Massachusetts sues U.S. government over DOMA.

The first state to legalize gay marriage is now suing the federal government to overturn the Defense Of Marriage Act:

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law. Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Mrs. Coakley said at a news conference.

[…] Before the law was passed, Mrs. Coakley said, the federal government recognized that defining marital status was the “exclusive prerogative of the states.” Now, because of the U.S. law’s definition of marriage, same-sex couples are denied access to benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including federal income tax credits, employment benefits, retirement benefits, health insurance coverage and Social Security payments, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also argues that the federal law requires the state to violate the constitutional rights of its citizens by treating married heterosexual couples and married same-sex couples differently when determining eligibility for Medicaid benefits and when determining whether the spouse of a veteran can be buried in a Massachusetts veterans’ cemetery.

“In enacting DOMA, Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states’ efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people,” the lawsuit states.

I am overjoyed at this development as it is long overdue. I’m not a lawyer, but the arguments are valid and I think may have a good chance of succeeding in court. DOMA never should have been allowed on the books in the first place.

Needless to say, the Freepers aren’t happy about it:

“seems some do not know what DOMA is about

this is another angle to attack DOMA working in sync with the homo agenda and special interests up there

Can MA and the north east please just leave the union, please please please.

All conservatives not republicans from there are welcome to move out, in place of you moving out we’ll send our homo’s illegals, child molesters and loony brain dead sheep left wing idiots.”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 06:14:58 PM EDT by manc

“String em all up. We will save billions on retirement benefits.”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 06:38:07 PM EDT by Pikachu_Dad

“fell sick and every person on here and around this country should see that website

That is what America will look like if some go along with the usual “well I know a couple and they are nice who want to be left alone” course they do not see their new friends at their freak parades etc
Or the Govt should not get involved
Well this is not about marriage like on that website but a small platform to a bigger agenda, adoption, into schools to now teaching little kids fisting another man

sick sick sick

there sickos should be put back in the closet or told to seek mental help and not off another sicko perverted shrink”—posted on Wed 08 Jul 2009 08:05:14 PM EDT by manc

Anything that gets the Freeper’s upset is a good thing in my book.

33 thoughts on “Massachusetts sues U.S. government over DOMA.

  1. Speaking as on of the people from the Northeast…we would be happy to leave and form our own country. We live in the most liberal, educated and financially secure section of the country. You would miss us when we were gone.

  2. Funny…when I read about this a while ago and just now this post, I was thinking that’s what started the Civil War…the Federal Govt infringing on States Rights and the South wanting to leave the Union.

  3. HALLELUJAH! Yes, the lawsuit looks wonderful. I’m so happy someone finally realized how this is truly a civil rights issue. As I recall, the Bible Thumpers were the last to give up on slavery, too. Sad!

  4. Obama isn’t spending a lot of time or political capitol on tackling DOMA or DADT.  Yet, I think he wants to see both of them go down.  If I read his actions correctly, he’s figured out that they’ll go down whatever he does, and he can help the most by mostly staying out of it.

    Kind of like Iran.  Yeah, I like comparing DOMA and DADT to Iran.

  5. If I read his actions correctly, he’s figured out that they’ll go down whatever he does, and he can help the most by mostly staying out of it.

    I hope you’re right. Nobody’s accused Obama of being a STUPID politician. Stupid seldom makes it to the White House.  tongue wink

    And, let’s all hope that DADT goes the way of DOMA.

  6. Anything that gets the Freeper’s upset is a good thing in my book.

    That is a damn good book.

  7. It’s true. This violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

    This here is country is still a confederation of states, the federal government can’t, or shouldn’t, do many things that it does in violation of states’ rights..

    “defense” of marraige act.. What a stupid and telling name, huh?  Defense. LMAO.. Stupid bigoted pecker-zealots…

  8. I myself believe that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, but that does not matter as far as state’s rights are concerned. The Mass. Attorney General’s case is airtight. I do not doubt that the federal government will yet again overstep it’s bounds and usurp more and more state’s rights. Do not be surprised if the DOMA is passed and affirmed in subsequent Supreme Court cases. Previous examples of illegal federal expansion are nat’l education bills, 21 year old drinking age, drug laws, and a whole plethora of unconstitutional, illegal federally mandated legislation. It would do the federal gov’t to remember this is why the first great civil war was begun; Not slavery, state’s rights.

