Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It really is just that simple

I've had several people ask me why Outright Libertarians hasn't put together a proposal for what to do about the Defense of Marriage Act. I've always wondered at this question, because I thought that's what we had been doing for the past several years -- our proposal is simply that DOMA be repealed entirely.

However, I understand that what most of these folks are asking for is language that would only partially repeal DOMA -- the part that's the most anti-federalist (or in Dixiecrat terms, "violates states rights"). And while I consider this option sub-optimal, it's clearly better than nothing, and nobody out there (Clinton, Obama, Barr, etc.) has laid out the specifics of what exactly a partial repeal would look like. So here goes:

Repeal from Chapter 1, Title 1 of the United States Code:

Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'

`In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.'.

In addition, there'd need to be a clerical amendment to the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 1 of title 1, USC, removing:

`7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'.'.

It's just that simple. This tiny bill to repeal the anti-federalist second half of DOMA would overnight require that the IRS, Immigration (ICE), federal courts, and all other federal bureaucracies treat same-sex couples married in Massachusetts exactly the same as they treat opposite-sex married couples. Joint filing of taxes, sponsorship of one's spouse for a green card, being able to deduct spousal health benefits from taxation, etc. -- nothing all that sexy, just stuff that straight married people take for granted. And once this repeal passes, we can repeal the other half or just wait for the Supreme Court to realize that the other half is a blatant violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and rule the law unconstitutional.

So, hopefully, this puts to rest once and for all the various criticisms that amount to "but what's Outright's proposal?" You have it now, in plain text, and it was just this simple all along.