Marriage Protection Act

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by KinkGuy, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. KinkGuy

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    Sorry this is so long, but I just had to.

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed on Thursday a bill that restricts federal courts from hearing challenges from same-sex couples to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.


    The U.S. House of Representatives passed on Thursday a rare type of bill that restricts federal courts from hearing challenges to a law, in this case the Defense of Marriage Act.

    The 233-194 vote on the Marriage Protection Act (MPA) comes one week after the Senate defeated a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

    Civil rights advocates immediately denounced the House vote.

    "This unconstitutional bill violates the notion of Equal Protection by excluding an entire segment of Americans from ever having their day in court," Christopher E. Anders, an ACLU legislative counsel, said in a prepared statement. "By making gay and lesbian couples second class citizens, House leaders are letting politics rise above the interests of the American people."

    The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest GLBT political group, accused the House of passing the measure in order to distract attention away from the 9/11 Commission's report, which was released Thursday and criticizes the government's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    The MPA proposes to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and woman and grants states authority to decide whether to recognize same-sex unions that have been sanctioned elsewhere. Under the MPA, for example, a gay couple who legally marries in Massachusetts and then moves to Virginia, which does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions, could not appeal to federal courts to have the marriage recognized.

    Advocates for the bill saw it as a way to prevent "activist judges" from rewriting marriage law. According to Associated Press, the Bush administration supports the legislation.

    Gay Republicans called it an act of "political desperation" from the party's right wing in retaliation for the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment last week in the Senate.

    "Instead of amending the Constitution, they (GOP conservatives) now seek to undermine it," said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.

    A companion MPA bill has not yet been introduced into the Senate.

    The last time such a "court-stripping" measure passed was in 1868, during the nation's reconstruction after the Civil War. Other such measures considered since then rarely made it out of committee because they were considered unconstitutional.

    The bill, H.R. 3313, was sponsored by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind.
     
  2. jonb

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    I don't think Congress can do that legally. Most of the time, it is unconstitutional.
     
  3. BobLeeSwagger

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    They can pass it. It just tends to get thrown out by the federal courts. Even on arcane issues, the court system doesn't like being told what they can and can't rule on. Even when those kinds of changes make some kind of sense (like a presidential line-item veto), the Supreme Court negates it as defying separation of powers and checks and balances.
     
  4. KinkGuy

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    It passed in the House, yesterday. :(
     
  5. mindseye

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    Yes, it passed in the House. And -- if passed in the Senate, it will get struck down by the Supreme Court.

    Which gives the GOP another talking point: They "stood up for traditional values", and were blocked by "liberal activist judges". The Marriage Protection Act is designed to give the GOP fuel for the upcoming elections, and was not seriously intended as a piece of legislation.
     
  6. KinkGuy

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    There is the added bonus for the right of fueling hate, which is maybe the most frightening aspect of all.
     
  7. jay_too

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    Replace "the right" with "the wrong" and I agree.

    jay
     
  8. jonb

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    It's funny because 7 out of 9 of the judges are Republicans. Either way, the last case of actual judicial activism was Duro v. Reina. It said that non-Indians had immunity on reservations, even for homicide. That's more in line with Bush's view of Indians, also unconstitutional, where he says states have the power. At this point, I'm convinced no one in Washington has ever read the constitution.
     
  9. KinkGuy

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    Oh, they've read it. They just don't like it. Hell, it's time to changed that damn, antiquated ratty old piece of paper. :angry:
     
  10. madame_zora

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    Oh, they've read it. They just don't like it. Hell, it's time to changed that damn, antiquated ratty old piece of paper. :angry: [/b][/quote]
    Sure, why pay attention to something that worked to create our entire way of life?

    Love the "balls out" avatar, Kinkguy, it suits your personality!
     
  11. KinkGuy

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    Thanks, Madame. Lousy pic, but hey, balls to the wall.
     
  12. jonb

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    Actually, "balls to the wall" has nothing to do with testicles, but hey, balls to the wall.
     
  13. madame_zora

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    Of course, "in your face" is nice too, or in mine!
     
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