OBAMA to oppose DOMA/Thoughts on Same Sex Divorce
For years the White House has vowed to support the Defense of Marriage Act, and this week President Obama changed course (click here for NY Times article). DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) was signed into law fifteen years ago by then President Bill Clinton. It basically is the federal government stepping into family law (which seems to be the trend) and determining, on a federal level, that marriage can only be between a man and a woman and that states do not have to recognize (give full faith and credit) to a marriage between members of the same sex even if the state where they were married allows them to do so legally-see Wikipedia definition of DOMA by clicking here. Most legal scholars (and some state courts) find the law unconstitutional.
But now President Obama has announced that he will support the repeal of this law. This does not mean states have to allow same sex marriage, but it does remove a large obstacle for gay marriage proponents. The legislation President Obama now supports still has yet to pass, but this is a big first step.
Regardless of whether people feel gay marriage should be allowed or not, I think I am a proponent of allowing gay divorce. Not because it generates more business for divorce lawyers; in fact, it will create less business because the process of separating gay couples and dividing their assets and working out visitation arrangements for their children would then be simpler and much less costly. Rather the reason to support allowing gay couples to divorce is that it gives law abiding adults a method to resolve disputes that will arise whether there is gay marriage or not. Throughout time there have been same sex relationships. The real question for me is how we, as an advanced civilization, handle the legal aspects of a separation. If we ignore it and put our heads in the sand, that helps no one. The problems remain, people engage in self help and take what they want, including children and the result is chaos.
I am not sure what the future holds, but it seems that a legal process, whether it is allowing same-sex divorce or whether we term it something else would be a positive step for our society and most importantly for the children of same sex couples.