DOMA's end ? Some fear, yes
The End of DOMA? Fear on the right of legislation which will destroy the Defense of Marriage Act
Peter LaBabera, AFTAH“This appears to be a violation of the spirit and the law of DOMA. DOMA was intended to encourage marriage, the recognition of marriage by the federal government, and this is the repudiation of that,” Labarbera contends. “This is giving marital benefits to both homosexuals and heterosexual ’shack-up’ couples. It’s very bad public policy for the federal government to de-incentivize people getting married…and that’s exactly what this legislation would do.”
In Washington, DC this week , the Senate Homeland Committee passed in a vote of 8-1 a piece of legislation which states that all federal civilian employees - regardless of orientation - must receive family benefits equally under federal law.
To Peter La Barbera, founder of AFTAH ( Americans for Truth about Homosexuality) it is nothing less than the sounding of the death knell for DOMA.
It must be tough living in constant fear of gay marriage. Seriously. Imagine what it’s like to live the life of Maggie Gallagher. Or Brian Brown. Or, Peter LaBarbera. Imagine what it would be like to know that, right around the corner, any moment, marriage equality could become a permanent reality. So, who thinks their world is about to implode?
This time, Peter LaBarbera. For most of you that’s all I need to write, but I’ll give you the rest of the story anyway.
LaBarbera thinks that the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which this week passed 8 – 1 a bill that will give equal family benefits to all federal civilian employees, regardless of orientation, means that the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) is dead.
Yup. It’s that slippery slope we all secretly know and love… (yeah, right!)
LaBarbera, a professional homosexual hater whose day job is executive director of “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality,” (”truth” being, of course, outright lies and mis-information,) says,
“This appears to be a violation of the spirit and the law of DOMA. DOMA was intended to encourage marriage, the recognition of marriage by the federal government, and this is the repudiation of that,” Labarbera contends. “This is giving marital benefits to both homosexuals and heterosexual ’shack-up’ couples. It’s very bad public policy for the federal government to de-incentivize people getting married…and that’s exactly what this legislation would do.”
LaBarbera call it “DOMA-destroying legislation.”
We could only wish it were that easy. Maggie and Brian are probably kicking themselves for not latching onto this fund-raising opportunity first. (Oh, and guess what: We need to thank – as hard as it is right now – Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins for sponsoring the bill. Sorry, but we do.)
However, a conflicting report has said that his action does not signal the actual end of DOMA, which is not expected to be repealed until 2011 , "if then":
This "Respect for Marriage Act" really is the death of DOMA, and sounds a lot like what was passed this week 8-1. Confusing, to say the least, and I intend to research this further;
Pro-family parity lawmakers have a bill that would strike down DOMA. They call it the Respect for Marriage Act; if passed into law, the bill would protect marriage--all marriages, that is--by granting federal-level recognition to families, gay or straight, who had been married in any jurisdiction.
Some family equality advocates do not support the bill because it applies only to married couples, and only five states currently allow for marriage equality; the proposed law would do nothing for families who are only recognized as domestic partners or as having a civil union, or--as is the case in the most anti-gay states--whose relationship is denied any legal recognition at all. It would, however, make the federal rights and protections of married couples portable, allowing them to retain federal recognition of their civil marriage even if they relocate to a state that forbids marriage equality.
But according to a Dec. 10 DC Agenda article, the sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, says that the bill will not pass next year; at the earliest, the bill might be signed into law in 2011--a prediction that assumes a midterm election outcome favorable to marriage equality activists and to the country’s gay and lesbian families.
As matters stand in Congress right now, Nadler says, the bill hasn’t got the support it would need. "The Respect for Marriage Act is a bill that we can’t pass right now," Nadler told DC Agenda, adding that there are also other legislative measures that GLBT equality supporters in Congress are focusing on, such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the end of the military ban on openly gay and lesbian troops. The target to pass those bills is next year, and, says Nadler, "The Respect for Marriage Act comes up after that, maybe at the end of the next Congress, maybe afterward." Added Nadler, "And I think if some of these other bills pass, it’ll become more--the idea becomes less avant garde."
At the moment, the bill has 105 Congressional supporters; Nadler told DC Agenda that work on the bill in the next year would prioritize gaining additional support.
"I don’t think we should begin the conversation about when it’s going to happen" the executive director of Freedom to Marry, Evan Wolfson, told the publication. "I think we should begin the conversation with how do we build support and make it happen."
Added Wolfson, "There are two ways to talk about our movement. One is to talk about what it’s really about, to actually make the case for inclusion and fairness and freedom, to talk about why marriage matters.