How rejecting Obamacare advances the Gay Agenda

by: Its the Supreme Court Stupid

Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 18:05:36 PM EDT

The title is, of course, ironic, but after reading about Chris Cristie's rejection of Medicaid Expansion under Obamacare for New Jersey, and considering that in light of his position opposing marriage equality in New Jersey, I began to think about the linkage between these two seemingly distinct issues.

While watching the NewsHour's excellent coverageof the SCOTUS decision in US v. Windsor to throw out Section 3 of DOMA,  I found this quote from Kathleen Sibelius :

Today'™s Supreme Court decision finding the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is a victory for equality, which is a core belief of this administration. It is also a victory for families, especially those children whose parents' legal same sex marriages can now be recognized under federal law.
As a result of today's ruling, the federal government is no longer forced to discriminate against legally married same sex couples. The Supreme Court'™s decision on DOMA reaffirms the core belief that we are all created equal and must be treated as equal. The Department of Health and Human Services will work with the Department of Justice to review all relevant federal statutes and ensure this decision is implemented swiftly and smoothly.
Its the Supreme Court Stupid :: How rejecting Obamacare advances the Gay Agenda
There is, at present, a patchwork of regulations regarding how Federal agencies determine if one is married.  Basically, they fall into two categories:  some are based on where the marriage is contracted and some are based on where you, the beneficiary, are domiciled.  This means that one can be considered married for one purpose, but not for another.  For example, the IRS defines one as being married if you are considered as such in your state of residence.  However, immigration law recognizes a marriage as being valid if it was such in the state or jurisdiction in which it was contracted.  

As a practical matter, until now, this distinction has largely been meaningless.  Because DOMA section 3 overrode any state's recognition of a marriage if it was not between a man and woman, it really didn't matter for the purposes of Federal benefits.  With the Windsor ruling having struck down Section 3, however, that distinction has now come to the fore.   As Sibelius' statement indicates, they are looking to harmonize how the components of Federal govenment judge the validity of marriages.  Speaking in Senegal about the Windsor ruling, the President said:

"My personal belief is that if you'™ve been married in Massachusetts and you move somewhere else, you're still married and that, under federal law, you should be able to obtain benefits like any lawfully married couple," he said, but added that he was voicing that view "as a president, not a lawyer."

While some might attempt to make much of his "as a president, not a lawyer" comment, I would simply suggest that he was expressing the natural reticence of any attorney when commenting on hundreds, if not thousands, of statutes and regulations which he has not personally reviewed.

Take a look below.  Here is a list of those states which currently recognize same-sex marriages:

New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York

And here is a list of those states which have opted-out to Medicaid expansion:

North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota

and those leaning towards opting out:

New Jersey (given Cristie's veto since this map was made)

Notice anything?  Of course, only one state that recognizes same-sex marriages has rejected Medicaid expansion (Maine).   Some who have opted-in do not recognize such marriages, but all of those states which have rejected Medicaid expansion (with that one exception) also ban the recognition of gay marriages.  That means each one of them has decided to "subject" their citizens the Federal exchange.  As a result, should the Obama Administration proceed with to issue a regulation based on recognizing place of contracting a marriage (as appears likely),then, the gay citizens of states opting out who have have contracted a marriage with a same-sex partner in a state which does recognize such unions would be able to avail themselves of the family-based plans, regardless of the fact that their state does not recognize their marriage.  In fact, it is BECAUSE of their state's intransigence vis a vis Obamacare that they would be able to avail themselves of such rights.

The irony is delicious.

Right wing heads explode in 5,4, 3, 2...

Crossposted at the Daily Kos

How will the Right Wing react upon discovering that their rejection of Obamacare advances the Gay Agenda? They will
Do a turnaround and accept Obamacare
Repeal Obamacare for the eleventy-first time
Find their heads exploding
All of the above


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I suspect many of the federal regs... (2.00 / 9)
that define marriage based upon location will begin to fall because there will be disparate treatment from the federal government based solely upon location.  There is certainly no rational basis for such discrimination.  Slowly but surely the remaining discrimination will be chipped away, and more states will join those that already have equality, before the Supreme Court finally does away with marriage discrimination once and for all.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

I'm pretty sure this is correct. To the extent (2.00 / 10)
possible, I am certain that the Obama Administration will move to a place of contracting test throughout the government.  Of course, in some cases, there may be statutory impediments, but, to the extent that it can be done by Executive Order, I am pretty sure that it will be.  And, given the opinion in Windsor, those which cannot be done administratively would certainly fall in the courts.

