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Another reason DOMA is evil

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Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby ladyhawk » Thu Feb 2, 10:07 2012

I was reading an article today about a lesbian veteran who is suing the federal government for denying certain VA benefits to her wife because the federal government and the VA don't recognize same-sex marriages.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/01/us/lesbian-veteran-lawsuit/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1

Cooper-Harris, who served 12 years in the Army, says she wants the same military benefits that a heterosexual married couple would receive.

Cooper-Harris said she was diagnosed in 2010 with multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system.

The suit claims that her disease is "service-connected" and she does get disability compensation for it. But Cooper-Harris says she wants to make sure that after she dies, her spouse, Maggie, whom she married in 2008, is taken care of financially.

She also wants Maggie to be buried next to her in a veterans cemetery. These requests were denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the suit says, because "spouse" is defined as "a person of the opposite sex who is a wife or a husband."


The fact that her claim was denied bothers me for a couple of reasons. One is obviously because I believe that they should have the same right to a marriage as, say, me and my husband, or, like, any other hetero couple who wants to get hitched.

The other is because she was in the military for 12 years. I feel like the military is a job many people wouldn't even consider, especially during a time of war, because of the risks that come with it, but she dedicated 12 years of her life to it -- to the U.S. government, which is the exact institution preventing her claim for being approved to begin with. Also, she was in a position where her job was basically to protect the rights and freedoms of the people in this country, and she is getting denied the very same basic rights and freedoms she was dedicated to protecting for others.

The government is really just saying, "Fuck you!" and denying her, when they should be saying, "Thank you!" and helping her out.

And I'm sure this is being applauded by all the fuckhead bigots in this country.

Your thoughts?
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby rowan » Thu Feb 2, 10:17 2012

Well I'm not sure I could say it much better than you did. I really find it frustrating and annoying that the federal government refuses to make this legal. I think it will happen eventually (and probably within my lifetime, even). I hope it happens within hers, and hopefully her lawsuit will help push it through along with many of the other ones in the works.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby Bork » Thu Feb 2, 10:30 2012

That makes me so sad, and so disappointed in our government that they're okay with her devoting 12 years of her life to protecting our country, and then being faced with this.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby ladyhawk » Thu Feb 2, 11:01 2012

rowan wrote:I really find it frustrating and annoying that the federal government refuses to make this legal. I think it will happen eventually (and probably within my lifetime, even).


I really hope that comes true. Sometimes it seems possible, but other times it seems like the bigots are winning and it makes my heart hurt.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby Sonic# » Thu Feb 2, 12:44 2012

It's unjust that a government can control what relationships are considered marriage and what relationships aren't, to the point that a loving relationship between two people who consider each other spouses is not marriage.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby monk » Thu Feb 2, 13:03 2012

The screwy thing is, the votes are already there it's just getting the will behind the attitude to push forward the right changes so meanwhile we're stuck in a limbo where if the bigots & asshats try to push legislation to make things worse they will be denied (see personhood in Mississippi) but not enough votes can be garnered to go the otherway.

and now a story...read or not I don't care.

When I lived in Rural Alaska we had the same kind of stalemate on the local level but it was with Alcohol(beer & hard liquor). The village I lived in was considered "damp" which means you could order alcohol from a store(in another city) that shipped it and get it air-freighted to you in a day or two. When you received the alcohol you could possess it, drink it, or even give it away, but it was illegal to sell it. This created an underground bootleg industry where people w/out the foresight(or ability) to get alcohol shipped to them would pay 5 times the value to buy it from people who did get it shipped.

Every couple of years the pro-alcohol people would try to get the town turned "wet" making it legal to have a liquor store and sell alcohol. When that initiative came on the ballot all kinds of apathetic people who hated what alcohol did (or might do if it was easily accessible)to the community would pop up and vote it down. In the other direction, if an initiative came on the ballot to make the town "dry" (no alcohol imports at all) a bunch of different apathetic people (who liked their beer/booze) would pop up and vote that down.

The gist of this is that from a town that had about 3000 registered voters, only about 500-700 would vote regularly unless an alcohol initiative was on the ballot whereupon the voter turn out would double or triple but only in the direction necessary to kill the new legislation. So everything just stayed the shitty way it was with the smart people having alcohol and the disorganized drinkers paying $50 for a $7 bottle of vodka.

I think we are in much the same position with gay rights in this country(motivewise) and I truly don't see it changing while the current generation is in power.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby lykin005 » Thu Feb 2, 14:57 2012

The government seriously goofed this one up! How can they justify this in their minds or even their hearts? Especially since this is such a relatively small (But still important) thing.

Edit: Butterflynorth is correct, that is how I meant it!
Last edited by lykin005 on Thu Feb 2, 18:06 2012, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby SakuraSong » Thu Feb 2, 16:04 2012

Lykin, I wouldn't call this a small thing.

