Nonsense Opposition to DOMA

One doesn’t have to follow the same-sex marriage debate for long to recognize a strain of human tendencies with which I became familiar as an ideological minority in the college classroom.
As I duked it out with the professor, most of the students would rush to take his or her side (silence from others being an indicator that they may have feared to take mine), and any excuse to affirm their position would spark a declaration of the form, “See! That’s conclusive.” Sometimes the catalyst was a reasonable (but not decisive) point, but just as often it was a wholly inadequate analogy or even just a superficial semantic twisting of my own arguments.
Such is the Providence Journal’s seconding of former U.S. Congressman and former Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr’s recent op-ed arguing for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Barr’s key point is utterly nonsensical:

In effect, DOMA’s language reflects one-way federalism: It protects only those states that don’t want to accept a same-sex marriage granted by another state.

The Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t need to be guided in two directions on this matter. It simply isn’t plausible to suggest that states that want to recognize same-sex marriage might be forced not to because another state does not.
There are only two actual reasons to support the repeal of DOMA. The first is to curry political favor with the homosexual movement and those who like to feel as if they can play the Right Side of History game on their behalf. The second is to enable the judiciary to force a radical change in the definition of marriage from coast to coast, thus enabling elected officials to allow their proclaimed personal view of marriage to be subverted in a way that leaves their hands clean.
In the process, mounds of verbiage are being piled up to excuse the imposition of a policy preference based on emotion, not reason, and to obscure the implication that supporters, while they may believe democracy to be a nifty principle, are much more interested in crafting the laws to suit their own tastes than supporting their fellow Americans’ right to shape their own civil society.

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15 years ago

Since becoming a libertarian, Barr learned a little something about the stupidity of legislation restricting people’s rights because of their sexual orientation. Did he bolt the GOP because he got tired of playing that card?
Conservatism and libertarianism do not have to be mutually exclusive – Barr’s proving it. It’s not like he became a flaming liberal overnight.

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