John Kerry was most recently on our radar for his attempt to get asylum for a Brazlian man who feared persecution at home. Now he’s generated another blip: The U.S. senator from Massachusetts supports his state’s attorney general suing the federal government over DOMA.
In a statement released yesterday, Kerry applauds Attorney General Martha Coakley’s move. Though it shouldn’t be surprising: He voiced support for GLAD’s anti-DOMA lawsuit in March and has been vocal about killing the law. (Vocal, of course, is not the same as active.)
Kerry, you’ll recall, did not vote for DOMA — he spoke on the Senate floor against it, and voted that way too. Though he doesn’t support same-sex marriage recognition at the federal level, he was against his own state’s version of DOMA as well, and supports civil unions. But he hails from a state where gay marriage is legal — the first state that made it so. And his support for the DOMA lawsuit only further cements Massachussets as among the most progressive in the union.
Is it going too far to say Kerry’s support of these lawsuits represents his support of full-blow marriage rights? Yes, perhaps. But it does show Kerry wants to keep marriage regulation in the hands of the states, where it was until the feds got involved in 1996.
But while a press release announcing his backing for Coakley’s lawsuit is encouraging, we also need action in Congress. Routing this through the court’s is one strategy, but Kerry must work with fellow senators on the Hill to repeal the law — and send it to President Obama, who says he’ll sign it.