Somehow, we suspect Tea Partiers won’t be applauding this victory for states' rights: A U.S. District Court judge in Boston has overturned the federal ban on gay marriage, saying that it interferes with the states’ right to define marriage. Massachusetts was suing the federal government because it says the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prevented gay married couples in the state from receiving benefits like Medicaid.
But the point is - this is exactly what the conservative right argues for time and time again - states' rights.
The AP is reporting that a federal judge ruled Thursday in Boston that the federal law banning gay marriage is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define the institution and therefore denies married gay couples some federal benefits.
The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.
Tauro agreed and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens in order to be eligible for federal funding in federal-state partnerships.
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, called Tauro's ruling "judicial activism" and said Tauro was a "rogue judge." Gay marriage advocates will keep pushing their agenda in the courts, she said, but noted voters consistently have rejected gay marriage at the ballot box, including in a recent California vote. "We can't allow the lowest common denominator states, like Massachusetts, to set standards for the country," Lafferty said.
I am not sure what Ms. Lafferty exactly means by her statements, other than if you don't agree with her position you must be the lowest common denominator (the irony in her analogy is that making a change in a number based upon the lowest common denominator results in NO CHANGE to the number.)