Instead of looking at this as an pro-gay versus anti-gay issue, see it for what it is - an American veteran being denied rights that she is entitled to as an active military member of the country she's been protecting for 12 years. Marriage was never a political institution, and for a country that is supposedly adamant about the separation of church and state, having marriage defined in such a way is not only unfair, but wrong for those who might not follow the same ideals of that religion.

Now, I think this is simply disgusting and petty of the United States army, and if they could afford to take care of the spouses of straight couples, then I do not see why they cannot do the same for gay couples. Even if they dislike the idea of gay marriage (which is idiotic in the first place), it does not negate the fact that this woman served her country for over a decade.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby Butterfly North » Thu Feb 2, 16:14 2012

I think he meant it's a small thing in terms of the costs to them. It's not going to break the system if they extend some benefits to gay people, the army won't go bankrupt, and yes some bigots might get annoyed but even that would blow over in time. And then compare those small costs to the way it could change lives and what it would mean for equality, the massive benefits, and aside from everything else you just think, wow these people are dumbbbb.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby LunchBox » Thu Feb 2, 19:57 2012

This is depressing and ridiculous. I was so happy and hopeful when the whole http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077283/US-Navy-women-share-gay-kiss-Lesbian-couples-homecoming-kiss-ship-returns.html thing happened but now it is back-tracked. I was silly to ever think that big shots behind the military might ever become decent tolerant human beings when it came it same sex stuff.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby Neko » Thu Feb 2, 23:18 2012

When issues like this come up, with soldiers/veterans, it has me kind of hopeful for an end to DOMA.

Stay with me here: People were all up their asses about how repealing DADT would affect the morale of the troops, the military operations overseas would be compromised, blah blah homophobic blah. (Remember Barkey? That was one of his pet issues as a straight man in the military.) When it was repealed, guess what, the world didn't explode! I like this quote that equates it to Y2K:
"We all went to bed on Dec. 31, 1999, and we all woke up on Jan. 1, and the world didn't fall apart," Packard said. "Nothing catastrophic happened. There were some minor blips ... but for the most part, life went on as normal."


Personally, I'm of the opinion that if those who are vehemently opposed to repealing DOMA were simply exposed to more openly gay people more of them would eventually become allies. Now that gays can serve openly, I think they stand a pretty good chance of a number of their straight military friends coming around to support them when their rights are shat upon. Who knows how far that kind of influence will spread.

Just an idea.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby lykin005 » Thu Feb 2, 23:23 2012

I would hope that the strong connections one develops through military service would be stronger than the hatred and ignorance of certain individuals.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby Aum » Fri Feb 3, 3:54 2012

The work is never done, no matter how many political achievements are made.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby ladyhawk » Fri Feb 3, 6:18 2012

lykin005 wrote:I would hope that the strong connections one develops through military service would be stronger than the hatred and ignorance of certain individuals.


You'd be surprised. There are a lot of bigoted assholes in the military. I'm in a unit of 9 people and I've been in heated arguments with at least three of them about repealing DADT. Of course, I was all for it, but they're apparently of the opinion that gays shouldn't be allowed to serve at all, and I'm pretty sure if someone they knew came out they'd just stop associated with that person, which is fucking shameful.

The way the arguments went, I'm pretty convinced they were confusing homosexuals with sex offenders. I'm not sure why that is, but I was pretty GD pissed off about it. Also, for some reason they think that every gay man wants them. (The only people I've had arguments about DADT with are men, probably because I'm the only female in the unit.) One of them tried saying that he was just going to end up getting stared at in the communal showers at the gym and I laughed out loud.

My argument was this: Are you attracted to every woman you see? No, you're not. So why do you automatically assume that every gay man would think that you're attractive? I'm pretty sure they're not attracted to every dude they see. Also, just because they're gay doesn't mean they're perverts. Idiot.

[/rant]

On a side note, one of my best friends was in the Army for five years, and he was openly gay BEFORE DADT was repealed. Thankfully, no one in his unit really cared. He's also an ordained minister and he married me and my husband. He is awesome.
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby monk » Fri Feb 3, 6:50 2012

ladyhawk wrote:One of them tried saying that he was just going to end up getting stared at in the communal showers at the gym and I laughed out loud.


My question with homophobic men is are they afraid a gay man will see their junk and want them,or are they afraid a gay man will see their junk and not want them?
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Re: Another reason DOMA is evil

Postby zibber » Fri Feb 3, 9:40 2012

ladyhawk wrote:On a side note, one of my best friends was in the Army for five years, and he was openly gay BEFORE DADT was repealed. Thankfully, no one in his unit really cared. He's also an ordained minister and he married me and my husband. He is awesome.


I love it. That gives a whole new dimension to the concept of gay people marrying. :)
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