Pit, meet 233 members of the House of Representatives

The Republican-led House of Representatives voted Thursday to prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize gay marriages sanctioned by other states. The Marriage Protection Act passed on a 233-194 vote, buoyed by backing from the Bush administration.

God-damn-fucking-idiot-ignoramus-asshole-buttmuch-dipshit-fuckheads-who-need-to-pull-they’re-mother-fucking-heads-out-of -their-asses.

Give us a fucking break already.


I think any consenting adults should be able to get married. However, there are some states in which the vast majority of people do not think so. Do you think it’s wise to impose a new definition of marriage on an unwilling populace by judicial order?

Is this the same bill that got voted down in the Senate a week or two ago?

Just one little problem, called the U.S Constitution:

Of course, this raises a very thorny issue, as you have pointed out. But we’ve been here before. People used to go to Nevada to get a divorce, because it was easy there, at a time when getting divorced in most other states was very difficult. The other states, like it or not, had to recognize those Nevada divorces.

As far as the action of the House goes, the phrase that comes to mind is, “Do not pass Constitutional muster. Do not collect $200.”

No, the Senate vote last week was a procedural vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. This looks to be something entirely different.

I may be confused about the way your seperation of powers work, but I wasn’t aware that Congress could pass legislation dictating how the courts should interpret the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution. I strongly suspect this is a meaningless piece of legislation passed solely so that congressmen can jump up and down in front of voters demonstrating their dedication to Protecting the Families of America from the Gay Agenda.

No, the Senate was considering a Constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being the union of a man and a woman. In fact, the Senate never even voted on the amendment itself. They couldn’t get enough votes to agree to end debate, and bring the amendment to a vote.

This bill is trying to achieve similar objectives by limiting the jurisdiction of the Federal courts. The Senate is even less likely to go along with this than they were to go along with the Constitutional amendment, IMO.

Here is how the voting went down, in case you’d like to tell your Congress critter how you feel:


There was a pundit on NPR this morning saying that the promoters of the bill had to expect that the bill would fail and that therefore what they were actually doing was forcing their opponents to vote “for gay marriage” in an election year. With names to be taken for attack later.

I guess there might also be folks who voted for it, assuming that it would be declared unconstitutional after they were safely re-elected.

ACLU chimes in

I opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, because it sought to remove from the states their control over marriage. It would have prevented a state from determining to recognize same-sex marriage, even if its citizens wanted to. I condemned that as a usurption of the states’ role in the federal system. Marriage, I said then, is an issue to be regulated by the states.

In this case, I think the House’s vote is intended to produce a good result: to allow each state to decide the merits of the same-sex marriage issue on its own. Just as I cheerfully grant Massachusetts the power and right to decide yes, I must respect the rights of other states to decide ‘no.’

Of course, all such decisions must be made within the limits of the federal constitution, the supreme law of the land.

When Virginia sought to ignore marriages between blacks and whites, the Supreme Court stepped in to say that such distinctions were forbidden by the federal constitution.

The problem is that thus far, the Supreme Court has not ruled that same-sex marriage is analogous to interracial marriage for the purposes of federal constitutional protection. I do not believe they should – I believe that, consistent with the view I espouse above, it’s a matter for each state to determine.

All that said, I don’t like the idea of the legislature doing an end-run around the courts by withdrawing jurisdiction. On the other hand, the courts are not blameless: when they start playing with “substantive due process” as a means of arrogating to themselves the legislature’s proper function, they should not be surprised when there’s a backlash from the branch of government whose power is being usurped.

In the end, the basic notion of self-governance tells us that we are ruled not by the courts, but by ourselves, as expressed through our democratically-elected leaders. Let’s do away with BOTH the idea that the legislature must explictly decalre subjects off-limits to the courts as well as the odious methods of analysis by which the courts try to become a super-legislature.

  • Rick

Er… you know there is case law that provides the FF&C clause is inapplicable in cases that violate the public policy of a given state, right?

It’s far from clear that the FF&C clause would force states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

In fact, one of the arguments heard on the Senate floor AGAINST the Federal Marriage Amendment is that it is unnecessary, because the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) already protected unwilling states from having to recognize same-sex marriages peformed in their sister states.

  • Rick

Don’t feel bad - we haven’t actually figured it out, yet, ourselves. :smiley:

Seriously, though, there are a lot of unresolved questions about the relative powers of the legislative and judicial branches, primarily because our Constitution says precious little about the judiciary. There’s a thread about it over in Great Debates, and from the handful of posts there, you can quickly see that it’s a messy subject.

Indeed, messier than I had realized prior to reading that thread.

That’s a nice sentiment, but it is practical at all? I mean, it seems that this would be a bit of “unmaking the sausage”, wouldn’t it? Not knowing too much about the subject, where would this process begin?

Quite right, Gorsnak. Besides the fact that the Senate is never going to allow this bill to reach young Master McCarthy’s desk for signature, there is the fact that FF&C has never been definitvely determined to apply to marriage laws in all cases.

It’s transparent election-year grandstanding, pure and simple.

Well, yes, but let’s try a little hypothetical. State A allows people to marry at the age of 14. State B finds this an offense against common decency. A couple, aged 19 and 14, get married in State A. They move to State B. The 19-year-old is promptly arrested for statutory rape. What would the Federal courts do? I’ve got to think that they would tell State B that it must recognize the marriage.

Just to toss another wrench into the works, if one state refused to recognize marriages performed in another state (same-sex, whatever), could that be considered a violation of the Commerce Clause? Yikes!

My Rep actually voted nay on this :slight_smile: I wrote him today thanking him. I suggest that if you were against this, and your Rep voted the same, you take the time to tell them so.

If you are for this, then fuck you.

So, let me guess, you think basic equality and civil rights should be defined at the state level? If this is the case, there would still be segregation in the south. Sorry bub, but when an issue comes to civil rights, how can you justify the allocation of those rights by which state you happen to live in?

Since statutory rape is a strict liability offense, would the marriage even be admissible in court?

This is similar to my thought - doesn’t the DOMA make this vote completely redundant? Why is this even being discussed?

Just wanted to say thanks to honeydewgrrl for making me aware of this; I’d had no idea. (I don’t read The Advocate, which is the only news source I’ve seen that didn’t relegate this to a back-page story.)