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
If, for example... (2.00 / 9)
the IRS definition is in the regulations (rather than just the statutory permission for married couples to file jointly), that can be changed easy enough.  The language of the law will matter here because that will determine what can and cannot be done through amending the regulations.  Broad statements of law, with the actually details delegated to the regulations, are our friends here because of this.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
I don't know for sure, (2.00 / 8)
but I am fairly certain that most will NOT be statutory, simply because of reliance on DOMA.  There was no need to put it into legislation, since there was already a legislative prohibition.  I think that there the vast majority of definitions will be administrative.  Of course, an changes will have to comply with the APA, which means public comment and waiting periods, but, still, alot easier than getting anything through THIS Congress.

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
That will just make it a matter of time... (2.00 / 8)
which isn't the greatest thing in the world, but the right-wingers will know that there's nothing they can do to stop it.

I'm sure that will make them particularly crazy while Jesus weeps because we're one step close to man-on-dog. :-P

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
I went for one little reference and now I have to bleach my eyeballs... (2.00 / 3)
May as well inflict it on all y'all while I am suffering for it.

The warning about reading the "opinions" at the link above can be gleaned from the tagline on the About page:

Faith and Heritage is a webzine presenting the views of Occidental Christians who are determined to preserve both Western Civilization and Western Peoples.

IOW: "We be's White Folks who's' looking to keep our Race Pure before Baby Jesus."

Scary crap, well produced. Haven't seen this kind of crap in many years, but the point is that the far extreme of lunacy never really goes away. There remains a fringe who still oppose inter-racial marriage, and they will hold the door open for (in fact are already part of) the group opposing marriage equality today as they retreat into that small corner of the general population.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Wisconsin, which has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, (2.00 / 8)
is already looking at how they might need to change their tax returns. If a Wisconsin couple moves to a state that allows them to marry, they can file a 1040 as married, filing jointly (their status as of Dec. 31). But their part-year WI Form 5, which is based on the 1040, will have to accommodate that.

Yikes! MY head just exploded.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
And the anti-choice (on so many things) won't figure it out (2.00 / 2)
until 3 years too late...just like so many other things.

Oh, they'll fly in eventually but it won't matter.

Good one.

[ Parent ]
Well, I can see why those governors opting out would be confused. (2.00 / 9)
After all, how could a government program that helps rein in the cost of healthcare and keeps families from going bankrupt to keep a loved one from dying ever be popular? Sounds like socialism a Big F'ing Deal.

The party that wants to privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare have planted themselves ... again ... squarely on the wrong side of history.

I voted for "repealing Obamacare for the elebenty billionth time" but only because "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA" was not one of the choices. :)

If Secretary Sebelius makes the federal exchange based on contract and not domicile, expect same-sex couples to marry out of their state of domicile which will only accelerate  the push for the repeal of section 2 of DOMA.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

It wouldn't even be a push to repeal... (2.00 / 9)
It would be a suit to seek to establish that Section 2 of DOMA violates full faith and credit and that states are required to recognize marriages from their sister states regardless of the sexes of the parties.  The only way out is to make a showing that same-sex marriages violate public policy, but that would be very difficult.  States would be forced to argue why a same-sex marriage, from a public policy point of view, is largely indistinguishable from marriages prohibited by degree of relation (certain states allow first cousins to marry, while others prohibit it, along with some other minor variations regarding degree of relation between cousins).

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Editorial in the LA Times recaps the issues nicely ... (2.00 / 4)
The DOMA decision ripple effect
Wednesday's ruling doesn't require states to allow same-sex marriages. But it could increase the pressure on states to do so, not just because of its symbolic weight but because states that legalize same-sex marriage in the future will be making it possible for their citizens to receive material benefits from the federal government. Important as it is in its own terms, the DOMA decision could - and we hope will - have a dramatic ripple effect.

States denying federal benefits to their citizens is nothing new, as we see from the rejection of Medicaid and unemployment benefits, but the pressure will be on those states to prove, probably in court, that the denial is something other than blatant discrimination.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


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