Smelt It, Dealt It

The Lawsuit That Tackles Just About Every Same-Sex Marriage Issue Ever


Who needs the California Supreme Court to decide whether Prop 8 violates the State Constitution when you can take the matter all the way up to the feds?

Enter Smelt v. United States of America, a lawsuit we love simply because of that “v. United States of America” part, which we want embroidered on a sofa pillow. (We also want to be able to make “Whoever Smelt It” jokes.) Filed by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who married in California during that pre-Prop 8 window of legalization, the suit alleges that banning gay marriage, like, violates our constitutional rights. Of the United States of America!

(Smelt’s case was filed in state court in December, and moved to federal court in March, though has received little press attention.)

Unrelated to the California Supreme Court’s decision on Strauss v. Horton, Smelt’s case asks a federal court to invalidate Prop 8 and order “gender neutral” language in all marriage-related legislation. And while they’re at it, how about repealing all state bans on same-sex marriage as well as the Defense of Marriage Act?

Summarizing Smelt’s arguments, relays:

1. The refusal of California and other states and the federal government to recognize a lawful, same sex marriage results in denial of thousands of rights, protections, and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on opposite sex couples.

2. The denial of full recognition of same sex marriage in other states denies same sex couples the right to travel and establish residency in other states.

3. DOMA is gender specific and denies recognition of a legal same sex marriage on a federal level.

4. DOMA provides that states do not need to recognize a lawful same sex marriage from another state, therefore restricting rights to same sex couples to specific jurisdictions in contrast to opposite sex couples which have no similiar hindrances.

The full case is available here for those of you who get off on legalese.

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