Patterico's Pontifications

9/19/2009

Obama Administration Asks Massachusetts Court to Deny Federal Same-Sex Benefits

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 12:27 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriages but same-sex couples married in that state cannot access federal protections available to heterosexual married couples. That prompted seven same-sex couples and three survivors of same-sex spouses to sue in Massachusetts federal court, claiming it’s “unconstitutional to bar them from enrolling in federal healthcare programs, receiving certain retirement and survivor benefits and filing joint income tax returns.” In July, Massachusetts also sued the federal government on behalf of all same-sex couples married in its state.

On Friday, the Obama Administration filed a brief saying the initial lawsuit should be dismissed because same-sex couples are barred from receiving federal benefits unless Congress specifically provides otherwise:

“In making this filing, the department is bound by the only precedent that exists, which is that no court has found such a right to federal benefits based upon marital status to be constitutionally required,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler.

The filing in the U.S. Court for the District of Massachusetts “points out the administration’s position that Congress should extend federal benefits to spouses in same-sex marriages,” she said.

This may not surprise gay rights advocates but it must be disappointing to them.

— DRJ

15 Responses to “Obama Administration Asks Massachusetts Court to Deny Federal Same-Sex Benefits”

  1. Barack Obama doesn’t care about gay people even if his woman is like totally into leather.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. And why hasn’t the Administration had the appropriate legislation introduced in Congress to support the position that they say they advocate, that would make these lawsuits moot?

    It couldn’t have anything to do with perhaps the votes aren’t there, and they don’t want to fight another losing battle?

    AD - RtR/OS! (410846)

  3. This is the same old crap from Teh One. He bashes Bush and Republicans for their being against civil rights, speaks to the same-sex marriage crowd in a manner that makes them believe he is going to advance their agenda, and then maintains the Bush positions that made him a theocrat and a homophobe. Oh, and don’t forget that Teh One said that his religion informs his politics, and is against same sex marriage, depending on the audience.

    JD (8f4186)

  4. It couldn’t have anything to do with perhaps the votes aren’t there, and they don’t want to fight another losing battle?

    The votes are not there.

    Most people view gay relationships as icky, and oppose any formal recognition of such relationships.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  5. That’s not static though, Michael. Kids today are on a different page, lots of them. I blame cable.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  6. Hey! I think that there should be a viral campaign to ask Andrew Sullivan to comment on this. I’ll bet his head is exploding about now.

    The Crush may be ending.

    Eric Blair (6286a6)

  7. It’s simple, really. Obama wants to keep the same voter base that supports Brownback and Santorum. Oh, wait a minute…

    Being serious for a moment, #1 commenter is correct. The law is the law.

    the friendly grizzly (b10310)

  8. Obama is right in this case. What’s sad is that the gays marriage advocates that supported Obama were basically hoping he was lying about his views on gay marriage. I admit I realize he was lying too, but jeez.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  9. Well, it’s not like Massachusetts passed a law legalizing same sex marriage and related matters or anything.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  10. “it must be disappointing to them”

    Let them be disappointed.

    clark smith (995043)

  11. It’s all too predictable. Research the demographics for the California Proposition 8 vote. President Obama and the Democrats cannot afford to have minorities become value-based voters. (Is it a shameless plug to repeat something I put in one of my own blog posts?) If pressed too hard on the issue, I wouldn’t be surprised about hearing how the conservatives are blocking progress.
    P.S.: Pat – Do you have to approve trackbacks? I tried to reference this post in a blog entry.

    [Approval isn’t needed for trackbacks but sometimes links and comments end up in the filter. Please try again. — DRJ]

    SomeOtherSteve (a01da5)

  12. What group is left that he hasn’t “disappointed”?

    Patricia (c95a48)

  13. I’ve posted before about BHO, and it should be clear I intensely dislike the man and trust him to generally make the wrong move.

    But his administration made the right move here. Now how much he had to do with it I don’t know, because with Holder’s justice dept. he’s always claiming that he’s not responsible for their actions.

    The same sex marriage push has always been about accessing benefits. At some point you have to draw the line. I wish the line had been drawn a lot shorter, like pre-FDR, but I’ve got to deal with what we’ve got.

    At least with hererosexual couples their was some rationale for the largesse. Children are the future of society, blah blah blah. So we’ve got to support families. That’s why they got special tax breaks and why childless homeowners have to pay property taxes to, among other things, subsidize schools that are no immediate benefit to them.

    But with same sex marriage there is no rationale. They try to concoct some, but they’re hugely unconvincing. The bottom line is that homosexuals feel it’s unfair that they can’t feed at the same trough as heterosexuals.

    A lot of places, like CA where I grew up, are filled with people who apparently have no idea why their states are going bankrupt. It’s because they can’t prioritize or say no.

    As de Tocqueville said, democracies only last until people figure out they can vote themselves benefits from the public treasury. On corollary I’ve noticed is that voting blocks that want to get those benefits form alliances to vote to give benefits to each other to make it more likely they’ll get their cut.

    They call it “charity.” But only to try to intimidate reluctant voters into going along to prove they’re good people. Of course they expect to be on the winning end of the wealth transfer, getting back more then they pay in. Or else they wouldn’t do it.

    Naturally, just like with the same sex marriage lobby gave the game away early by admitting it was really a gambit to gain access to public benefits, the people who claim that voting to tax some people to give the money to other people is “charity” gave the game away early by interchangeably calling the same act “voting in your own interest.”

    Steve (e19bd4)

  14. That’s not static though, Michael. Kids today are on a different page, lots of them. I blame cable.

    Kids today do not elect our leaders.

    And how many of them actually like homosexual relationships . Most of them would avoid the subject of what homosexuals do behind closed doors, I suspect.

    For the record, I have no opposition to Congress passing a law providing material benefits to same-sex couples.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)


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