Sarasota News Leader

04/12/2013

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Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 OPINION It should not have taken 17 years for DOMA to be challenged, and it might have been challenged earlier if the mayor of San Francisco had continued officiating at the marriages of same-sex partners — which were not illegal acts. Page 61 following the disputed election of 2000, but they had joined forces on this new issue. Their points, in line with their thinking on the due process and equal protection under the law clauses in the Constitution, all seem valid. People in committed relationships should have the right to visit their partners when those partners are in the hospital, but many current laws and regulations state that only relatives and spouses may do so. Similar restrictions are written in the form of thousands of laws across the country relative to the IRS, etc. Prop. 8 was only one sentence-long. It indicated that marriage between two men or two women would not be valid or recognized in California. It did not state that such marriages could not be performed and thus be recognized in other states. This would have set up a situation where a marriage performed in California would not have been recognized there but would have been recognized in Mas- However, all Olson and Boies' arguments were based upon their understanding of the sachusetts, for example. law and their views of morality and of those Allowing that situation to go forward might who agreed with them — all very goody-goody have brought the states rights advocates and well meaning, but would these be strong into the mix (perhaps against their will), and enough to convenience Justices Samuel AliDOMA might have been challenged back in to, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Antonin 2008, right after Prop. 8 was passed. Scalia and Clarence Thomas? Coming in second in the Boston marathon is commendable MOVING FROM THEN TO NOW but not quite so great in a case before the SuSupport of same-sex marriage has been grow- preme Court. ing over the years, state by state, partly be- Instead of looking at the Constitution and the cause there does not seem to be any con- issue of right versus wrong, perhaps a more crete evidence that marriages of gays and direct approach would be to look at the very lesbians have harmed heterosexual couples. basis of both Prop. 8 and DOMA: the definition Just talking about the subject in a reasonable of marriage — the key word being definition way has helped as well. One such discussion and, of course, what is being defined; not martook place on TV back in 2010 when, on Bill riage, but who is being married — the man Moyers' Journal, Moyers spoke with lawyers and the woman. Ted Olson and David Boies about their legal challenge to Prop. 8. They had opposed each Once the words Man and Woman are defined, other as the attorneys in Bush v. Gore before all else falls into place. Certainly the Constituthe Supreme Court when it heard that case tion and morality are to be the building blocks

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