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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jane Lynch and DOMA

Rachel: We are in a moment when the politics of gay rights are rapidly, rapidly changing.

Jane: I know fast, yeah, really fast. You know it is an issue that I have not really taken personally so much. I mean, it's something that I watch on television with great interest. I have a stake in it. I've got skin in the game, as 'twere. But when the President came out and said that he supported the dignity of our families and our relationships, that really moved me. That really touched me for the first time and I realized that I'd been kind of distanced emotionally from it, but that really kind of broke it open for me.
A taste of an interview aired tonight as the Mets bullpen was blowing it, or thereabouts. [Redundant statement -- Santana started; Mets blew it one way or the other for him in all games but one.]  I watched the first episode of Glee, a show raved about by various places at the time.  Didn't really find it that exciting.  Some have noted the show went somewhat downhill since there.  I am not a viewer.  Jane Lynch also had a guest stint as Sam's somewhat unhinged mom on iCarly and is an animal lover.

She also married her partner in Massachusetts (marriage does not seem to be in cards yet for Rachel Maddow and her long time partner), the vows including "to be the very best parent I can be," in reference to her wife's daughter.  I recently noted again that Universal Life Church ministers are not treated with equal respect by New York law and darn:
Jane Lynch and Lara Embry were married Monday [in 2010] at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland, Mass. Jeannie Elias, a friend who became a Universal Life minister for the event, officiated. 
State law is rather specific there on the point; that's the link provided by a ULC link at least.  NY at least doesn't have such a sect specific approach.  Sheesh.  Anyway, DOMA has a lot more likely affect on couples there as shown by litigation pending regarding federal benefits denied, much to the chagrin of state officials.  This is the sort of thing President Obama was talking about, even if (per my earlier post), some are confused about how "inconsistent" he is to say that he believes marriage law should be a state issue as if he is not aware of Loving v. Virginia or something.  Complexity apparently went out of standard after "gut" check Bush. 

The state (like mine) authorizes same sex marriages, in part to help families like the one present for Ms Lynch and Embry (see also, a recent comment concerning a film involving the complexities of family life without proper state authorization), but federal law singles them out to deny them federal benefits. The law's first section does the opposite of someone whom "supported the dignity of our families and our relationships."  The whole section: This Act may be cited as the ``Defense of Marriage Act''.  Simply put, the purpose is to establish, by federal law, that "marriage" is "defended" by singling out same sex couples for disfavor.

The section does not merely provide a "title" to the legislation.  No.  It is in effect an establishment of bigotry.  This has a certain First Amendment feel to it -- it is akin, in a fashion, to a protection of "religion" that provides a narrow definition, like Mitt Romney's nod to our "Judeo-Christian" values, as if "religion" in this country is of a certain caliber:
America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.
Yes, our rise to global leadership did not involve Jeffersonian deism or anything.  "Marriage" does not include Jane Lynch and Lara Embry, just as a "vision of goodness" is you know, basically "Christian," with Jews tossed in as a nice gesture and all.  The second provision of DOMA is a redundant security to an already existing public policy exception that is written in a broad way to harm some stray gays and lesbians, who might fall between the cracks without it.  The third section is what President Obama is not defending in court, in fact, is actively challenging while still executing the law as long as it is upheld in the courts. This, though it confused certain law professor types at the time, follows long precedent, including a promoted by John Roberts back when he was an advocate.

But, the first section really says it all.  Jane could knowingly say "our" with special meaning in an interview with Rachel Maddow. The word, such an important little pronoun, however has a further reach in the eyes of the President and others. It means all of us. The path to truly defending marriage continues, teaching the wisdom of an opinion written by someone with a penchant for gay clerks, even if he was clueless about so doing, claiming that he never had met a homosexual:
Even if conditions of modern society have brought about a decline in extended family households, they have not erased the accumulated wisdom of civilization, gained over the centuries and honored throughout our history, that supports a larger conception of the family.
Ah well.  The full interview is up.  Time to watch it.