EXTRA! EXTRA! DoMA ruled unconstitutional by U.S. Court of Appeals

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay couples.

Hey, no shit.

I just had a flashback to a backyard fundraiser for Paul Wellstone about 10 years ago over at some friends' house in Mendota Heights. This was during his re-election campaign, a few months before he died in the plane crash in Eveleth. Like half of Minnesota, I had known Paul on a first-name basis for about 20 years, since before he ran for and lost the election for state auditor.

He asked for hardball questions at the fundraiser, memorable also because some uninvited kid with a video camera and pimples was there filming the event on the behalf of the senator's Republican opponent's campaign.

Anyway, I remember Wellstone saying at the time--pretty much not for public consumption--that he flat-out blew it by voting for the Defense of Marriage Act.

Well, I just did some digging and saw this from the obituary in the Progressive magazine, which quoted Wellstone in his autobiography The Conscience of a Liberal:

What troubles me is that I may not have cast the right vote on DOMA. I might have rationalized my vote by making myself believe that my honest position was opposition. This vote was an obvious trap for a senator like me, who was up for reelection. Did I convince myself that I could gleefully deny Republicans this opportunity? . . . When Sheila and I attended a Minnesota memorial service for Matthew Shepard, I thought to myself, "Have I taken a position that contributed to a climate of hatred?" . . . I still wonder if I did the right thing.

You didn't do the right thing on DoMA, Paul. But you inspired a lot of people to do the right thing since then.



(Photo courtesy Baseball Bugs at WikimediaCommons)

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Jeff Z's picture
Jeff Zuckerman