Gay Marriage

Marshall Response to Supreme Court's DOMA Decision

  Manassas, VA - Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13), the Virginia House of Delegates author of the 2006 voter-approved Marriage Amendment to Virginia's Constitution, called the Supreme Court's decision today striking down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) benefiting persons in a traditional marriage an exercise in moral arrogance and a stepping stone to striking down all laws defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Marshall also called on Congress to withhold funding from federal courts and the Obama Administration not to hear any court challenges to state laws upholding one man one woman marriage.

Marshall said, "Justice Kennedy and his majority assume powers of clairvoyance when they claim DOMA supporters acted with malice “to disparage and to injure” same-sex couples;  that they wanted to “demean,”  homosexual couples, and “impose inequality,” on them and to “impose . . . a stigma,” to deny  “equal dignity,” and to render homosexuals as “unworthy,” and to “humiliate” their children."

But these DOMA tax and other federal benefits which applied only to persons  in a traditional marriage did not apply to single persons.  Did DOMA therefore demean, humiliate, and deny dignity to those single people?  No, of course not!

Justice Kennedy and his majority rely on the Fifth Amendment to reach their twisted conclusion. "... the principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold ... that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution."

Marshall noted that at the time of the adoption of the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights in 1791 all thirteen states made sodomy illegal.  There is no constitutional history from the Convention of 1789 nor in the official records of any Amendment adopted since then which required the Court to reach their conclusion, which fails to even define marriage.

Marshall pointed to Federal district court judge Vaughn Walker who struck down California Proposition 8 limiting marriage to one man and one woman who acknowledged after his decision that he was in a same sex relationship which should have caused Walker to recuse himself from the case, but he did not.  "I have to question whether one or more of the majority justices are pushing a personal agenda with this decision because there in nothing in the Constitution that substantiates it," said Marshall.

Delegate Marshall stated that "The alleged DOMA created liabilities experienced by same sex "married" couples will be the very reasons same sex marriage proponents will use to bring other cases before the Supreme Court to declare traditional one man, one woman marriage laws in the 38 states that define marriage as between one man and one woman unconstitutional."

Marshall noted, "This decision will have far-reaching adverse and coercive consequences for children, church adoption agencies, the tax status of churches which decline marriage ceremonies to same sex couples, employers, school classroom courses and other areas of American life."

The  Supreme Court ruling did not determine whether states may continue to limit marriage to one man and one woman.  Its DOMA decision has left considerable uncertainty with respect to state tax and welfare laws.

For example, will Medicaid benefits which are joint Federally/state funded be required to be offered to same-sex "married" couples and their families in Virginia even though our Constitution prohibits same-sex marriage?  What happens now when a same-sex couple "married" in another state applies for Medicaid in Virginia as a married couple?

Additionally, what happens when a same sex couple "married" in another state moves to Virginia and files their taxes as "married filing jointly". Traditionally, there's has been reciprocity between the Federal and state tax codes.  This sets up a prescident for a suit against Virginia.

Marshall added, "Federal Judges are supposed to expound the Constitution, not rationalize preferred personal sexual behavior and under the shadow of sleight of hand legalize it as the 'law of the land.'  It is vanity to think that the Laws of Nature and Nature's God may be overturned by the constitutional pretense of the majority Justices."