Burch: DOMA — Dummies in a Coma

Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Whenever I hear the acronym DOMA, I immediately think of “Dummies in a Coma.”

Whatever the Supreme Court decides about the Defense of Marriage Act is going to affect large numbers of Tennesseans and other Americans. Not just those who are gay but also their relatives and friends.

According to a study by the Williams Institute, a think-tank devoted to LGBT research at UCLA, 11 percent of the population acknowledges some same-gender sexual attraction. This suggests that out of every 10 people we know, one is not as “straight as an arrow” sexually. And because no man or woman is an island, that one person may be emotionally connected to any number of other people — parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, friends — who long to see the day when true equality will be a fact, not just another American myth we brag about without actually “walking the walk.”

The DOMA case makes me think of the Dred Scott vs. Sanford case of 1857. One would think that because the American Declaration of Independence so very clearly says that all men are created equal, with self-evident rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all nine Supreme Court justices couldn’t help but find in favor of Dred Scott’s right not to be bought, owned and sold as “property.” But in 1857, unthinkably, seven justices found that slaves were indeed “property” and that their owners had the “right” not to be deprived of their “property.” That 7-2 ruling is now considered to be the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court.

Will the current high court’s supreme dummies (er, “conservatives”) make the same type of mistake and ignore the far greater imperative — true equality — by focusing on something much less important, “states’ rights.” Did it make any sense whatsoever to say that states could create contradictory laws about slavery, when the great founding principle of the United States was the idea that all human beings are created equal, and thus all are entitled to equal rights and justice? Did it make any sense to say that when a white man and his black companion crossed state lines, the black companion’s legal status could change in an instant from “slave” to “free” or “free if I flee”?

Of course it made absolutely no sense then, and it makes absolutely no sense today that a non-heterosexual couple’s marital status and rights can change every time they cross state borders.

But it seems quite possible that the conservative justices will once again err, by failing to hold the far greater imperative in the proper regard. During recent arguments, Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, seemed to find non-heterosexuals guilty until proven innocent, by questioning whether there is sufficient data to show that children raised by same-sex couples are not adversely affected. (Surely the burden of proof should fall on the accusers, not the accused.)

Justice Samuel Alito said that the concept of gay marriage is “newer than cell phones and the Internet,” as if we would be better off if we were still using smoke signals and stone tablets, since older is better. But Sappho of Lesbos was writing poems about women living together and having sexual relationship more than 2,500 years ago. And it goes without saying that new ideas can be much better than prehistoric ones. In 1776 the idea that commoners were as good as kings and had the right to establish representative governments was shockingly new, at least to King George, who rejected the idea as treasonous madness. But the newer idea proved to be the far better idea. And whether gay marriage is a new idea or an old idea, it is obviously the right idea: an idea whose time has come.

But conservatives want to conserve the status quo, so they tend to resist progress like the plague. There should have been no debate about slavery in 1857. We clearly understand that now. And there should be no debate about LGBTs having equal rights today, including the right to marry. Can anyone doubt that the Supreme Court justices who vote in favor of DOMA will go down in tomorrow’s history books like the ones who voted for slavery in the Dred Scott Decision?

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

54 Comments on this post:

By: acblynch on 3/29/13 at 3:19

Ad Hominem arguments and moral equivocations do not make a case for the author's thesis.

By: Ask01 on 3/29/13 at 5:15

Some of the same arguments against same sex marriage echo those posed in years past against inter racial marriage. Despite those dire predictions of doom, the Earth did not spin off it's axis and fall into the sun.

I believe the over riding concern should be whether those individuals involved are marrying of their own free will, and that they are not infringing on anyone else'e freedoms. (Being offended does not count.)

I believe this is a between the two people wishing to marry as long as they do not involuntarily involve other people.

The conservative leaning court may rule against gay marriage now, but the door has been opened and the ball is rolling. Eventually, this will be the law of the land and the regressives will be overrun by progressives.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 6:18

Another fine missive from Mr. Mike Burch; the lone voice of reason in a roiling sea of animus....thanks, Mike.

Acblynch enters the board, stage right, throws some Latin words at the audience and exits stage right.

Ask01, as usual, offers us his perspective and input in an articulate fashion...I agree with Ask01's analysis.

Marriage is a civil contract. In a secular, pluralistic, democratic, constitutional republic, such as ours, citizens of legal age should be able to enter into lawful civil contracts with whomever they please.

In a free and open society, gender, race, religion and national origin should not be a factor in determining who can or cannot enter into any lawful civil contract.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 6:50

Good article, Mike, and I agree: We are still learning new things on a daily basis. But sadly, we are forgetting too many things of knowledge we knew in the past.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 6:54

Just wondering; homosexual women are know as lesbians but homosexual men are known as gays. Which "bracket" of homosexuals are the happiest?

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 7:15

The "D" in the acronym, DOMA is the telling part of this whole business....it stands for "Defense". DOMA is the Defense Of Marriage Act.