  9. RtPt-financially secure? I guess you mean all of that bail out money you are getting…you are secure. Please continue to tax the hell out of people, so the industrious people get fed up and GTFO of the north east.

    About the DOMA and all of this other federal meddling. Why the hell don’t the gay rights folks petition to REMOVE the power of the government to regulate marriage? I know that is a 180 view, but it stops these assholes from passing their ‘definition of what marriage is’ acts.

    I support gay rights, and wouldn’t it be better to have the government with NO say in what it is? Seems the core of the issue is government meddling in individual rights. Not very liberal of me saying that, but I don’t see government meddling in anything a good thing.

    Too bad the pink mafia is so entwined with the liberal democrats pushing for more government definition of this and that. It only brings in the religious assholes who oppose it. More government just sucks.

  10. I don’t see government meddling in anything a good thing.

    Please give back your roads and public parks.

  11. RtPt-financially secure? I guess you mean all of that bail out money you are getting…you are secure. Please continue to tax the hell out of people, so the industrious people get fed up and GTFO of the north east.

    I mean we have a better standard of living than the rest of the country. We are paying more taxes than the rest of the country. The tax burden in most of the Northeastern states aren’t high. The industrious people come to the Northeast because we have the best standard of living.

    About the DOMA and all of this other federal meddling. Why the hell don’t the gay rights folks petition to REMOVE the power of the government to regulate marriage? I know that is a 180 view, but it stops these assholes from passing their ‘definition of what marriage is’ acts.

    Is it a state issue or a federal issue? Why don’t all the homophobes let the states decide?

    I support gay rights, and wouldn’t it be better to have the government with NO say in what it is? Seems the core of the issue is government meddling in individual rights. Not very liberal of me saying that, but I don’t see government meddling in anything a good thing.

    Well, that is polyanna-ist of you. The government is going to involve itself in our lives as long as the social conservatives have their way. It isn’t very conservative of you saying that. If you support gay rights then let your government know that you do. Vote for pro-gay candidates.

    Too bad the pink mafia is so entwined with the liberal democrats pushing for more government definition of this and that. It only brings in the religious assholes who oppose it. More government just sucks.

    “Pink mafia”, are you serious? A group of people fighting for equal rights should shut up, because it is their fault that the idiots (religious people) oppose their equal rights? It isn’t more government that sucks…it is an unrepresentative government that sucks. “Liberal democrats”…you are hilarious…how about “social democrats” or just “socialists”?

    Personally, I am all for government. The government should be for the people and by the people. The problem is that it is being run by MNC’s and Religious idiots (an oxymoron).

  12. Mistermook, I would gladly give back public parks and roads if it meant less government waste. If roads, parks, etc. were privatized then only roads and parks that need to be built would be built. I see loads of state parks, etc., that are empty money pits into which millions of dollars are wasted. Why not let a private organization run said parks, build said roads? All such privately built roads would be made of higher quality and better maintained. Everything the gov’t touches generally leads to disrepair.

  13. So your theory is that privatized goods are always superior to goods and services provided by government. So your average double wide trailer is superior to the White House, we could easily defend our borders if only we trusted in Microsoft to fund it, and oh by the way – those morons over at Blackwater are better soldiers than the Army. Hell, your driveway is probably a fucking brilliant example of why we’d certainly get the fucking interstate highway system by privatized magic if only we’d realize that private companies always mean well and do things the right way. I mean, never mind Enron or Chrysler, right? Let’s move everything to where the only incentive to do shit is profit, right? Because having a couple thousand corporate fiefdoms makes a lot more sense than a publicly accountable, elected government, right?

    You’re a moron. Sit down and come back when you’ve got a clue about what you’re talking about.

