DOMA lawyer uses 1885 case to support the law

Defense of Marriage Act lawyer returns to a 1885 polygamy ruling to defend the law

DOMA lawyer uses 1885 case to support the law
29 September 2012

The lawyer defending the Defense of Marriage Act is using an 1885 polygamy case as one of the reasons why the US federal government cannot honor gay marriages.

Paul Clement was in a New York court this week supporting DOMA’s language. The law was passed in 1996 and prohibits the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even in states where such unions are legal.

According to Buzzfeed, the lawyer pointed to an 1885 US Supreme Court  case involving polygamy in the then Utah territory. The court wrote that the traditional definition of marriage, one man and woman, is ‘"the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.’

Clement’s clients are the Republican leaders of the US House of Representatives. They have defended DOMA cases ever since 2011 when President Barack Obama informed the Justice Department not to argue for the constitutionality of DOMA. The House may support laws, in courts, if the president refuses to do so.

In this Second Circuit Court of Appeals case, a Edith Windsor maintains DOMA is unconstitional. The widow is suing because she was required to pay a $350,000 federal estate tax bill. The government does not recognize her marriage to a woman.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Lana Del Rey plays lesbian in new music video

Sultry singer plays grief stricken lover to Hollywood actress Jaime King in clip for Summertime Sadness
No thumbnail available

Spanish plan first gay retirement home

New home for LGBT retired people in Spain could be open as early as 2014 in suburb of Madrid
No thumbnail available

Fashion Police's Brad Goreski urges LGBTI youth to learn about AIDS and their history

'They didn’t grow up losing their community ... it's staggering what happened'
No thumbnail available

UKIP will not kick out people who say gay sex is disgusting

Nigel Farage says UK Independence Party members who likened gay marriage to incest went 'too far' but making them leave the party will end debate in British politics
No thumbnail available

Canadian figure skater Eric Radford comes out publicly as gay

Was part of silver medal winning team at this year's Olympic Games in Sochi
No thumbnail available

Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong says she wants to marry her partner

Finance Minister Penny Wong says ‘I love Sophie and I would like to declare that before the world’
No thumbnail available

North Carolina governor to fight proposed gay marriage ban

Gov. Beverly Perdue says: 'I’ll do everything I can to defeat it'
No thumbnail available

Arkansas Senate passes 'religious freedom' bill permitting discrimination against gay customers

'This bill is a poison pill for jobs and investment in the state of Arkansas, and Governor Hutchinson has a duty to veto it'
No thumbnail available

US Supreme Court passes on New Mexico anti-gay discrimination case that led to Arizona's SB 1062

Case stemmed from photographers who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding based on religious beliefs
No thumbnail available

California governor signs bill to provide more supportive homes to LGBT foster youth

Seeks to protect youth disproportionately targeted for harassment and discrimination