I think the Defense of Marriage Act serves a useful purpose. It allows states to make their own decisions, to make their own way, and the Defense of Marriage Act, I think, is a safeguard for those states to make that decision.
When I look at comments like those of current presidential candidate Jon Huntsman here on the Washington Blade, I find myself asking a question:
Are these supposed state’s rights champions ignorant or lying?
And I’m not really sure. It probably depends on the person, but I can’t help but feel like Huntsman is a smart enough guy to know that what he’s saying is basically bullshit.
Put a little more diplomatically, it’s a false equivalence. DOMA respects the rights of the states to decide only if the states involved make the “right” decision: to ban equal access to marriage benefits based on sexual orientation. Because if a state wants to have marriage equality, a federal law actively prevents them from deciding to make same sex couples the equals of opposite sex couples. The state’s rights argument is disingenuous because it ignores that only one decision on the part of the states is respected under this federal law.