DOMA, immigration and civil rights

Posted: June 28, 2013 by jennroig in Commentary, English
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

lawThere has been a lot of media echo lately pretty much about three issues that have involved decision makers in two branches of goverment, legislative and judicial. Basically these are the Supreme Court’s decissions over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the Senate passing the immigration bill.

Let’s break this down in a very palatable way for those who get lost on the technicalities and may be still confused about meanings:

DOMA does not support the gay agenda. It does exactly the opposite. It “defends” the exclusivity of male-female marriage. Ergo, if you have gay friends and think they are entitled to the same benefits that straight couples can get out of marriage, then you can’t support DOMA, and you should be happy for this outcome. DOMA is so old-fashion and prejudicial, that even Pres. Bill Clinton, the guy who signed it back in 1996, have publicly declared that he regrets it.

However, and read carefully this next sentences, ruling DOMA as unconstitutional does not imply that gays will be able to get married in every state of the Union. So far, only 12 states have passed laws allowing same sex marriage. You can find a list here. And if you asked yourself what happens if you or your gay friends get married in New York and moved to Florida, the answer is that they will only be entitled to the federal benefits, not the state’s benefits. Whatever these might be according each state. So there’s still a lot of job to be done in terms of equal rights for everyone.

Finally, I think that marriage is an outdated institution, that historically has been quite offensive and burdening against women, enabling men to treat us like property, but I also recognize that at least in this country, the cost of living goes down once you start paying as Mrs. X. So, I support the right of everybody to enjoy the same benefits. And it’s also fair gays have to start paying for divorce.

1965 Voting Rights Act: In this case, the Supreme Court has struck down a component of this Act. According The New York Times, “freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.” The vote was tight, 5-4. This is seen as a “key part” of the Act, and reactions have been all over the table, with Americans divided: 49% thinking it is still needed and 44% arguing that it’s no longer necessary because the country has changed in terms of racial discrimination.

Reactions have been passionate against the decision. Al Sharpton said to MSNBC that the news was “devastating”, that the Court had “revoked” and “canceled” part of Martin Luther King’s “dream.” On the other hand, Spencer Overton, a law professor at George Washington University and author of the book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression, asked by Al Jazeera, referred to a study conducted in 2008 which shows that people from the states covered by this act’s component still believed the most predudicial stereotypes about blacks in the USA.  

The consequences of this decision, whether the majority of the justices were right or wrong, are still to be seen. Anyway, I’m inclined to think they shouldn’t have changed it.

The immigration bill: Yes, there was a historic moment in the USA Senate yesterday, when the bill passed with bipartisan support and 68 votes in favor. Nice. On the one hand the Senate managed to agree on something, and it’s also a very important issue that could relieve the situation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA. Especially it would be awesome for the Dreames.

But there’s no reason to celebrate yet. The bill must take its way to The House and there’s little hope for it among the Representatives there. The House majority is Republicans, and it seems there’s no human power able to convince them that this could be a nice way to please Hispanics. They can change the bill to the extent of making it unrecognizable, or they can just kill it.

Anyway, it is not an ideal solution. It imposes so high standards for immigrants to meet, and it would cost so much to tax payers in border security hoping very questionable results, that personally I would pass on this bill waiting for something more reasonable, more comprehensive, less burdensome.

  1. higley7 says:

    I do not know what kind of marriage you are in but I have no sense that I own my wife in any way. Are you into dominance games?

    So, do you think the family is outmoded, also? Marriage has been and is defined in religions for 1000s of years and no government has the right to rewrite or redefine a religion. Freedom of religion includes not having your religion altered by the government.

    • jennroig says:

      I’m not married. I have never been married, because I don’t need a paper to certify my relationships.

      Regarding your argument about religion, what religion do you mean? Like in the Bible maybe, King Solomon and his hundreds of wives style?

      Finally, no government is altering your religion, or any religion for that matter. Why do you care who marries who? Freedoms has to be for everyone, or it’s no freedom at all.

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