Married gay couples sue U.S. seeking federal rights
Tue Mar 3, 2009 2:14pm EST
By Jason Szep
BOSTON (Reuters) - Eight same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts and three gay widowers filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking access to the federal protections and programs granted to straight married couples.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Massachusetts marks the first major challenge to the constitutionality of a federal law denying gay and lesbian couples access to more than 1,000 federal programs and legal protections, gay advocates say.
A bit further down is what's really at stake:
In practice, that means even if a same-sex couple is married in a state like Massachusetts, they are denied access to a trove of benefits -- from health insurance benefits to retirement and death benefits for surviving spouses.
And, of course, you have the regular haters who come up with the usual excuses:
Opponents to the lawsuit said the Defense of Marriage Act protects children and families, and reflects mainstream opposition to gay marriage....
"Americans overwhelmingly believe marriage to be the union of one man and one woman," Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said in a written statement.
"Same-sex marriage activists simply cannot win a public vote, so they force their will upon the citizenry through select, activist judges."
Funny I think I've heard these bogus arguments somewhere before... Something about the South in the 1960's and '70's... Wait, it'll come to me...
It's high time that society learns that sometimes the majority is wrong. When the will of the majority takes away basic rights from the minority, it is wrong. When that happens, it is up to the judicial process to right that wrong. Maybe we can get it right this time.