As I've stated on numerous occasions, the Republican and Democratic parties are not twins. (For a brief yet persuasive argument on this topic, view "Debunking The Twin Party Myth: How Republican and Democratic Parties Differ.") One salient indicator of the disparities between the two parties is the racism that can be noted in the GOP, which I discussed in "Yes, The Republican Party is Racist." But, as the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling indicated, gay marriage is another significant issue through which the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties becomes plain. At this point, only 3 Senate Democrats oppose the legalization of gay marriage. Yet 59% of Republicans are against it. Thus the subject of gay marriage-like a plethora of other political issues I've discussed on my blog-proves that the Democratic Party is the more progressive of the two. Here's a brief recap of some significant DOMA-related realities.
1. Following the DOMA ruling, Republican conservative Michele Bachmann asserted that the Supreme Court's decision violated the rights of the individuals within the states where the law was applicable. How? In short, Bachmann argued that citizens of the states where DOMA was applicable had already cast votes demonstrating their accedence to the notion that marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. When asked for her thoughts regarding Bachmann's assessments about the issue, Democratic representative Nancy Pelosi responded, "Who cares?" Although Pelosi's response to Bachmann shouldn't be taken as a reflection of how all liberal Democrats view the issue, I have to conclude that it's a fairly good summary. As mentioned earlier, only 3 Senate Democrats are opposing gay marriage at this point. Moreover, liberals have a proclivity for emphasizing equality over the advancement of religious views that could potentially limit opportunities for parity. And that's essentially what Bachmann's arguments against same-sex unions did, given the fact that she asserted God-not a judicial body-is the one who should define marriage. (I discuss Nancy Pelosi's response to Bachmann in a bit more detail at "Who Cares? Understanding an Important (And Importunate) Inquiry?")
2. In "DOMA: More Suppositions/Speculations," I talk about the confluence between the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue of gay marriage and Brown vs. Board of Education. As many may already know, the latter juridical ruling involved the Supreme Court deciding that states did not have the right to keep schools segregated. The ruling was at least in part rooted in the fact that the schools did not conform to the "separate but equal" principle which was used to legitimate the practice of segregation. Rather, the schools attended by the black children were qualitatively inferior to those of the white children. Thus the Supreme Court decision to delegalize the practice of having segregated schools was based on the principle of equality. Likewise, the Supreme Court's decision to strike down DOMA was at least partially rooted in the idea that the measure promoted inequality. How? By precluding gay couples from attaining the same economic privileges that their heterosexual counterparts had access to through marriage contracts. Once we recognize that the Republican opposition to same-sex unions ultimately constitutes hostility towards economic parity, the morally dubious nature of their collective decision to challenge the legalization of gay marriage becomes plain.
In his own article about DOMA, Manil Suri talks about the image of fairness and equality that America has in the minds of many people throughout the world. He goes on to argue that the DOMA ruling is a stride towards even greater equality. This assessment is astute, accurate. Now that we understand which party is opposing forward progress and the expansion of liberties in the United States, we should think critically about how to continue critiquing the Republican rhetoric and realities that put inequality in perpetuity.