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DOMA and Gay Marriage
Transcript of DOMA and Gay Marriage
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) enacted September 21, 1996, is a United States federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. It also effectively barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as "spouses" for purposes of federal laws, or receiving federal marriage benefits. DOMA passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September 1996.
What DOMA Accomplished:
By defining "spouse" and its related terms to signify a heterosexual couple in a recognized marriage, DOMA did not recognize same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, social security survivors' benefits, immigration, bankruptcy, and the filing of joint tax returns, as well as excluding same-sex spouses from the scope of laws protecting families of federal officers, laws evaluating financial aid eligibility, and federal ethics laws applicable to opposite-sex spouses.
The Inequalities within DOMA...
Clinton – along with key legislators – later advocated for DOMA's repeal. The Obama administration announced in 2011 that it had concluded Section 3 was unconstitutional and, though it would continue to enforce the law while it existed, it would no longer defend it in court. In United States v. Windsor (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
POLLING DATA: In Colorado, only 22% of voters believe that there should be no legal recognition of relationships between same-sex couples, and a majority (53%) of Coloradans say the freedom to marry should be available for all couples.
(Public Policy Polling, April, 2012)
Statistics on Colorado
Gay Marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act
How does DOMA affect Colorado?
How is Colorado Reacting to Civil Unions so far?
Consider the following arguments for and against gay marriage in this country:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on homosexuality
In 2006, anti-gay forces in Colorado pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment that excluded same-sex couples from marriage.
In 2009, Colorado approved the Designated Beneficiary Agreements Act of 2009, allowing same-sex couples to access some of the benefits that marriage affords.
On March 21, 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law to allow same-sex couples to join together in civil union. The law takes effect on May 1.
In February 2011, the Colorado legislature considered the Colorado Civil Union Act of 2011, which passed out of the state Senate but failed in the House. In May 2012, the Colorado legislature was set to discuss the Colorado Civil Union Act of 2012, which would have granted same-sex couples some of the benefits of marriage. However, due to legislative inaction and a refusal to discuss the bill, the legislation failed.
Timeline of Civil Unions in Colorado
On April 17, 2013 New Zealand's parliament approved an amendment to their 1955 marriage laws. The country became the first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow same-sex marriage.
The Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage in 2001 when their Parliament voted 107-33 to eliminate discrimination from their marriage laws
Belgium became the second country to legalize equal marriage in 2003. Without fanfare, 91 of the 122 deputies in the Belgian Parliament voted for the change. Currently, 3% of all Belgian marriages are between homosexuals
In most of Africa, homosexuality is illegal and gay marriage unthinkable. But in South Africa, gay rights were enshrined in the post-apartheid constitution and same-sex marriage has been legal since the Civil Union Act came into force on November 30, 2006.
Some Global Perspectives of Gay Marriage
In Japan, homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness, but many gays still feel pressure to go through a sham heterosexual marriage. Japan is more progressive than most of Asia.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Homosexuality in Iran
The predominantly Catholic country of Argentina became the first Latin American nation to legalize gay marriage by the narrow vote of 33 to 27 in 2010. Pope Francis, then known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, called the bill a "destructive attack on God's plan."
It took a two-year journey filled with court battles before Canada's house of commons voted to make gay marriage legal in the entire country, as opposed to just in nine out of the 13 provinces and territories. Social conservatives tried to overturn the law in 2006 but failed.
Gay Marriage in the US
Equality for all people
When announced MPs and observers broke into applause and cheers, and then someone started singing, "Pokarekare Ana," a very popular Maori love song.
Same-sex unions have been legally recognized in Brazil since 2004. Same-sex marriage has been a right of all same-sex couples to access since May 14, 2013.
Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, following the adoption of a new, gender-neutral law on marriage by the Swedish parliament on April 1, 2009, making Sweden the seventh country in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples nationwide.
"It's Not Natural"
"Marriage is for Procreation"
"It's Against My Religion"
"It's a Threat to the Sanctity of (Opposite-Sex) Marriage"
"It Will Harm the Children"
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Portugal since June 5, 2010.
"It Will Lead to Marriage Involving Animals, Siblings, Children, or Groups of People!"
Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iceland since June 27, 2010. No members of parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggest that the bill is very popular in Iceland.
USA LGBT Timeline
How has gay marriage/civil unions affected you, or your friends and family?
1948: In Perez v. Sharp, California Supreme Court becomes first state high court to declare a ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, overturns all state bans on interracial marriage,
declaring that the “freedom to marry” belongs to all Americans.
During the 1940s, '50s and '60s, sociologists and psychiatrists remained adamant that marriage required strict adherence to traditional feminine and masculine roles. In 1964...the American Medical Association described beating as a "more or less" satisfactory way for an "aggressive, efficient, masculine" wife to "be punished for her castrating activity" and for a husband to "re-establish his masculine identity."
During the 1970s and 1980s, however, a new revolution in marriage rolled across North America and Europe. As feminists pressed for the repeal of "head and master" laws enshrining male authority in the household, legal codes were rewritten so that they no longer assigned different rights and duties by gender.
Because of how marriage has evolved over time many now view gay marriage not as revolutionary, just the next step in our culture's evolution.
A Brief History of Marriage Laws in the US
1691: Virginia enacts a law stating that if a white person (bond or free) marries a person of color (Negro, mulatto, or Indian), the couple will be banished from the colony. Banishment means almost certain death in the woods.
1724: Article VIII of the Louisiana Black Code forbids marriages between slaves without the consent of the slave master.
1769: American colonies based their laws on the English common law, which said, “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law. The very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing and protection she performs everything.”
1839: The first state (Mississippi) grants women the right to hold property in their own name, with their husbands’ permission. By 1900 all states had legislation granting women some control over their property and earnings.
1855: In Missouri v. Celia, a Slave, a Black woman is declared to be property without a right to defend herself against a master’s act of rape.
1865: The Mississippi Black Code prohibits Blacks from marrying whites, punishable by life imprisonment.
1981: Kirchberg v. Feenstra overturns state laws designating a husband “head and master” with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife.
Colorado law states that a man cannot marry his wife’s grandmother.
In Arkansas, a husband can beat his wife, but not more than once a month.
In Vermont, A wife needs a husband’s permission to wear false teeth
A representative from Oklahoma attempted to lower the divorce rate by proposing a law that would require the following before a marriage license would be issued:
neither party should snore, at least one meal a week should be prepared by the non-primary cook, toothpaste should be squeezed from the bottom of the tube, pantyhose shouldn’t be left hanging in the shower, and the toilet seat should always be down when not being used.
In Nebraska , anyone with gonorrhea can not get married
Marriage by proxy, which means someone stands in for a bride/groom who can't be present at his/her wedding, is limited to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. But of the four states that allow the practice — California, Colorado, Texas and Montana — Montana is the only one that allows double-proxy weddings. Essentially, neither the bride nor groom has to show up.
For a few months between 2007 and 2008, anyone under 18 could get married in Arkansas with parental consent. (Yes, even babies — as their parents agreed!) The original law was meant to allow pregnant teenagers to get married if their parents approved, but lawmakers forgot to put in an age minimum. The law was corrected in April 2008, making the minimum age 17 for boys and 16 for girls
In Delaware, along with the basic reasons such as marrying "without the capacity to consent" or "under duress," couples can now check "because of a jest or dare" when applying to dissolve their nuptials.
In Kentucky, it's illegal to remarry the same man four times. Of course, as long as it's different men, you can get married and divorced as many times as you like.
In Massachusetts, apparently, married couples are not allowed to sleep in the nude in a rented room. And, in Truro, MA a groom-to-be must "prove himself manly" by hunting and killing either six blackbirds or three crows.
In South Carolina it's illegal for a man over 16 years old to propose marriage and not mean it. Doing so means he's committing a misdemeanor under the Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act.
In Wichita, KS, a man's mistreatment of his mother-in-law may not be used as grounds for divorce.
New Orleans has made it illegal for palm readers, fortune tellers, mystics and the like to officiate a wedding.
There is also a law in South Carolina that allows a husband to beat his wife on the courthouse steps on a Sunday.
In Michigan, a woman’s hair belongs to her husband
First cousins may marry in Utah, but only after they’re 65 years old.
Unique Marriage Laws in the USA
A brief history of marriage and love from Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.
The Bible defines it many different ways
History of Marriage
Monogamy, the predecessor of formal marriage, may have evolved as recently as 20,000 years ago.
The institution of marriage pre-dates recorded history. The way in which a marriage is conducted and its rules and ramifications has changed over time, as has the institution itself, depending on the culture or demographic of the time.
Marriage Practices throughout the World
A form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime or at any one time.
A form of polygamy when a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives.
Draupadi with her 5 husbands.
A form of polygamy whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. Polyandry is prohibited by Judaism, Islam, and the vast majority of Hindu and Christian denominations; neither is it legally recognized in most countries, including those that permit polygyny.
A form of polyamory in which a marriage-like arrangement exists between more than two people. Usually consisting of three to six adults, all partners live together, share finances, children, and household responsibilities. Depending on the sexual orientation of the members, all adults in the family are sexual partners.
Marriage During the Middle Ages of Europe
- In the middle ages, children were married at a young age. Girls were as young as 12 when they married, and boys as young as 14.
- The arrangement of the marriage was based on monetary worth. The family of the girl who was to be married gave a dowry, or donation, to the boy she was to marry. The dowry went with her at the time of the marriage and stayed with the boy forever.
- There were several reasons for prohibiting a marriage. One reason that prohibited marriage, but were not grounds for a divorce, were rape, adultery and incest.
- A couple could not be married by someone who had killed someone.
- A marriage could end if the woman, not the man, was incapable of sexual relations.
source: Amt, Emilie. Women's Lives in Medieval Europe.New York, Routledge:1993
England and Wales passed a Marriage Equality Law on July 17th, 2013 making it the 16th country to pass a law allowing same sex marriage.
One society that traditionally did without marriage entirely was that of the Na of Yunnan province in southern China. Sexual liaisons among the Na took place in the form of "visits" initiated by either men or women, each of whom might have two or three partners each at any given time (and as many as two hundred throughout a lifetime). The nonexistence of fathers in the Na family unit was consistent with their practice of siblings and their offspring living with their maternal relatives.
In China a ghost marriage is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased. Other forms of ghost marriage are practiced worldwide, from Sudan, to India, to France since 1959.
Because of how marriage has evolved over time, many now view gay marriage not as revolutionary, just the next step in our culture's evolution.
Gay Marriage: The Next Step
Russian President Vladimir Putin passed a
draconian law that calls for the arrest of any one who is openly gay or supportive of gay rights. This includes tourists.
Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdottir (the first openly gay head of state government in the world) got married the first day same-sex marriage was recognized in Iceland. She and partner Jonina Leosdottir (right) had a civil union and then filed for it to become a marriage as soon as it was legal.
Members of Uruguay’s Congress vote on a bill to allow same-sex marriages on April 10th, 2013