Russia, DOMA, and Why “Same Love” Isn’t My Anthem Right Now

Published July 24, 2013 by auddity

So I was reading up on DOMA for this post because I actually didn’t know that much about it. Or, I was reading about the Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional. I wasn’t all that thrilled when DOMA was struck down. I mean, I was happy obviously, but I think people were celebrating this baby step when we have miles and miles left to go. I didn’t realize it was a state vs. federal issue, so the Supreme Court could have just said basically that the federal government couldn’t intervene in marriage laws because they are state laws. BUT they didn’t do that and it makes all the difference. What they did do is much better, they said:

“By creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State, DOMA forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal law, thus diminishing the stability and predictability of basic personal relations the State has found it proper to acknowledge and protect. By this dynamic DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage.”

Soooo, they totally left the door open to set a precedent of “equal protection.” Even though all that the Supreme Court really did was secure marriage recognition for same-sex couples in states that already recognize same-sex marriage, somewhere down the line someone who lived in a state that did recognize their same-sex marriage will move to a state that doesn’t recognize their same-sex marriage. And then they will sue the state. And using the Supreme Court’s logic, they will win (says my source, Sarah R. Boonin, in her piece for the Huffington Post – did you think came up with all this by myself?!). In other words, it’s only a matter of time until we have marriage equality.

Or is it? Let’s not confuse “same-sex marriage” for “marriage equality.” For example, do you know what kind of marriage laws/restrictions exist for transgender people? I didn’t, I had to look it up. The real question is why is nobody talking about this? Because marriage “equality” is an easy target. It’s a hot topic now and unfortunately it’s eclipsing everything else on the lgbtq agenda. Like let’s talk about Russia. How the Russian government is not only persecuting gays, but anyone who they might suspect of being gay, anyone who supports gay rights, and any gay couples who want to adopt Russian children. They may go so far as to remove children from their homes if their parents are gay, or suspected of being gay. Why is nobody talking about this???

And that, friends, is why DOMA is not enough. We won the battle, but we’re losing the war (that may be a Game of Thrones quote?); we can’t afford to get caught up in same-sex marriage when we’re constantly losing ground, all over the world. So excuse me if I’m not strolling down the street humming “Same Love” and sticking rainbows and equal signs all over the place.


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