FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications, a Boston federal district court judge has declared the federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Judge Joseph Tauro says the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act - which defines marriage as between a man and a woman - denies same-sex couples equal protection under the law.
Massachusetts believes the federal ban denied benefits - including Medicaid - to gay married couples; and the judge agreed, saying the ban on gay marriage forces the state to discriminate against its own citizens. Same-sex unions have been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.
The judge added that the federal ban also goes against the long history of letting states set their own marriage laws, which they've been doing since before the American revolution. Judge Tauro says that laws that once barred interracial marriage caused as much debate as the current battle over gay marriage.
Gay rights activists are, of course, thrilled with this ruling... calling it a "landmark decision."
Opponents say they're sure the decision will be overturned on appeal. They call the ruling "judicial activism" and the work of a "rogue judge." Noting that, when voters go to the ballot box, they consistently reject gay marriage proposals.
Nonetheless - it's really worth watching what happens from here. So far the justice department is only saying it's reviewing the decision; and hasn't decided whether or not to appeal it.
But if a higher court were to hear an appeal and agree with the ruling, the impact of this decision could spread. It could also encourage other attorneys general who are against the federal gay marriage ban to sue.
Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
From a legal standpoint, the judge's ruling is correct: DOMA makes an artificial distinction between married heterosexual couples and married homosexual couples. It treats one set as inferior to the other, and that's a distinction that the Constitution does not recognize.
Mike in Virginia writes:
No, I do not agree. At what point do we undermine every last bit of tradition to make sure that every nontraditional want and desire is fulfilled? Hell, we've watered down Christmas and Easter so much that there is no mention of Christ, or God. Now we want to water down marriage so much that there is no mention of a man and a wife. By allowing solid and important traditions to erode away we are in danger of watering down the entire ethos of American culture, but maybe that's the goal.
I agree with the court ruling. My husband and I have been married since 2004, yet even though we have the same type of marriage license as other couples in Mass., we still don't have the same treatment by the federal government that other married couples in Mass. have. It is a two-level system.
Cary in Maine writes:
This issue has always been religious in nature since most who oppose gay rights do so based on a few passages in the Old Testament. Religion should never be the basis for law, especially Constitutional law. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.
I am a married gay man from Massachusetts. To have the state recognize and welcome my marriage while the federal government rejects it seems an impossible contradiction. I am a married man. I want my husband to have all of the same rights as any other married spouse.
Linda in Arizona writes:
Of course. Anyone crazy enough to want to get married should be allowed to.