Debate Club

The Undue Hardship Caused by DOMA Is Unconstitutional

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Yes. The nation's high court has agreed to consider one of the defining civil rights issues of our time. Marriage equality touches our hearts and affects our families, and the Defense of Marriage Act case presents the Supreme Court with a monumental opportunity to affirm our common humanity and our Constitution's promises of liberty, equality and human dignity.

Loving, committed same-sex couples simply want to be treated fairly, and to be able to provide for and protect our families, just as everyone else does. Yet DOMA, as the law is called, makes this impossible by denying legally married same-sex couples vital federal protections and responsibilities available to every other married couple in this country.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gay marriage.]

This causes profound and undo hardship for thousands and thousands of families. Couples who have made a lifelong commitment to each other through marriage are being treated as strangers in the eyes of their own government. This is unconscionable, and as lower courts have deemed, unconstitutional.

America is ready for change. The transformative nature of people talking about their love and their lives is clear, as we saw with the sweeping statewide marriage victories last November, and in the fact that a clear and solid majority of Americans—from every background and walk of life—supports the freedom to marry.

But the journey is not finished, for as long as the Defense of Marriage Act remains intact, then true marriage equality remains out of reach. The clock is ticking on DOMA­—it is time for the Supreme Court to strike it down, once and for all.

Stacey Long

About Stacey Long Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Tags
civil rights
LGBT rights
marriage
Supreme Court

Other Arguments

#1
36 Pts
DOMA Helps No One, While Harming Many

Yes – DOMA Helps No One, While Harming Many

Evan Wolfson Founder and President of Freedom to Marry

#2
29 Pts
DOMA Will Be Overturned: The Question Is How

Yes – DOMA Will Be Overturned: The Question Is How

Casey Pick Policy Fellow with the National LGBT Bar Association

#3
28 Pts
Unelected Supreme Court Shouldn't Impose Gay Marriage by Fiat

No – Unelected Supreme Court Shouldn't Impose Gay Marriage by Fiat

Penny Nance President and CEO of Concerned Women for America

#4
21 Pts
Same-Sex Couples Deserve Equal Protection Under the Law

Yes – Same-Sex Couples Deserve Equal Protection Under the Law

Chad Griffin President of the Human Rights Campaign

#6
8 Pts
The Supreme Court Can't Unilaterally Change the Definition of Marriage

No – The Supreme Court Can't Unilaterally Change the Definition of Marriage

Chris Gacek Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council

#7
-28 Pts
No, Redefining Marriage Isn't Mandated by the Due Process Clause

No – No, Redefining Marriage Isn't Mandated by the Due Process Clause

John C. Eastman Chairman of the Board of the National Organization for Marriage

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