Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R–Cranberry)
Last week, during the end of Pennsylvania’s legislative session, Rep. Brian Sims (D–Philadelphia) took the floor to speak about the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling. Under PA house rules, legislators can speak about uncontroversial issues at the end of the session by unanimous consent. Sims, who is gay, had his mic cut a few seconds into his remarks, owing to the objections of Rep. Daryl Metcalfe. Indignant Democrats subsequently took the floor to speak about DOMA themselves, only to have their mics cut, too. It was a mess. In defending his maneuver, Metcalfe told Pittsburgh’s KDPA:
His talking about that on the House floor would have been an open rebellion against Almighty God and God’s word, against God’s law. And as a Christian, if I would have sat there and been silent, it would have violated my conscience because of my beliefs as a Christian.
Exegesis after the jump.
Edith Windsor (left) and her wife, the late Thea Spyer
Maybe you heard about this, but the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and, in the process, given Edith Windsor $350,000. Windsor filed suit against the federal government in 2010, arguing that DOMA unconstitutionally deprived her of a spousal exemption from the estate tax upon the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. This morning, the court ruled that DOMA “is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” It also ruled that the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry lacked standing, effectively driving a stake through the heart of California’s Proposition 8.
You know it’s a surprise when the Reuters headline contains the phrase “takes no action”: the Supreme Court issed an orders list today that made no mention of the several pending appeals challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Instead, the Supremes relisted those cases for further consideration on Friday. In the awkward Christmas dinner that is America’s highest court, gay marriage is your cousin who brought his “roommate” from New York. Sonia Sotomayor is your cool aunt, and the other eight members are your grandpa. They know what’s going on, probably, and their main priority is that no one talks about it.