Patch’s Poll: Should Gay People Be Afforded The Same Federal Rights In Marriage?

A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that a portion of the government’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies gay couples access to certain federal benefits.


A federal judge in Hartford ruled on Tuesday that a portion of the U.S. government’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies certain benefits to same-sex couples.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant issued a lengthy decision saying the federal law violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection, because of a provision that “obligates the federal government to single out a category of marriage as excluded from federal recognition, thereby resulting in an inconsistent distribution of federal marital benefits."

The case, which was carried out in the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, involved six married gay couples, and a widower, who were denied federal benefits such as recogition under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Social Security death benefits, the federal tax code and others.

As the AP reported, the couples had worked for the government, and at least one of the plaintiffs was a Navy veteran.

The ruling comes just a few months after a panel of judges in the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston issued a similar ruling, according to Fox News.

What do you think? Should gay people be afforded the same federal rights in marriage as straight people with regard to benefits? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Sandy D'Esopo August 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM
REVMAN: Who are you to tell me who I can marry?
Sandy D'Esopo August 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Hi Waterford Guy: Good marriage questions. On insurance, (health I mean),we disagree. Leaving who, who not, what to to insure, and what to charge, to insurance companies is a mistake for several reasons. First, they'd reject too many and ER's would be stuck with them--like now. Next, they'd deny coverage whenever they could. Finally, they'd overcharge, like now. Trouble is, they aren't in business for our benefit, but theirs. And they've been screwing us for years. It probably won't happen in our lifetime, but a government single-payer system would provide the greatest good to the greatest number. Socialism? Yes, like Social Security and Medicare. As a retired business owner, I'm believe in private enterprise. It's the genius of our economy. But it can't solve every problem. In the 30's Social Security was created because of the failure of the private market. Banks failed, wiping out the life savings of people who had scrimped all their lives for retirement. Medicare helped retirees who had lost insurance upon retiring, or been canceled due to illness. In sum, we should embrace the best of both private enterprise and socialism. Mistrust government: absolutely. But mistrusting the market is just as important, sometimes more. Good to read your commentaries, and hope to see more. If you prefer an easier format, my email is: sfdesopo@gmail.com
Sandy D'Esopo August 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Farm Guy: Please reread the Ist Amendment. Officially, we recognize no religion, not even Christianity. Also, the founding fathers included atheists and deists, and their guiding prinicple came from the Enlightenment philosophers of France, England, and also from the democracy of the Irquois Nation. And yes, the bible, but hardly exclusively. Back then we were a colony dominated by Protestants who often didn't act very Christian when it came to black slaves or Indians. Beating, lyingj, cheating and murdering played as much a hand in building our nation as the Bible. Despite that, our forefathers created a great nation. It still is, because of freedom, not exclusion of those some call 'differrent.' Narrowmindedness is not patriotic.
REVMAN August 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Sandy -Wanna marry a dog,cat,horse go right ahead but real marriage is between a MAN & WOMAN to me.I'm not telling you anything.
farm guy August 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Sandy, I did not say I agree with a bible centered government. Of course we officially recognize no religion, but to say this country wasn't founded on judeo-Christian values, is just plain wrong. It has nothing to do with "lying, cheating and murdering". Those things may have happened, but the founding fathers built a country under guiding principals that were based on the English Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and the language in the Declaration of Independence.


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