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Obama doesn't care about equality
"The constitutional propriety of Congress's decision to decline to extend federal benefits immediately to newly recognized types of marriages is bolstered by Congress's articulated interest in preserving the scarce resources of both the federal and State governments."

I thought Obama was better than this. I thought he gave at least half a shit about his campaign policies. Perhaps McCain would have been better, at least then we'd know we were getting a slug in the white house and could plan accordingly. The last 6 months have been an abject failure for civil rights and I fear it'll only get worse.


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Fuck you and your acceptance speech for invoking gays in it as if it meant something.

With the economic down turn, it's probably a sound move to not have to deal with
1) the disbursement of benefits.
2) lawsuits/votes/courts overturning states allowing said unions
3) needing to get the money back from people as they were retroactively not entitled to it according to their state.

Like if those married in California had their marriages annulled after prop 8 passed, but had filed and recieved benefits (including income tax breaks/transfers) they would have to pay the IRS back any discounts, file tax adjustments to cancel the transfers, and repay any federal assistance.

Much more nightmare than just waiting to see if the law sticks around one (local) election cycle (2 years)

Quit being a apologist. Economics should not be a fucking reason to deny people civil rights. Divorces and the like also affect those things, should we ban divorces during economic downturns as well?

No, but things move too quickly in this country, and most things are very knee-jerk reactions and are more detrimental than if time were taken to sort it out properly. And not just in this issue, but in general.

I'm still on the stance that they should rid the federal government of the word marriage entirely, and leave that to be a solely religious aspect for a marriage/union/binding of your desired faith. The government should heed its own creed of separation of church and state and _separate_ them. Create a legal union that everyone goes through. You go to the courthouse, get your wedding licence (or whatever it is ultimately called) and be a recognized legally wed couple and all the benefits it entails. And then the ceremony and the religious fare can be dealt with within themselves without bringing the entire country into a petty conservative religious matter.

Financially, I say this country needs to raise taxes, add a general VAT, and strip states of various rights and abolish the excessive duplication of government (both state and federal levels) And then clean up the system by having the federal gov't deals with all powers not explictedly slated to the state -- and to have implicit jurisdiction if if can accomplish what a single state cannot do on its own (ie: in trade and commerce, or transportation, rail, telephone lines, etc)

But, the gov't here is more broken than most other places, and I can't really expect anything of note happening until there's some type of civil riot.

In other words, you completely misunderstand what federalism is. Read the 10th amendment. The US is designed to be a looser union than say canada, it's one of the things that makes this country so great; states can and should experiment as to what is in their best interests. Taking away that is taking away some of what makes this country so awesome.

I really need to stop speaking on political topics.

Now, here's were not knowing how the US system works is impeding me from going forward with this line of thought adequately: How should the states experimentation affect the federal play into things? State allows one thing, state should support it. But how should the Federal gov't be roped into the whims of contradictory states? And since it could be a federal benefit, and ideally implemented equally/fairly across all states, how it that justified to the states that have conflicting laws and thus impoverishing their residents to federal benefits that other states enjoy?

This is the part that is questionable in my mind. Especially since state and fed can have contradictory laws (ie: pot dispensary - get your license to sell/script to buy -- and if it weren't for entrapment laws -- immediately be arrested by the DEA)

It seems that if the federal gov't wants to get involved, the states should cede whatever it is to the gov't and make it unified across the country. Which really goes against the minimalistic federal gov't that was originally indented.

Well, that's an interesting topic, one that's been hotly contested since 1789 (cf.: Whiskey Rebellion, Civil War). In theory, all powers not specifically granted to the Federal government are vested in the states. Congress has found ways around this in certain arenas through its control of the purse strings (e.g., the drinking age being 21) and through somewhat tortured interpretations of the Commerce Clause (e.g., labor laws, drug laws). That said, in general, federal law supercedes state law, should they conflict. So, the feds could enforce pot prohibitions, since the federal Controlled Substances Act supersedes California's Prop 215. But, the Federal government has chosen not to strictly enforce laws against marijuana in states with medical pot laws.

There's not, to my knowledge, any legal precedent for the federal government having any business in marriage. Article IV of the Constitution says that the public acts of one state (like marriages, divorces, judicial decisions, driver licences, &c.) must be recognized by the other states, and by extension, by the federal government. And by not specifically investing in Congress the power to regulate marriage, divorce, &c, the federal government has no legal say whatsoever in the carrying out of such acts. In a perfect world, all marriages would be recognized in all states (state level Defence of Marriage Acts being unconstitutional since they conflict with Article IV) and we could all get equal federal benefits.

But, the federal Defence of Marriage Act says that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid for federal purposes (taxes, immigration, &c.). This is, on its face, a violation of Article IV. However, no group has challenged it in federal court since the Supreme Court has a cro-magnon majority and would likely uphold it in the face of the Constitution in order to satisfy its own biases.

We saw this previously with inter-racial marriages. It took enough states permitting black folk to marry white folk and a sane Supreme Court to finally affirm that yes, marriage is a state power, and yes, the federal government and all other states must recognize such marriages, and by the way, to prohibit inter-racial marriage would be a violation of the whole 'equality' thing. In time, the same logic will apply to same-sex marriages.

Small point of order: no federal benefits devolve from same-sex marriages in the states where they are/were legal, thanks to the federal Defence of Marriage Act. So, no retroactive benefit changes would have to be dealt with. And, even if there were massive changes in the legal landscape affecting such things, the constitutional principle of ex post facto would prevent any governmental entity from grabbing money where it was not originally entitled to it.

You raise interesting arguments. The pragmatist in me says you're probably right, it's better to get the economy back to something resembling stability before addressing civil rights. But, the angry idealist in me says fuck it, if we don't have equality under law, the whole basis on which the US was founded, why bother with anything else.

Peh. In the end, I have faith that things will work out as they should. But I share Kes' disappointment that someone elected on the rallying cry of change, of reason, and of order, is disappointing on all those fronts.

Yes, obama did weally tewwible cwap.

Edited at 2009-06-13 04:50 pm (UTC)

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