  14. MisterMook,
                    If you paid attention in history class you would know that the US Gov’t hired a private contractor to design and construct (aside from the foundation) the White House. Actually they had a design contest because the REPUBLIC government wanted the best that the private sector had to offer. Also, the sandstone that the white house was built out of is terribly substandard (as far as upkeep is concerned) to your average double wide trailer. I would think that microsoft wouldn’t fund our border patrol, rather they would or could design cameras/detection equipment so that a border patrol officer wouldn’t have to. And yeah, Blackwater employees are far superior to Army, Navy, or Marine Corps. In fact, many applicants to Blackwater are former Seals, Marsoc and Force Recon Operatives. These soldiers are at the top of their game. The last time I checked, my paved driveway had no potholes or cracks in it that would throw a car’s wheels out of alignment. Take a drive down I-40 sometime, tell me how you like a bumpy ride. Enron and Chrysler are two very unfortunate examples of dirty private sector practices. What about politics? The scandals would take too long to list! In case you haven’t noticed, the government does not account for the money it spends, or more importantly, how much money the out of control treasury prints. Corporations are accountable, they are accountable to shareholders which are much more intelligent than your average voter. So there, your argument is totally eviscerated. Any further questions?

  15. Bob, Bob, Bob! You’re trying to confuse people with facts. Can’t you see their mind is already made up?  cheese

  16. Pure capitalism just doesn’t DO long-range thinking.  For that you need a special kind of corporation chartered for the people.

    Government, like anything else, has to be done well for a good outcome.  Keep electing moron ideologues and eventually you get cronyism and incompetence – what The Economist described as a “calamitous” administration.  It’s going to take a long time to straighten out the mess – because so many of the morons are still in office, elected by ideologues.

  17. Neither private or government act in the best interests of the people. The private is more likely to jack up prices and make an inferior product to have a great profit margin. The private is all ready bought off our political process. Does anyone here really think that the American public decides who is elected in this country? We are given two choices provided by corporate dollars. It is naive to think our government is going to give a contract to the best private enterprise…they will give it to the enterprise who helps them get elected.

    Doesn’t anyone remember what happens when we give freedom to private enterprise? Oh yeah, the global economy goes down in flames. Government services for its people should not be a profit business. Wanna see the result, go down to South America with Chicago Economic idiots and see what chaos their private enterprise government did there.

    Soldiers get shocked in the showers? Overcharging, funds disappearing, breaking laws, killing civilians, no-bid contracts, shoddy construction, no oversight…you get the idea…work farmed out completely to private enterprise is a horrible idea.

  18. Neither private or government act in the best interests of the people.

    But, private has the additional pressure of competition, unlike government. Private that wants to stay in business and make a profit must be competitive, and that is usually in the best interest of the people. Not always, but usually, contrary to government which is NEVER in the best interest of the people, but only in the interest of becoming more powerful.  wink

  19. Depending on the situation and the agencies involved it’s possible for both private and public to be both a positive or a negative for the interests of the people. There’s nothing about private business or government that mandates them being one or the other. To say otherwise is to set up a false dichotomy.

  20. For the record, my most recent professional and academic focus is in government acquisitions. So far be it from inexpert on the subject I’ve got plenty more hours logged in for fun stuff like actually reading the regulations and case law concerning how the government spends money than I imagine anyone else here does. That’s not making too much of it, it’s simply a fact that it’s a limited area of study and most of the people that actually work in the field don’t bother to get more than whatever credits they actually need to get promoted. I actually don’t think more than three or four colleges give the specialized degree I’ve got. After the fine arts degree I obviously really thought things through and got something useful in lots of different places, right?

    Anyways, anyone who blames the government for the vast majority of the abuse and outright fraud that goes into most complaints about government spending really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The level of up-your-ass legal hand-holding to get a private company to do something right is idiotic, and whenever someone starts talking about how wonderful and efficient private businesses are they’re ignoring the something like 73% of businesses that start up each year only to bounce into oblivion nearly immediately. The government isn’t perfect, but it’s mostly thanks to private citizens fucking over taxpayers and not because the acquisitions bureaucracy somehow has some strange conspiracy to screw things up.

    The government can be inefficient compared to private companies. It’s got inefficiencies built into the system to promote clear auditing trails, accountability, and liability indicators. Private companies not working for the government can ignore those sorts of rules unless required to by GAAP and the IRS (or their shareholders) but the government can’t waive shit without waving their asses in a giant red flag of shit-on-me. You’ve perhaps heard of some recent instances of waivers, such as Haliburton and some other Iraq contracts? Anyways, with those sorts of subtle instances of how to use the extreme rules for breaking the rules on hand, it’s not particularly popular to cut corners in government spending unless you happen to be one of those cherished authority figures upon shit won’t stick.

