The Spectacle Blog

DOMA Does Not Violate the Tenth Amendment

By on 7.9.10 | 3:15PM

While it is always nice to see a federal judge dusting off the Tenth Amendment, the ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates states' rights is fairly ridiculous. DOMA is not a "federal ban on gay marriage." It did not prevent Massachusetts from recognizing same-sex marriage. It would not prevent all 50 states from doing so if they chose. What it does is prevent Massachusetts from using the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution to impose same-sex marriage on unwilling states and the federal government.

More than 30 states have reaffirmed marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Just a handful have adopted a unisex definition of marriage, only two legislatively and none by popular vote. If you want to argue that this somehow violates the equal protection clause, fine, but the Tenth Amendment did not give Massachusetts the right to override the rest of the country on the issue of how marriage will be defined for public purposes.

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