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Speak Out: Court Rules Marriage Act Unconstitutional

Were the judges right?

A federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage as between one man and one woman — is unconstitutional because it denies benefits to same-sex couples that heterosexual couples receive.

The justices stayed the ruling pending an anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Bloomberg reported.

According to the Huffington Post: "The court didn't rule on the law's more politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry."

The judge who wrote the unanimous decision was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, the Wall Street Journal said. Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan appointed the other two.

"I think that it's a sensible and conservative decision," said State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Dist. 18), who is openly gay. "It continues to demonstrate the momentum that is on the side of dignity and recognition for same-gender couples."

Speak Out: Was the court right? Was the court partially right? Was the court completely wrong? Will the ruling have an effect on the same-sex marriage referendum in November? Tell us in the comments.

Peter Mork June 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Regardless, the confusion (on my part) is real. Specifically what makes the article biased?
Jeff Hawkins June 01, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Peter: Just about the whole thing Peter, no differing opinions or viewpoints were sought out. Perhaps they should have waited to procure a couple before going to print? In effect, by doing so the article becomes one-side and in other words biased. This has become a practice used far too often........
Peter Mork June 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM
"A federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act ... is unconstitutional because ..." -- A statement of fact. There is no opinion or viewpoint here except for the reason offered by the court (but the whole point of the article is the court's ruling). "The justices stayed the ruling pending an anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Bloomberg reported." -- Neither does this look like there's any opinion, apart from the justices' opinion that the case is likely to be appealed. "According to the Huffington Post: "The court didn't rule on the law's more politically combustible provision... It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry."" -- A statement of fact. This paragraph indicates which provisions of the law are not affected by the ruling. There doesn't seem to be any implication as to whether or not those unaffected provisions should or should not be allowed to stand, merely that this ruling does not touch them. "The judge who wrote the unanimous decision was appointed by President George H.W. Bush..." -- More facts. There is no opinion or viewpoint here at all. ""I think that it's a sensible and conservative decision," said State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Dist. 18)..."" -- Finally, an opinion! But, this opinion is not the author's opinion. It is the opinion of Sen. Madaleno, and is attributed as such.
Peter Mork June 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM
(My apologies to the author for the lengthy exigesis.) So, we are looking at the following pieces of information being included: 1) A law was struck down on particular grounds. 2) The ruling was stayed. 3) Not all parts of the law were struck down. 4) The judges were appointed by various presidents (establishing some context). 5) A quote in favor of the court's ruling. There's nothing controversial in the selection of 1) through 4). Of those paragraphs, 1) and 3) are probably the most important. So, it seems like your objection boils down to the mrer existence of the final quote. Thus, instead of claiming "the whole thing" is biased, you could have started with the complaint that no counterpoint to Sen. Madaleno's quote was provided. That's a legitimate point and more productive than throwing up your (figurative) hands in "shock."
Bora Mici June 03, 2012 at 01:39 AM
It seems like DOMA is flawed because it seeks to define marriage at the federal level, while also attempting to ensure that states maintain their sovereignity on the matter. It's a paradox.

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