Gay marriage ban is 'domain of the states'
James D. Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union gets his chance. He argues that the purpose of Virginia’s ban was the same as the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had blocked federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court struck that law down last year.
Judge Niemeyer is not buying the idea that the Supreme Court decided, in that case, that the problem with that law centered on the unequal treatment of gay and straight marriages. He says the justices were showing deference to the right of states to regulate marriage, shoring up Virginia’s right to ban gay unions not calling it into question.
The problem with DOMA, he says, was the “federal government getting involved in a relationship that is the domain of the states.”