The suffering that [the Defense of Marriage Act] DOMA causes and will cause is very real and it’s cruel. DOMA hurts people who love each other and want to make a commitment to each other for life. DOMA hurts people who want to have kids and adopt kids and raise them and take care of them. DOMA hurts people who want to save up money and retire and live the rest of their lives together with some degree of comfort. DOMA hurts families.

Mr. Chairman, we need to pass this bill. And when we do pass it, straight people aren’t suddenly going to become gay. Straight people aren’t going to stop getting married. We’re going to be just fine, really.

What will happen is that millions upon millions of lesbian and gay Americans aren’t going to suffer the indignity of having their own government tell them that their marriages are no good. What will happen is that it will be easier for those people to start and to protect their families.

Sen. Al Franken at today’s hearing on the Respect For Marriage Act.

Franken sums up the very real, human issues behind DOMA so well. Video here:

I feel Neil Patrick Harris cheering is appropriate.
Bernie Sanders Claims He’s a Longtime Champion of Marriage Equality. It’s Just Not True.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders likes to describe himself as a longtime supporter of marriage equality—in sharp contrast to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinto

“But Sanders is not quite the gay rights visionary his defenders would like us to believe. Sanders did oppose DOMA—but purely on states’ rights grounds. And as recently as 2006, Sanders opposed marriage equality for his adopted home state of Vermont. The senator may have evolved earlier than his primary opponents. But the fact remains that, in the critical early days of the modern marriage equality movement, Sanders was neutral at best and hostile at worst.”

Hillary Clinton declared in her historic speech on the world stage, “Gay rights are Human rights.” 

In this speech, Hillary outlines what she did for LGBTQ people around the world. Her implementations as Secretary of State has made it safer to be LGBT in a world of so much hate. 

Hillary has also worked with the Human Rights Campaign on a variety of issues as New York Senator and she was the first First Lady to march in a gay pride parade. 

Curious why Hillary was asked to speak at the Human Rights Campaign and not Bernie? Watch her speech:

As New York Senator, Hillary fought for stronger hate crime laws and anti-discrimination laws. As Secretary of State, Hillary enacted lifesaving policies and programs that saved LGBTQ people around the globe.


‘Married at First Sight’ puts marriage hypocrisy in full view

In a few short weeks, A&E Network will air the first episode of “Married at First Sight,” a show that weds complete strangers.

“'Married at First Sight,’” reads the official description, “is an extreme social experiment following six brave souls who are yearning for a life-long partnership as they agree to a provocative proposal: getting legally married the moment they first meet. … The couples will never meet or know each other until they walk down the aisle and see each other face-to-face, for the first time, when they get married.”

I love this idea. Not because it will lead to three beautiful, blissful unions. It won’t, obviously. But because it forces us to reckon with, once again, our complete and utter hypocrisy about marriage.

- Heidi Stevens’ new column

New York appeals court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act


A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

BREAKING: Boston appeals court finds the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Will update this post as we get more.

EDIT: The decision is here, in case you’d like to look.

EDIT 2: The law was deemed unconstitutional in part over the denial of federal benefits. A key couple of paragraphs from the decision:

For 150 years, this desire to maintain tradition would alone have been justification enough for almost any statute. This judicial deference has a distinguished lineage, including such figures as Justice Holmes, the second Justice Harlan, and Judges Learned Hand and Henry Friendly. But Supreme Court decisions in the last fifty years call for closer scrutiny of government action touching upon minority group interests and of federal action in areas of traditional state concern.

To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.

Major victory for gay marriage as U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act
The Supreme Court says legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The ill-conceived, misbegotten, politically-inspired H.R. 3396 [Defense of Marriage Act] should not be enacted into law. And if it is, the President should veto it.

It is not the role of the State to uphold the tenets of any religion nor to base its laws on a particular religious belief. The proper province of the State is legislation, not salvation. The State is not the church and does not accept its orders from God.

America is not a theocracy, and it is not the State’s business if a person marries a member of the same sex. In short, Caesar has no responsibility for souls.


Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, (D-Omaha) in a prepared statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on H.R. 3396, May 16, 1996. H.R. 3396 would later become the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’ve posted this once before, but it’s especially relevant this week as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

And Nebraska’s Sen. Ernie Chambers is the goddamn man.