On Wednesday Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, will be the site of a court case over the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to married gay couples.
In 2010, Massachusetts judge Joseph Tauro ruled DOMA was unconstitutional because it “interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples an array of federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns,” according to the AP.
But even though President Obama has made it clear his Administration will no longer defend DOMA, there is still someone appealing Tauro’s decision: Yep, House Speaker John Boehner and his Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG).
BLAG has brought in Paul Clement (above), who’s been busy arguing against Obama’s health-care plan before the Supreme Court, to head up the challenge in the Bay State.
In legal briefs filed in court, Clement argues that the challenges to the law appear to be based on the claim that Congress has no legitimate interest in providing a federal definition of marriage and has no choice but to adopt the state definition.
“Congress has multiple rational bases for preferring a uniform federal definition over a patchwork, so DOMA should survive unless there is something categorically different about marriage. There is not,” Clement wrote.
“Congress has ample power to define the terms used in federal statutes to apportion federal benefits and burdens. Any other rule would turn the Supremacy Clause and our entire constitutional structure upside down.”
So not only will gay marriage destroy the institution of marriage, it’ll obliterate the Constitution. What were we thinking?!?
Photo via the U.S. Department of Justice