Same-sex marriage to retake front seat in US social issues

Posted Nov 22, 2012 by Can Tran
As the 2012 United States Elections, the issue of same-sex marriage has once again taken the front seat. On November 30, the US Supreme Court is due to take up DOMA.
A pro-equality rally.
A pro-equality rally.
Soon, the issue of same-sex marriage is most likely to take center stage as a United States sociopolitical issue. This became a hot button topic in the GOP primary contest early on. However, same-sex issues took a backseat in the 2012 United States Elections during the general race cycle. By paying careful attention to specific political races, one can see why the issue of LGBT rights was put into the back burner. This is due to this issue being dwarfed by women's rights in terms of abortions and contraceptives. Furthermore, one has to look at the US Senate races in Missouri and Indiana.
In Missouri, Todd Akin of the GOP talked about “legitimate rape” and that the woman's body has the ability to shut down the pregnancy in case of that. In Indiana, Richard Mourdock of the GOP echoed former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum on how a “rape baby is still a gift from God.” Santorum said something similar during the GOP primary. The nomination ended up going to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney would lose the US Presidential Election to Democratic incumbent Barack Obama. Akin and Mourdock ended up losing their respective races.
While same-sex marriage had taken a back seat, the LGBT community has remained very relevant in this year's election cycle. According to exit polls by Harris Interactive-Logo TV, Obama had gotten most of the votes from those that identify themselves with being part of the LGBT community. In the same exit poll, Romney got less than a quarter of that vote.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports that LGBT voters helped Obama in Ohio and Florida. Those two are very crucial battleground states in presidential elections because those two states can swing either Republican or Democrat. In 2000, the victory (which many called controversial) in Florida helped win George W. Bush the election. In 2004, a victory in Ohio helped George W. Bush win presidential re-election. In 2008 and 2012, Ohio was won by Obama.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) could soon be taken up by the United States Supreme Court. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that it won't or will. Many supporters of same-sex marriage are expressing anticipation. This includes members of the LGBT community who actively serve in the armed services. Recently, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) was repealed allowing those service members to openly come out on their sexual preferences.
One female career soldier, named Charlie Morgan, is one of those people that hope DOMA gets repealed. Washington Post reports that Morgan hopes that DOMA dies before she does. According to Morgan, she was supposed to have died a month before due to Stage IV breast cancer. She had voluntarily stopped chemotherapy treatments.
In the article, Morgan served in the New Hampshire National Guard as a chief warrant officer. While she is eligible for the benefits, her wife will not. This is due DOMA being in place.
Morgan has a lengthy service record. The Concord Monitor gives detail on how long she's served in the military. She joined in 1982 after high school. From 1982 until 1985, she served in active duty. From 1985 until 1988, she was an Army reservist. Then, she served in the Kentucky National Guard. In the September 11 attacks, she re-enlisted. Four years ago, back in 2008, Morgan served in the New Hampshire National Guard.
Asides from Obama getting most of the LGBT vote, same-sex marriage was legalized in a number of states due to the number of votes at the polls. While Obama spoken about stopping DOMA. However, Republicans have fired back in defense of DOMA. Morgan did get her chance earlier this year to speak with GOP House Speaker John Boehner.
In regards to the US Supreme Court, the original date was supposed to be November 20 when the court justices were supposed to take up DOMA. But, that has been moved to November 30. In that regards, Americans will have to wait until that date.
You have proponents and opponents of DOMA gearing up for this potential Supreme Court battle.
One organization opposing DOMA is preparing. This is an LGBT military organization called OutServe-SLDN. It worked with Freedom to Marry to launch an online video that is part of a campaign called “Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry.”
Proponents of DOMA will likely come out in the law's defense. For the GOP, which many have actively opposed same-sex marriage, it looks like a battle the party won't win.
Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), came out as being gay in 2010. Since then, he's apologized for being part of the anti-gay campaign. Currently, he works with his non-profit group called “Project Right Side.” The goal of this group is getting conservative support for same-sex marriage.
Furthermore, there is the increased number of Republicans coming out that are for same-sex marriage and benefits. One such group is called the Republican Underground. The Republican Underground has the same message that Mehlman's message.
Meghan McCain has joined the leadership community of this GOP group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. This is a conservative group that supports same-sex marriage. Meghan MeCain is the daughter of GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona.
In a twist, Oregon Live reported that conservatives are blaming Mitt Romney for the passing of same-sex marriage measure in Washington, Maryland, and Maine. According to Matt Staver, Romney would've gotten more votes from the evangelicals if he had campaigned against same-sex marriage.
But, the main thing is the November 30 date. Come November 30, will the Supreme Court take up the case of DOMA?