Thursday, June 27, 2013

Power to the People

United States v. Windsor has  been decided, and there are important and far-reaching consequences to the decision.  I usually refrain from getting too political here, preferring to suggest general ideas about freedom and personal responsibility, but I am perfectly willing to call Democrats liars when the need arises.  Since the Republicans are the primary party lying now, I am absolutely willing to treat them the same.

courtesy of Giovanni Dall'Orto
Issue: Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer married in Canada in 2007, and moved to New York, which recognized the marriage as legitimate.  When Ms. Spyer died in 2009, Ms. Windsor was forced to pay over $365,000 in estate taxes because the Defense of Marriage Act excluded same-sex couples from the definition of marriage.  The IRS refused to refund the tax.  Ms. Windsor then sued because her 5th Amendment equal protections were being denied.  The US was not willing to defend the legality of DOMA in court, but still refused to pay the refund. 

Decided:  DOMA violates due process and equal protection laws.  Same-sex marriages cannot be denied equal rights at the Federal level.

Who's lying: I have unfortunately been frequently listening to CSPAN radio while in the car, and since politicians are primarily the ones speaking, I hear a lot of lies.  In this case, some of the most blatantly false statements I have heard in years are being voiced by Republicans.  I heard several different Republican representatives say, with sincerity in their voices, that the Supreme Court had removed the right of states to decide what laws were proper for that state's residents.

This is the opposite of what happened. 

Most of my readers, and indeed, most people who share any ideas with me at all, believe the Federal government has grown much too large and intrusive into states' business.  These principles apply even if a particular Federal law enforces an idea you believe in, and DOMA is a terrific example of this.  DOMA removed states' rights, refusing to acknowledge at the Federal level an agreement (marriage) that has always been granted by each state. 

United States v. Windsor is a victory against intrusive politicians.  It is a victory for states over our Federal government's overreaching powers.  It is a victory for individual rights.  It is a defense of our most basic and important legal document, the Constitution. And all of those things should be celebrated, no matter which consenting adults you choose to have sexual relations with, or not.



Old NFO said...

It will be interesting to see how this plays out now, considering that a very small contingent of the population has managed to get a law overturned... What is next???

J.R.Shirley said...

It was a clearly unconstitutional law. Seeing unconstitutional laws that take away states' rights overturned is an encouraging step. What's next, indeed.

charlotte g said...

I agree completely. I live in Texas. I wonder if we will see same-sex marriages here In my lifetime. I doubt it. But I hope so.

charlotte g said...

Spot on. Pigs may fly before Texas ever approves, but then, I never underestimate the improving aerodynamics of pigs.

J.R.Shirley said...

Okay, now *that's* funny, Charlotte!