Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RE-POST: American Bar Association Passes Resolution Urging Congress for a Partial DOMA Repeal

UPDATE: This story which I posted over a week ago, along with the NEA voting to support full LGBT equality, seems to finally be hitting the news wires. Don't know what the delay was because these are pretty powerful statements coming from powerful organizations. So I've decided to re-post these to the main page.

The American Bar Assocation (ABA) passed a resolution that urges Congress to repeal a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal marital benefits and protections to lawfully married same-sex spouses.

The resolution passed in the ABA's policy-making House of Delegates by an overwhelming voice vote despite the controversy surrounding marriage equality. No on spoke in opposition.

“This is a very modest recommendation, some would even say a conservative recommendation,” said Estelle Rogers, a lawyer with the civil rights group Advancement Project in Washington, D.C.

The measure neither favors nor opposes civil marriage for same-sex couples, she said. It merely urges the federal government to recognize the rights provided by states which allow for such marriages.


  1. Dunno if this is a dumb question. If DOMA is even partially repealed as the ABA recommends ... and a California gay couple were to get married in Massachusetts, then move back to California ... would their legally performed marriage be recognized by the federal government for tax and benefit purposes?

    If so, I daresay the fight for state-by-state marriage would evaporate. I know if I had a marriage licence from anywhere in the U.S. and all federal tax and social security benefits, I wouldn't give a hoot if the California Constitution didn't recognize my marriage.

  2. That's a good question. I would dare to say that if you had a legal marriage certificate, then the federal government would be obligated to recognize it no matter where you lived.

    As for California specifically, if SB 54 passes, then the state would recognize it, too. However, if it doesn't pass, it sounds like (and of course, I'm not a lawyer and am just speculating here) you would get federal benefits but not state benefits.

    Now wouldn't that be ironic.

    Any lawyers want to correct me?

  3. Actually, as I understand it - if SB54 passes, California will recognize legal same-sex marriages that were performed in other states BEFORE November 4, 2008.

    So I'm hoping it passes just so the marriage status of folks in California can be even more absurdly random and arbitrary and obviously something Wrong to anyone with half a brain.