Yet another federal court has ruled DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional, and thanks to John Boehner, your tax dollars were spent defending it, this time in the Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management case. DOMA is the 1996 law that bans same-sex couples from receiving legal federal recognition of their union — and about 1100 benefits afforded automatically to heterosexual couples — and defines marriage as one man, one woman.
The judge in today’s decision was California District Court Judge Jeffery White, who was appointed by George W. Bush ten years ago. Ironic, isn’t it?
The Raw Story notes:
“The argument that the definition of marriage should remain the same for the definition’s sake is a circular argument, not a rational justification,” Judge Jeffery White wrote in his decision. “Simply stating what has always been does not address the reasons for it. The mere fact that prior law, history, tradition, the dictionary and the Bible have defined a term does not give that definition a rational basis, it merely states what has been.”
MetroWeekly explains today’s decision in full. Here is an excerpt:
Golinski, a federal court employee, brought suit after her request was denied. She is represented by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Because President Obama and the Department of Justice have stopped defending Section 3 of DOMA in court challenges, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — led by House Republican leadership — had opposed Golinski’s request in court.
In conclusion, White finds and orders:
In this matter, the Court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.
Accordingly, the Court issues a permanent injunction enjoining defendants, and those acting at their direction or on their behalf, from interfering with the enrollment of Ms. Golinski’s wife in her family health benefits plan.
A few important notes also.
First, this is now at least the sixth time anti-marriage equality laws have been found unconstitutional by the federal courts. (Possibly more — feel free to add to the list!)
Prop 8 was found unconstitutional by United States District Court Judge Vaughn Walker on August 4, 2010.
Prop 8 again was found unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 7, 2012.
DOMA was declared unconstitutional by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro in two cases on July 8, 2010.
DOMA was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California on June 13, 2011, and in an historic break with tradition, the decision was signed by 20 of the District’s 24 judges.
Today’s case was defended by John Boehner’s “Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group,” or BLAG — with a portion of the at least $500,000 to $1.5 million set aside by the House to “defend” DOMA, a law now decreed unconstitutional four times.
Your tax dollars, hard at work, brought to you by the GOP.
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