    I eat dinner sometimes with people from Halburton/KBR and some of the chancy half-legal bullshit they perform as standard practices on their non-government contracts would get a government employee six years in a federal prison. I used to commute across the bridge in Pensacola that killed the trucker thanks to the awesome cost-cutting done by one of those amazing private contractors you’re raving about when the spans fell into the water.

    This, of course, is after they had to come behind the rest of that part of I-10 and redo at least sixty miles of it. That was WITH the government looking over their shoulder, and these guys so full of integrity, the ones you expect to run parks and build roads out of the goodness of their hearts up to a standard of excellence, those guys lie and hide their books so much that the federal government has several full time agencies dedicated to doing absolutely nothing but going behind every dollar the government gives to anyone and finding out where and when your average private citizen is fucking the taxpayers.

    Private contractors working for the government are in the business of fucking the system. When you’re not twisting the contract as a contractor to do less work for more money, or a worse product for more money, you’re doing it wrong.

    And that’s what’s wrong with Blackwater too – those guys were making military pay grade to do their jobs backed by billions of dollars of sophisticated military hardware. Then they drop out and want three times more, aren’t equipped for serious warfare because they can’t afford it because they’ve got a bottom line to watch, they’re outside military law, they’re outside real military discipline – they’re just mercenaries pretending to be real soldiers till, bleeding the taxpayers dry. For every Blackwater diva the government hires it could outfit a soldier with at least $300k more equipment, that’s a lot more stuff invested in keeping a soldier alive who’s main investment in the system isn’t his overpriced salary.

    I don’t begrudge anyone the right to make a buck, but replacing real soldiers with the guys who quit on you last year just so you can pay them more with less authority over them is fucking stupid.

    Government spending isn’t perfect, but I could outline a half dozen ways that the imperfection, the inefficiency, the fraud, nearly every problem at all – is the fault of your brave little subcontractors shitting on the law and wiping their asses with their business integrity.

    For the rest? Blame Congress, every so often they step in and try to tell people to spend money in a way that no one wants to spend money. Who’s fault is that? Private contractors mostly, because that’s where the money motive is when you’re building a new bridge on a road no one uses is. When taxpayers end up with something they don’t want and don’t need, it’s generally not coming from the brainstorms of people whose jobs it is to explain why they spent every single dollar in their budget at the end of every year.

    When you’re a contractor for the government though, it’s part of your implicit job description to stonewall results and push for more money – some companies it’s the only job anyone actually does. It’s amazing Boeing ever builds airplanes, they don’t show up for work without a couple of lawyers to hold their hands and explain why they won’t do shit sometimes.

    Oh, and why does the government use these douchebags? Because of brilliant idiots like Bob, who’ve been lobbied into thinking that day is night, told anecdotal stories about government spending without knowing the context or regulatory issues that go into this sort of thing.

    There’s certainly a lot to be said about buying certain things at the same rate as citizens do, but for every palette of toilet paper the government buys assholes like Bob have pushed Congress into hiring design companies that are half as effective as government employees for four times the price to do things that the government can’t do anymore because the government pays private companies four times as much so it’s hard to keep employees working for the government when they can do the exact same job, but not actually do it, for more money. It’s idiocy of the highest order.

    As for the government only being in it because they “want to be more powerful?” What the fuck are you smoking? Who the hell do you think works for the government? The “government” doesn’t take a shit in the morning and drive the kids to school, it’s normal people like yourself who don’t give a shit about being powerful anymore than the guy working at Wal-Mart is doing it because of his great and enormous hatred for Target. They’re interested in following the rules, doing a good job, and keeping their noses clean. There’s not even the focus on promotion, because in the majority of government jobs your advancement still has more to do with not screwing up or off and putting in your time. If you were out for money you’d be off working for a private contractor trying to skim more money from the government.

    It’s like half of you have watched every bad movie out of Hollywood and decided it was more real than Star Trek. You want to know what the government is really like? Just about every other job with a few exceptions – lots of meetings for mostly less pay in exchange for better job security. Government excess, like just about everything else, doesn’t happen as the norm it happens in the fringes, when people break the rules or make exceptions for the rules.

