Ah, remember 1996? The Unabomber, the OJ Simpson trial, the cargo pants and the flannel shirts?---
Also, remember how Hawaii was in danger of becoming the first state to implement equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians -- so a terrified Congress enacted the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)?
Supposedly DOMA was to protect states' rights -- particularly, the "right" to invalidate marriages performed out-of-state. Actually, DOMA allowed the federal government to withhold benefits -- such as Medicaid -- from gay and lesbian families, even in states that have enacted marriage equity legislation. Basically, it forces states to discriminate against their own citizens.
Turns out that's unconstitutional. Whodathunkit?
As we've known all along, DOMA was a misguided attempt to mollify homophobes.
It violates Its application on the state level violates the equal-protection clause*. It deserves to go down in flames.
And it injects the LGBT issue back into American politics -- just in time for the midterm election season!
(Thanks to Utah Politics for the quick update!)
* Note: Thanks also to Louis Godfrey for pointing out that the EPC applies to state, not federal, legislation.
Brandon's Big Gay Blog