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Now You’re Married, Now You’re Not

by Jean Ann Esselink on February 14, 2014

in Discrimination,DOMA,Families,Jean Ann Esselink,Legislation,News

Post image for Now You’re Married, Now You’re Not

Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and his faithful sidekick Utah Senator Mike Lee have introduced a bill that would effectively “unmarry” any same-sex couple who resides in a marriage inequality state.

The Obama administration has chosen to adopt a “place of celebration” standard for recognizing same-sex marriages – if the wedding took place in a state where it is legal, that marriage remains valid no matter where the couple lives. The new Tea Party legislation would require that the federal government recognize only the marriages of couples who live in a state where such unions are legal.

In other words, if you marry in Maryland, and then move across the border to Virginia, in the eyes of the feds you are no longer married, nor are you eligible for any federal benefits you were collecting in Maryland.

“I support traditional marriage.” Senator Cruz told reporters. “Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.”

The bill is a senate version of one Texas Rep. Randy Weber sponsored in the House last year after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling unraveled the (preposterously named) Defense of Marriage Act, requiring the federal government to recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples.

While there is little chance the bill would pass the Democratic senate, it is a reminder of how fragile the status of same-sex marriages are. A new Republican president could order his administration to use a “place of residency” standard at any time, even without the Cruz-Lee bill ever receiving a vote, taking away the rights of same-sex couples in states that don’t recognize their marrriages with the stroke of a pen.

On the hopeful side? Since the DOMA decision, five federal courts have heard challenges to state laws banning same-sex marriage: Utah, Oklahoma,Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia. State courts in New Jersey and New Mexico also heard same-sex marriage cases.

The score? Marriage Equality – 7. Marriage Inequality States – 0.

Image via Ted Cruz’s Facebook page

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Bose_in_SP_MN February 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm

A notable threshold is being crossed here because of the historic progress made recently. Instead of denying LGBT folks something they've never had, Cruz and Lee are fighting to take away something they do have. (Even if it's still vulnerable to presidential interpretation.)

Such a thing would gnaw at the consciences of reasonable people: Can I do this thing that will hurt real families, victimize kids and leave people unprotected at times they need it most?

But not people like Cruz or Lee, apparently.

LarryRipley February 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

and what our dear bonehead tea party terrorist needs to firmly understand is that today its him taking away a right that has been addressed by SCOTUS and will undoubtedly be upheld yet again when these outstanding suits get to them, so the lesson to learn is that one should tread very carefully when taking away the rights or a segment of society because tomorrow they may come for yours. I guarantee I will not bat an eye or lose one millisecond of sleep when the government and civilized society squarely and firmly plants a big azz boot to the neck of the Tea Party.

sfbob February 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm

The proposal is so obviously unconstitutional. It does something which the Supreme Court has said repeatedly a law may not do: it creates a category of marriages for the express purpose of subjecting the people in those marriages to unfavorable treatment.

Any member of Congress, voting for this proposal, who happens to be an attorney should be brought up on disciplinary charges in front of his or her state bar.

Wilma1961 February 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Question: Is Ted Cruz gay? I ask because of the way he flutters his hands about and the fact that his biggest contributor is gay. Just wondering………

Francis_P_Blair February 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I was a conservative Republican, but now I am a fiscally conservative Independent. Ted Cruz is just another idiot who is destroying the conservative movement with his political circus. I doubt if he is gay, I do not think the GLBTQ would accept him!

I wonder when the Republican Party is going to get back on track and nominate a candidate who could actually win the Presidency. We Cons had best wake up, American voters think we are out-of-touch, McCain and Romney? Even I choked when I voted the "senility" and "elitist" tickets.

Christie was out best shot, and now he has been destroyed. At first I thought it was the Democrats, but now I think it is the big money, paranoid, Koch brother's crowd. The conservative movement is being destroyed by the Republican Party without any help from the Democrats.

I predict Hillary in 2016, and this is NOT good. If we want to win the presidency, we had better find a moderate who will appeal to MODERATE and CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS! With all the noise, few have realized how soft Obama's support really is. However, Obama has won twice, and by historic margins because voters think we Cons are "whack jobs." Acorn and the birther issues COST us votes, they were seen as "petty" distractions by Independent voters.

I am an independent because I am ashamed to be a Republican. We Cons would do well to learn what Democrats already know. Do not mess with the gays, they know everyone's naughty secrets, and they NEVER forget. One wrong comment at the water cooler, and your career path closes.

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