This was an entire team that left town, and four years removed, the former Seattle SuperSonics have gone from amongst the worst in the West to a championship contender. This hurts an entire community on a far greater level than your typical, “sporting” taunt.

Death threats? Pretty stupid, Some Dudes From Seattle. This T-shirt? Pretty awful, Some Dudes From Oklahoma City. This can be the end of this particular strain of tactlessness, right? Share your comments with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: My Northwest