Crossposted from Republicans for Freedom.

I just spent three days receiving training about how great the Family Leave Act is, which allows married couples to take time off work to care for one another in a medical crisis. Every single moment of the training (which was intended to boost morale), reminded me that my marriage will mean nothing in the eyes of the law.

The training only served to remind me of my legal second-class status. Basically, the Family Leave Act allows many workers time off from work to care for their spouse or children who suffer from a medical condition – unless the legally married couple is of the same-sex, because the federal DOMA law specifically states that such unions will not be given the same legal status by the federal government as all other legally married couples.

It doesn’t matter what your state license says, the federal government is allowed to ignore your marriage.

I can’t even take bereavement leave if I work for the federal government and my spouse of 22 years dies. DOMA prohibits it. I would have to request personal vacation time (if I have any), and employers can deny.

On the other hand, DOMA allows legally married same-sex couples to get around federal laws that prohibit nepotism. This means that gay and lesbian Americans who work for the federal government do enjoy one legal right prohibited to straight couples: we can legally hire and supervise our own spouse, mother-in-law, and other family members of our spouse.

We can be legally married to our spouse, but because of DOMA they and their family have no legal relationship to us: So hire away! If you work for the federal government there is nothing legally stopping you from hiring your spouse or his/her family. We can also farm government contracts out to our spouse and his family- it’s legal for gays!

Ironic isn’t it – anti-gay fanatics scream “special rights” every time we fight for the exact same legal rights straight couples already enjoy – and then because of a law meant to punish and denigrate us we end up with a special right that straight couples do not have.

Oh the irony.

Everyone say “thanks” to Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer for making it possible for us to hire and farm government contracts to our spouse and family.

Yet another reason to do away with DOMA and treat straight and same-sex married couples the same.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding