A gay couple married under state law cannot give a joint contribution to a federal candidate if they make it from an individual banking account, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously Thursday.The case in question arose when a gay couple sent an individual personal check as a political donation, instructing (as is allowed of other married couples) that credit for it be split between them. An unremarkable thing, and something that has zilch to do with sexual status, one would think, except that the far-reaching DOMA decided to make it so.
In a somewhat emotional session, FEC commissioners lamented the fact they had no choice but to deny gay couples the same rights as straight ones, given the Defense of Marriage Act‘s legal requirements. Dan Winslow, a Republican candidate in next week’s primary for the open Massachusetts Senate seat, had requested the advisory opinion.
“Mr. Engle, sometimes the law’s an ass,” declared FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub, referring to the line from Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” in addressing Winslow’s attorney Craig Engle.
“The Defense of Marriage Act is remarkably clear,” said Donald F. McGahn II, the commission’s vice chair. “We just can’t disregard DOMA, regardless of what we think of it.”Everyone seems to agree that the law is, in this case, an ass, so the commissioners invited Engle to "come on back" once the Supreme Court rules on DOMA. We can only hope the court overturns the stupid thing, since there seems to be absolutely no legitimate reason to protect the "sanctity" of marriage by conspicuously and explicitly denying gay couples things which, like this, are rote for other couples. There's no possible government interest being served here.