The Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional yet again, this time thanks to one of this nation's most conservative federal judges:
A federal appeals court in Manhattan today struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, becoming the second such court to do so and making it that much more likely that the issue will be decided by the Supreme Court sooner than later.Nice to see that there is at least one conservative judge who isn't a full-blown ideologue.
Here is the main point of the ruling:
[W]e conclude that review of Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court uses certain factors to decide whether a new classification qualifies as a quasi-suspect class. They include: A) whether the class has been historically “subjected to discrimination,”; B) whether the class has a defining characteristic that “frequently bears [a] relation to ability to perform or contribute to society,” C) whether the class exhibits “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group;” and D) whether the class is “a minority or politically powerless.” Immutability and lack of political power are not strictly necessary factors to identify a suspect class. Nevertheless, immutability and political power are indicative, and we consider them here. In this case, all four factors justify heightened scrutiny: A) homosexuals as a group have historically endured persecution and discrimination; B) homosexuality has no relation to aptitude or ability to contribute to society; C) homosexuals are a discernible group with non-obvious distinguishing characteristics, especially in the subset of those who enter same-sex marriages; and D) the class remains a politically weakened minority.This language is a really big deal, according to Ian Millhiser over at Think Progress:
This is a really big deal. Jacobs is not simply saying that DOMA imposes unique and unconstitutional burdens on gay couples, he is saying that any attempt by government to discriminate against gay people must have an “exceedingly persuasive” justification. This is the same very skeptical standard afforded to laws that discriminate against women. If Jacobs’ reasoning is adopted by the Supreme Court, it will be a sweeping victory for gay rights, likely causing state discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be virtually eliminated. And the fact that this decision came from such a conservative judge makes it all the more likely that DOMA will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.It won't be too many decades before gay marriage is treated the same as all other marriages. The current generation of 20-somethings don't give a shit about sexual orientation, race, etc. The world we be a much better place when people of this generation mature and come to power.