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Marriage in the Court;
DOMA's Destiny

On the day that the first same sex marriage in America took place, in Massachusetts, ten thousand traditional families spontaneously divorced in Nebraska; rugged heterosexual men suddenly found themselves craving cocktails with their chest bump buddies; churches collapsed; tornados tore through the Heartland; and the foundations of America's righteous religious institutions crumbled.  None of that happened; but you'd think it did from all of the holier-than-thou howling from hate mongers of the cloth.  Never doubt the doubt of ignorance.

Explorers, rugged individualists, and those seeking religious freedom came to this wild untamed continent looking for wealth and elbow room.  Just under three hundred years after the first Europeans landed, our nation was formed and the first thing the founders did was start making laws, right after signing the Constitution.

Our Constitution specifically prohibits our lawmakers from making laws that discriminate against any group of Americans.  But, why let a little thing like that stand in the way of the right of ignorance, or false righteous indignation against those who are different, or of domination and discrimination.  The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a law enacted in Congress in the mid 1990s to prohibit same sex marriage by limiting federal recognition of marriage to opposite sex couples and releasing states from the obligation to recognize same sex marriages from other states.  Only now, over a decade and a half later, will the Supreme Court of the United States decide if that law is unconstitutional.

It seems so obvious that this law is a violation of one of the most basic principals in the Constitution, further refined following the Civil War; but nothing is so simple in this land of the free.  Our impartial court is made up of people selected for their political partiality.  I could go on about that; but it would just be playing with words.  The case the court decided to consider involves a New York woman in her eighties who was together with the woman she loved for decades; they married in Canada earlier this century.  They did well in their lives and she inherited a considerable sum; and she had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal tax that a heterosexual widow would not.  It does not take a brain surgeon to realize how wrong that is.  But, it took a Congress of mean spirited people making financial and moral excuses to create this imposition of religious exclusion on civil law.  That too clearly violates the Constitution.

The final decision won't happen until this summer, possibly during Pride month.  What will happen has already been speculated about ad infinitum by pundits; we can only hope for fairness.

The question here is, why is this decision on DOMA's unconstitutionality important to gay service in our nation's armed forces?  Now that gay people can serve openly in pride, we should be entitled to the exact same benefits that all service members earn.  But, we aren't.  Due to DOMA, the Pentagon is forbidden from recognizing the marriages and unions of our brother's and sisters serving our nation.  Family benefits are denied.  A soldier shot in Afghanistan is medivaced to the American Army Medical Center in Landsthul Germany.  If he's a married heterosexual, his spouse will be flown to be at his side there.  If he or she is gay, the spouse is not entitled to this military benefit.  Nor are they allowed to live in on-base housing.  The list goes on and on and also applies to veterans and their families.  Why should our most honored citizens, who have volunteered to put themselves in harms way in our armed forces, be subjected to this discrimination?

If you ask opponents of our rights and freedom about these benefits; they will cite saving money in the military budget, biblical verses, and all sorts of other irrelevant reasons for dividing our service members into two unequal categories.  Its simply based upon unconstitutional prejudice, nothing else.

If I'm good enough to take a bullet for my country; I'm good enough to be treated like all my fellow patriots.

Denny Meyer, Gay Veteran, fmr SFC USAR

  2013 Gay Military Signal