The hate behind DOMA, finally revealed

Credit U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and Obama appointee) Elena Kagan with outing the Republican discrimination behind their 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At today’s hearing before the Supreme Court, Kagan read from the Republican-drafted House Report that accompanied the original DOMA legislation:

Congress decided to reflect an ‘honor of collective moral judgment’ and to express ‘moral disapproval of homosexuality.’

Here’s the entire quote from pages 15-16 of the 1996 House Report:

Civil laws that permit only heterosexual marriage reflect and honor a collective moral judgment about human sexuality. This judgment entails both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.

Laughably, the House Report then goes on to quote Republican Congressman Henry Hyde for the proposition that:

[S]ame-sex marriage, if sanctified by the law, if approved by the law, legitimates a public union, a legal status that most people … feel ought to be illegitimate. … And in so doing it trivializes the legitimate status of marriage and demeans it by putting a stamp of approval … on a union that many people … think is immoral.

Hyde, you may recall, trivialized and demeaned the legitimate status of marriage all on his own when, as he was leading the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for lying about an affair, it was revealed that Hyde had had his own immoral union with another married woman while he was married.

It’s not clear whether Justice Kagan’s outing of the rank Republican discrimination behind DOMA (endorsed, unfortunately, by Democratic President Clinton when he signed the bill into law) will sway any votes on the Court towards striking down all or part of DOMA. However, that the language Kagan pointed out now seems so jarring, so openly prejudicial, and, like the Republican Party itself, so hopelessly out of touch with the times, can only be a hopeful sign.

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