Patch’s Poll: Should Gay People Be Afforded The Same Federal Rights In Marriage?

A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that a portion of the government’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies gay couples access to certain federal benefits.


A federal judge in Hartford ruled on Tuesday that a portion of the U.S. government’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies certain benefits to same-sex couples.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant issued a lengthy decision saying the federal law violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection, because of a provision that “obligates the federal government to single out a category of marriage as excluded from federal recognition, thereby resulting in an inconsistent distribution of federal marital benefits."

The case, which was carried out in the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, involved six married gay couples, and a widower, who were denied federal benefits such as recogition under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Social Security death benefits, the federal tax code and others.

As the AP reported, the couples had worked for the government, and at least one of the plaintiffs was a Navy veteran.

The ruling comes just a few months after a panel of judges in the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston issued a similar ruling, according to Fox News.

What do you think? Should gay people be afforded the same federal rights in marriage as straight people with regard to benefits? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Jeff Brown August 02, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Lol, Louis C.K. is the best!
Caiti Griffin August 02, 2012 at 02:24 PM
That's exactly my point though, Richard. There's NOTHING different about the love they feel. Sure, we can say that federal benefits were created for this or that, but the fact is that married couples are entitled to benefits. Why should they be treated differently just because they have the same reproductive organs?
farm guy August 02, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I agree kimberly. Get married in a church and get a civil union for benefits, regardless of sexual preferences.
Lisa Beth August 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Yes, they should receive the same benefits/rights/privileges/freedoms/liberties as any other married couple would be given. To do less is to sanction discrimination.
cooking mom August 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Well said, LB. As for Ms. Griffin's quote of Louis C.K., it may be off topic, but it was damn-well on target. Thanks Caiti Griffin.
Waterford Guy August 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM
how do you feel about polygamist couples/groups? should all the wives get benefits/rights/privileges/freedoms/liberties or just the first wife?
April Brunelle August 02, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Love is love regardless of the heart that holds it. Regardless of the packaging. Regardless of what parts one has or does not have. Same benefits? Of course. SImple enough.
D Paul August 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM
At David Irons I know GOD is not Cahtolic David there is no need for your condencending attitude. I know other churches are just as valid.. OMG what pain in the A$$. I guess I have to watch every word I say becasue the BIG HEADED 'KNOW IT ALL' critics are out to point their fingers...
Jeff Brown August 02, 2012 at 07:38 PM
No waterford guy only the hottest wife gets the benefits. lol just kidding, so far as i've heard there haven't been too many polygamist groups up in arms on this subject but since you seem to keep bringing it up maybe you should write your state rep and then have a long talk with your wife about her friends as it pertains to your marriage, and see how that goes over.
William August 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Actually DP, God is dead. Didn't you get Nietzche's memo? It's the year 2012 and all of our science and technology can't even begin to find real proof of a supernatural being. Time to let go of the fairytales based in pagan myths and legends, and worship the human spirit and the glory of the natural universe. You know, live life for ones self and the joy of life itself. Let us shutter every church around the globe and realize the true joy of life without religion based discrimination, judgement, oppression, genital mutilation, guilt, self loathing, and most of all WAR! Grant all peoples equal rights in all places and for all time.
New London Girl August 02, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Let's focus first on allowing any TWO people to marry before worrying about numbers. Focus. Pick your battles.
Jeff Brown August 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
While if you see my other posts you'll see where i stand on this topic. I also think people are entitled to theirs as well. If you believe in a certain religion that's also fine and you should have the right to voice your opinion in a respectful and honest way. My only point was to let people live their lives how they want as long as they're not hurting anyone. People of faith shouldnt be bashed just like those (like myself) who arent . You dont have to frequent a church that doesnt preach what you believe or even vote for an elected official that supports things you don't.
farm guy August 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
April, what if a person wants to marry their cat?
farm guy August 03, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Wiliam, there was a time when we couldn't prove the world was round? Correct?
Reason able August 03, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Here's my "Bible" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This means everyone.
Waterford Guy August 03, 2012 at 01:43 AM
The hottest one gets the benefits....I like that! I am just trying to spur some additional thought on the topic, get people to think past just hetero/homo boundries. No matter what, someone somewhere is discriminated in some way. I think if we let the free market solve the problem, from an anarco-capitalist standpoint, "gay-friendly" or "polygamy friendly" insurance companies would pop-up everywhere across the US, without the government getting thier grubbly little fingers in the soup pot and mudding things up.
Rosemary Bontempi August 03, 2012 at 03:19 AM
They should get the same benefits and linking marriage to procreation as a reason to only recognize heterosexual couples is ludicrous. With that argument any women past child bearing age who subsequently married, without the abilty to bear children in that marriage, should not be able to receive federal benefits.
JAD August 03, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Interesting comments, but what none of you have addressed is why the gay community wants to get married. The main reason is these couples are now having families. Whether they are having kids or have children from previous relationships, there are kids involved. Currently, a gay couple needs to have multiple legal documents put in place to ensure there family is cared for in case of a death. The gay community is not asking for any special rights just equal rights and while the media has dubbed it to be "gay marriage". It is really about marriage equality for two people who love each other and want to care for their family. It is really that simple.
