Leave it to the states.
Until late last week, the State of Iowa had a law on its books that was inspired by the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) passed by the Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. In the past ten years, a total of 42 states have passed similar legislation as extra insurance just in case the Federal version of the bigotry somehow wasn’t explicit enough.
On top of those two layers of the American cake of bigotry, 27 states have added a frosting of constitutional amendments that reinforce (some with extreme restrictions) the opinion that same sex couples are exempt from due process and equal protection guarantees that exist in the US Constitution.
The people have spoken! There is nothing more democratic and truly American than leaving issues like this for each individual state to decide. This is what Hillary Clinton seems to think according to her remarks made last week following the news that a court in Iowa declared that the states' definition of marriage to be unconstitutional. Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Clinton said that the question of same sex marriage should be left up to the states.
According to the AP (“Iowa gay marriage ruling stirs 2008 race” by Amy Lorentzen 8/31/07) Clinton said, “The states have always determined age of marriage, other conditions and over time we've gotten rid a lot of discrimination that used to exist in marriage laws,” she said. “That's now happening. People are making decisions. Civil unions, marriage. They're deciding in the states and I think that's the appropriate place for that to be.”
Does Clinton advocate for states to create laws that conflict with the US Constitution? It sounds like she does. According to Polk County Judge Robert Hanson, Iowa’s definition of marriage, “…violates Plaintiffs' due process and equal protection rights for the aforementioned reasons including, but not limited to, the absence of a rational relationship to the achievement of any legitimate governmental interest, the Court concludes it is unconstitutional and invalid.”
I would love to hear her response to this interpretation of her ideology of leaving the matter of marriage equality for the states to determine. She is encouraging the states to continue the discrimination against LGBT families that her husband started. Doesn’t she find it problematic as a candidate for President of the United States that a judge has reasonably and readily determined that DoMA laws are unconstitutional and harmful?
It states in the decision issued by Judge Hanson last week that there are 5800 same sex couples in the state of Iowa and that 37% of those households are raising children under the age of 18. There are approximately 3158 children living in Iowa with parents who are denied constitutional guarantees because the voters of the state decided they don’t like LGBT people. Bill Clintons’ legislation allowed them to legalize bigotry. Hillary Clinton is perpetuating this attack on the citizenship of LGBT people as she continues to promote the idea that the states are the “appropriate” place to handle these decisions.
She needs to read Judge Hanson’s decision and she needs to be questioned about her position in the light of his interpretation of the law. No Presidential candidate, particularly this candidate – especially during an appearance on a television show hosted by an award winning lesbian – should be allowed to make general, thoughtless, and ignorant statements about the citizenship of a minority group without being asked to clarify herself.
In the decision, Judge Hanson says that the law in question “…operates only to harm same-sex couples and their children” and “…the total exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is completely arbitrary.”
Is it Senator Clinton’s position to encourage states to pass arbitrary and unconstitutional laws that harm LGBT citizens?