  21. Now there you go, Mr Mook, trying to confuse us with the facts when our minds are already made up. Shame on you! Have you never heard of Fairy Tales and the Bible?  tongue wink cheese  red face

  22. Also, government funded competition? That’s where some really amazing stuff happens because when the government goes “impress us, make us really want to buy this” they’re generally talking about for real shit yourself money. Stealth airplanes and trips to the moon, it’s the sort of stuff that private companies wouldn’t invest in because it’s too risky if it doesn’t work. The government has a history of funding that sort of thing though, because one of those areas of “waste” everyone likes to think are really terrible are tiny little contracts (for the government) whose sole purpose is to pay small businesses to write up an enormous, well researched report or small scale research project to determine if something is possible now or in the near future. A lot of times they’re completely insane sounding but fundamentally it’s about conclusively determining if something that might be advantageous is possible while supporting fundamental research and a pool of researchers and engineers.

    Even a lot of the research that people THINK is private has its roots in government grants and funding, or at least is an innovation demanded by regulations or laws passed by the government. I don’t think anyone would be driving hybrid vehicles unless the writing wasn’t on the wall as far as increasing emissions standards. Perhaps we’d have every advancement in breast enlargement we have today, but we’d probably be missing out on cancer and AIDS research.

  23. A cool example of spinoff from government projects: how’d we get the World Wide Web?  It grew out of a communications project some researcher at CERN – a multi-government research project – came up with to help scientists share their work across networks.

    Oh, and there’s that real big network, the one we’re using now.  It came from Arpanet, I believe.

  24. No matter how much better at this internet thing those guys at Sony might be now, can you imagine how useful it would be if they were the ones who held patents on that fundamental technology? If Wal-Mart were building all the roads on their own dime, just how much would they cost to use and would competitors be allowed to use them?

  25. No matter how much better at this internet thing those guys at Sony might be now, can you imagine how useful it would be if they were the ones who held patents on that fundamental technology?

    Egad, what a frightening thought.  Picture the whole Internet with insecure DRM built into all the switches. We may end up there yet.

  26. But, private has the additional pressure of competition, unlike government. Private that wants to stay in business and make a profit must be competitive, and that is usually in the best interest of the people. Not always, but usually, contrary to government which is NEVER in the best interest of the people, but only in the interest of becoming more powerful.  wink

    The private just wants to make a profit and will buy off our politicians to get those contracts. The private will make the cheapest product possible without the concerns of the US citizens in mind. We need to ask more from our government and not turn over the public good to the corporate greed.

  27. No matter how much better at this internet thing those guys at Sony might be now, can you imagine how useful it would be if they were the ones who held patents on that fundamental technology? If Wal-Mart were building all the roads on their own dime, just how much would they cost to use and would competitors be allowed to use them?

    There would be tolls every 25 miles and special discounts for Wal-Mart customers who use their Wal-Mart credit card.

  28. Stealth airplanes and trips to the moon, it’s the sort of stuff that private companies wouldn’t invest in because it’s too risky if it doesn’t work.

    Pure research is one of the few areas in which I believe government has a valid interest. That fits the “general welfare” clause much better that throwing money at people who have no idea what to do with money. “Provide for the common defense” is also a valid area, since we are still so tribal. Now that clause about “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” is where this particular philosophy has ignored one of the original purposes for the establishment of the Constitution. DOMA does no such thing, but rather RESTRICTS that Liberty. No, thanks, “Give me Liberty or give me death” has a new direction in this debate.
    And, I thought Al Gore invented the internet. smile

  29. DOMA has absolutely nothing to do with government spending directly, at least of the sort railed against in our private vs. public spending debate.

    And members of Congress always think they’ve got possession of a thing or created it if they were the ones who spent the money. It’s a little like when someone says “I built a new house,” when it’s clear that an army of poor people in better shape making shitty wages were the ones who built the house.

  30. And, I thought Al Gore invented the internet.

    All jokes aside, he certainly played a vital role in its commercialization.  Even in the late ‘70’s, he was bugging colleagues about computer networks.  He drafted legislation and held hearings on the economic value of a high-speed super-network before anyone else was really even thinking about it. It led to a 1991 act on computer communication known today as The Gore Bill

    Newt Gingrich was an important backer of Gore’s weird, wacky idea by the way.

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