Sandy D'Esopo August 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Heating oil, food stamps and and similar benefits are not valid comparisons. They are noy what gay couples seek. They seek the rights married heterosexual couples enjoy including, for example, the right to make medical decisions, and, when the time comes, funeral plans. As things stand where gay marriage is outlawed, the survivor of a same-sex couple has no right to choose a funeral home, the service, or the burial site. Next of kin, who may be hostile parents or siblings, can even exclude the bereaved lover from attending. Though marriage, gay or straight, has financial consequences, it is primarily an emotional and spiritual state. As a group gays are no better or worse than straights, and they deserve to be treated the same. In time they will, for the tide is turning steadily in their favor. Like racial segregation, discrimination against gays will eventually wither until only a very few will militate against them, like the pathetic remnant of Klansmen and other bigots who desecrate the highest ideals of our nation today.
Sandy D'Esopo August 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM
No one, not anyone, is suggesting that the Catholic church or any other be forced to perform gay marriages. Some however, would prohibit churches from performing them. I'm referring to those extreme conservative Christians who want to change our government to a bible-centered one. Those people scare me; they think that because they are 'enlightened,' they are fit to rule the rest of us. Throughout history, in every case I know, governments based on religion always turn out to be brutal tyrannies. Like Iran.
Sandy D'Esopo August 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Waterford Guy: LIbertarians have some good points, but I fear too many have too much faith in the free market. For one thing, much government regulation came about because of free-market abuses. Some of these are adulterated or toxic foods (still a problem), and unrestrained pollution. "Government meddling" in fisheries saved the collapse of the Striped Bass fishery, and thought it hasn't yet may rescue the groundfish population. Unrestrained Wall Street traders brought on the 1929 Great Depression, and played a huge role in the current Great Recession. Leaving profit-seekers entirely to themselves and relying on caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is just asking for troubles, big and small. Yes, many regulations hinder and some are absurd. But to blame the government for every trouble in the economy is mistaken, as is the faith that left alone, everyone will prosper. If people were perfect we wouldn't need government (that, by the way, was the dream of the early communists). But we aren't perfect; we're human.
REVMAN August 09, 2012 at 02:07 AM
marriage is between a MAN and a Woman period.
farm guy August 09, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Sandy, "I'm referring to those extreme conservative Christians who want to change our government to a bible-centered one". Areyou kidding? This country was founded based on the Bible. They still open every congress with a prayer and if you check state constitutions, all 50 state constitutions refer to God. The10 comandments are carved into the Supreme Court building, the president is sworn in with his hand on the Bible... it goes on and on.
farm guy August 09, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I love my dog.
Jack Reed August 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Check out this Republican rally in Monroe, Ct. hosted by a Chick-Fil-A supporter. http://monroe.patch.com/articles/bring-on-the-republican-unity-hold-the-chick-fil-a http://monroe.patch.com/articles/republicans-plan-to-unite-after-the-primaries
Sandy D'Esopo August 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM
REVMAN: Who are you to tell me who I can marry?
Sandy D'Esopo August 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Hi Waterford Guy: Good marriage questions. On insurance, (health I mean),we disagree. Leaving who, who not, what to to insure, and what to charge, to insurance companies is a mistake for several reasons. First, they'd reject too many and ER's would be stuck with them--like now. Next, they'd deny coverage whenever they could. Finally, they'd overcharge, like now. Trouble is, they aren't in business for our benefit, but theirs. And they've been screwing us for years. It probably won't happen in our lifetime, but a government single-payer system would provide the greatest good to the greatest number. Socialism? Yes, like Social Security and Medicare. As a retired business owner, I'm believe in private enterprise. It's the genius of our economy. But it can't solve every problem. In the 30's Social Security was created because of the failure of the private market. Banks failed, wiping out the life savings of people who had scrimped all their lives for retirement. Medicare helped retirees who had lost insurance upon retiring, or been canceled due to illness. In sum, we should embrace the best of both private enterprise and socialism. Mistrust government: absolutely. But mistrusting the market is just as important, sometimes more. Good to read your commentaries, and hope to see more. If you prefer an easier format, my email is: sfdesopo@gmail.com
Sandy D'Esopo August 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Farm Guy: Please reread the Ist Amendment. Officially, we recognize no religion, not even Christianity. Also, the founding fathers included atheists and deists, and their guiding prinicple came from the Enlightenment philosophers of France, England, and also from the democracy of the Irquois Nation. And yes, the bible, but hardly exclusively. Back then we were a colony dominated by Protestants who often didn't act very Christian when it came to black slaves or Indians. Beating, lyingj, cheating and murdering played as much a hand in building our nation as the Bible. Despite that, our forefathers created a great nation. It still is, because of freedom, not exclusion of those some call 'differrent.' Narrowmindedness is not patriotic.
REVMAN August 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Sandy -Wanna marry a dog,cat,horse go right ahead but real marriage is between a MAN & WOMAN to me.I'm not telling you anything.
farm guy August 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Sandy, I did not say I agree with a bible centered government. Of course we officially recognize no religion, but to say this country wasn't founded on judeo-Christian values, is just plain wrong. It has nothing to do with "lying, cheating and murdering". Those things may have happened, but the founding fathers built a country under guiding principals that were based on the English Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and the language in the Declaration of Independence.


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