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SCOTUS Brief: DOMA Makes Gays In Congress Immune To Nepotism Charges

supreme courtAn amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court this week claims the Defense of Marriage Act shields gay senators and congresspeople from certain ethics rules.

Currently, members of Congress in same-sex marriages wouldn’t have to report financial details about their spouses. In addition, the nepotism clauses in the Ethics in Government Act only apply to heterosexual couples, which means Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) could hire his partner, Marlon Reis, to be his chauffeur. “This situation presents the very danger of serious conflicts that anti-nepotism laws were enacted to prevent,” the brief states.

“Gay people are neither more nor less ethical than straight people,” said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the brief in advance of the two marriage-equality cases coming before SCOTUS in March. “It is impossible to imagine the Congress that so eagerly passed DOMA would have deliberately exempted same-sex couples from ethics laws if members had considered the issue for even a moment.”

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4 Comments

  • erasure25

    You should have also included this quote from CREW: “If DOMA were not already indefensible on its own, its far-reaching impact on federal laws shows just how irrational the law is.”

    Apparently, this organization does not support DOMA.

  • longpastdue

    I always love it when you can come up with a good reason for people to vote for us…because they hate us. It’s like putting them in a vice.

  • Icebloo

    Unfortunately the Supreme Court is still controlled by the Republicans. The Judges are just puppets. Don’t hold your breath for a good outcome for us. The whole system is corrupt, badly designed and broken.

    When we have sitting Supreme Court Judges spewing anti-gay hatred to the world media and encouring their family to do the same how on earth can that Judge be “impartial” ? We need laws to REMOVE Judges who are not fit to do the job. Unfortunately our pathetic and broken system means we cannot remove them. How embarrasing for us that we have such a bad system and that we all sit back and let this happen time and time again.

  • seggerman

    This complaint was once made at a hearing for marriage equality in the Connecticut Judiciary committee, which was co-chaired by a closet case and an out legislator. The situation was remedied by extending marriage equality to all, so gay and lesbian state legislators who have married their partners have to abide by the same ethics regulations as their straight counterparts. So the quibble is more a reason for marriage equality, not against it.

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