Us vs. them partisan split on gay marriage sticks

They're lining up in Congress awaiting Supreme Court ruling on state rights.
Associated Press
Mar 17, 2013


No Democratic attorney general in a state that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying has signed onto a legal filing asking the Supreme Court to uphold California's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

No Republican attorney general is asking the high court to rule in favor of marriage equality.

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, supported by 10 GOP senators, is spearheading the defense of the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from collecting a range of federal benefits otherwise available to married couples.

Some 212 Democrats and independents in Congress want part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act overturned. That includes two dozen who initially voted for it.

A continuing distinct partisan divide is present in the gay marriage cases at the Supreme Court, set for arguments March 26-27, even though a brief on behalf of more than 100 prominent Republicans calls for marriage equality. The split is most apparent in legal briefs filed with the court by state attorneys general.

All 21 attorneys general who have signed legal briefs or letters urging the court to uphold California's ban on same-sex marriage are Republican.

The result of the federal appeals court ruling striking down California's ban, known as Proposition 8, "is disintegration of perhaps the most fundamental and revered cultural institution of American life: marriage as we know it," the Republicans said. The states represented on the briefs mostly are reliably Republican and chose GOP nominee Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in November.

But also are included are four states won by Obama — Colorado, Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin.

An additional 14 attorneys general who are asking the court for the opposite outcome are Democrats, including those from the nine states that allow gay couples to wed. Also among those Democrats are California's Kamala Harris and Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon, which has a constitutional prohibition on same-sex weddings. Obama won all 14 states.

Removing barriers and promoting the equality of spouses has strengthened the institution of marriage, the Democratic attorneys general said. "Over the past decade, this evolution has been affirmed as same-sex couples have been permitted to marry. Against that history of greater inclusion and equality, Proposition 8 singles out same-sex couples and excludes them from the opportunity to marry," the Democrats said.

Florida and Ohio are among nine other states that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their constitutions, but that are not represented in the Supreme Court debate at all.

Obama won both states in November, but Republicans control the state government. Spokesmen for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, both Republicans, declined comment.

In the seven other states, a Democrat is attorney general. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wants the court to issue narrow rulings in both cases, spokeswoman Jan Schaefer said. "The outcome of the two cases should not directly impact Mississippi law," Schaefer said.

The participants in the two cases and other interested parties have submitted nearly 200 briefs that range from broad historical overviews to personal stories to technical legal matters.

The Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Mormon church and Orthodox Jewish congregations are among the religious organizations urging the court to uphold the California provision.

Supporters of same-sex marriage include Episcopal bishops in California, the United Church of Christ, and the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism.

There are testimonials in support of gay marriage from the straight parents and siblings of gays and lesbians, as well as from people who call themselves survivors of efforts to help them change their sexual orientation. On the other side, some members of the ex-gay community defend traditional marriage laws, and some gay and bisexual men say the courts should not be involved in defining marriage.

One group of international scholars and jurists argues that reserving marriage for straight couples, while offering other protections for gay Americans, is consistent with practices in other countries. Experts in foreign law claim that upholding Proposition 8 would diminish the U.S. on the world stage at a time when many other nations also are moving toward marriage equality.

The court is expected to rule in the cases by the end of June.



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I am so tired of tuning into media and have gay stories everyday. I dont care that people like to have a partner with the same s=x organs. What makes them gay i never see. So why do i have to here it everyday. It seems it is like studying for a test if they say it over and over it will just be accepted as normal. i am not a gay basher. I am the one being bashed. I SIMPLY DONT CARE


Why is the government involved in so much of people's lives? States rights vs federal?? Who cares what The Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Mormon church and Orthodox Jewish congregations favor or not. How about nobodie's business but the consenting adults?
I also think you should be able to buy LARGE drinks (more than 16 oz.)..........

Erie County Resident

Because as Sen. Feinstein said during her attack on "assault weapons" that the American people have no Constitutional rights that congress doesn't see as being fit for us.
So all of the rights being taken from all of us is the nanny state telling us what to or not to do with "The People" having no say in it.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..


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thinkagain's picture

It is bizarre to see the Leftist’s preach about “tolerance” and “rights”, but treat crushing and dismembering innocent, unwanted human beings like a trip to the dentist.


I don't believe in the "right" of a woman to kill a fetus either. It involves another life. So, is that "leftist:?

thinkagain's picture

Dunno…a confused righty?


You know, this whole problem could be solved on a dime if government would adhere to the First Amendment principles of freedom of religion and just let people decide for themselves..

In my opinion, it IS discriminatory to deny some people "benefits" enjoyed by others. Automatic inheritance, for example, and the right to make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated partner. But if the government wants to formalize that kind of thing (and it probably should, contractually speaking), it should just set up some kind of a "domestic partnership" agreement.

Marriage is a religious term. NOBODY should be forced to recognize gay marriage; nobody should be forced to deny it, either. Leave it to the religious institutions to determine whether or not it violates their canon.

Fair warning: If gay marriage is legalized federally speaking, then it will become a protected class and, as a result, everybody will have to recognize it and that includes churches that oppose it. I don't suggest that it's okay to beat somebody up or to deny them a job or housing based on the fact they're gay, but I also can't see that it's okay to infringe freedom of religion in the OTHER direction. Can YOU???

BW1's picture

The problem lies in the government passing out benefits in the first place. Civil marriage is not a benefit, it's a government intrusion where it has no place. Government has a role in enforcing contracts, but civil marriage involves the government dictating the one-size-fits-all terms of a contract. It involves waiving most of your civil rights in the event you decide to end an entirely private arrangement. For most of this country's history, the term "marriage license" would have been met with a confused stare, because the concept did not exist.

The first time there's a gay divorce proceeding where one party came to the fabulously wealthy and the other came penniless, you'll see every objection ever raised to gay marriage argued by the wealthy party's attorney as reasons communioty property shouldn't apply to gay marriages, to save their client from having to fork over half of that wealth to a "gold digger."


The 2nd guy in the picture is gooooood lookingg...But now I'm thinking," Duh..He's gay !"