The authors and sponsors of this ill-conceived law were acting as moral crusaders, defending the sanctity of marriage from attacks by heathens, heretics, non-believers and the unholy.

Bipartisan theocracy had crept into the federal government; Bill Clinton, the so-called "liberal", signed the DOMA bill into law.

DOMA legally defined marriage. If that "D" had stood for "Definition", as in the Definition Of Marriage Act, the intent and bias would be less obvious, but just as odious, in my view.

By grandstanding with the "Defense" terminology, the DOMA lawmakers revealed their bias, their arrogance and their ignorance.

The USSC should strike down DOMA, Prop 8 and all similar anti-GLBT marriage laws....same sex marriage should be legal across the fruited plain....I believe that it will be, unless the Supreme Court goes fruity and sustains DOMA and Prop 8....this fructiferous court could swing either way.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 7:29

Mike when I heard the cell phone argument, I wondered just where has Justice Alito been? Did he miss that part of history? LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 7:49

Ask01 speaks volumes in his comparison of interracial marriages and same sex marriages. Love is love and it should not matter if they are willing to marry and live a life as others. The argument that marriage is for breeding purpose only, is just silly. If we are to go by this plan, then people (man and woman) that can’t produce children or elect not to have them, can’t get married too.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 7:51

Good morning Loner old friend. How are you doing today?

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 7:55

Doin' fine, Captain...and you?

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 8:02

I agree with your comments @ 9:49, Captain....women who are post-menopausal, or have had a hysterectomy would be barred from marriage, as would all men who are sterile or have have a vasectomy, if the ability procreate was a prerequisite for marriage.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 8:05

s/h/b: "have had a vasectomy..."

Still early...I'll try to proofread my posts better in the future...an edit function sure would be nice here.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 8:15

I'm doing great today Loner.

By: govskeptic on 3/29/13 at 8:27

Wishing a "Good Friday" and "Thoughtful Easter" to all"!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 8:37

Thank you govskeptic and the same for you and your family.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 8:40

Same to you, Gov.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/13 at 9:24

Bill Clinton signed the DOMA into law.
He "regrets it", however.
Too little, too late.
If these fuddy-duddies, aka, SCOTUS cannot get this one right, they are marginalized and useless.
These same fools voted to make a Corporation "a person" and took on the Anna Nicole Smith case (probably because they were promised nude phtos to aide their decision).
I think Kennedy is quoted as saying, "not overturning DOMA creates "injury to children..."
He's got it right. Studies show gay families create healthier children than heterosexual ones.
With the divorce rate currently exceeding 55% ( 70% in Calif.) and children used as bargaining chips in court, legal gay marriage can only make the institution better.
It will be 5-4 to Overturn.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 10:05

Hey, Darge...glad to see you up and early on the West coast....I agree, 5-4 to overturn would be my bet, if i were a betting man....any good weather out there that is coming our way? The 10-day Rochester, NY weather forecast calls for nothing over 49 F....folks are getting cabin fever.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 10:07

The Supreme Court has been an inferior court for decades now, dargent7. It has become the Political Court today.

The Constitution was considered Congress' and the Supreme Court's guide for decades until politics went into party effects a few decades ago.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 10:09

You can have our rain over the next few days, Loner. No charge. We'll give it to you because we know you need it worse than we do.

Ya gotta keep them lakes full, ya know.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 10:11

And we'll even through in a few flakes of snow Monday night so you can go skying this spring.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 10:37

Today SCOTUS is mostly GOP appointments.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 10:41

Thanks, Yogi...you are right, the Great Lakes are low...Finger Lakes too....we need the rain, so the grapes can grow, and New York can make more wine...uncork New York!


Enjoy...you may be able to order NY wine online...check the local regulations on that....the rules vary, state to state.

I suggest a Vignoles....my personal favorite.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/13 at 11:21

Lake Erie is the one I'm worried about...algae blooms.
Pics just 5 years ago compared to today...45% smaller due to run-off of fertilizer and the fish are choking to death. Fish stocks are 80% below normal.
Weather here is 68-72's...chance of rain all 4 days but has been sunny.
Average rain is 8.5", so far we've got 1.25". Can you say drought?
How about Global Warming?
"In January it was so cold I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets".

By: brrrrk on 3/29/13 at 11:29


There's nothing I find more ironic than the fact that the party who started the conservationist movement is now the party that is doing it's best to destroy the planet.... or at the very least are willing to look the other way if the money's right.

By: budlight on 3/29/13 at 11:52

Obama is now going to have the EPA take steps to help out health by adding 7 to 9 cents per gallon. How nice. Of course, he has not had to buy a gallon of gas for a long time now. He's just riding around on our tax dollars.

By: bfra on 3/29/13 at 11:57

Golly bud, do you think Obama is the first President not to pay at the gas pumps? Get with the program!

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 12:24

Barry's program says he wants us to pay twice as much and the gas pumps as we were payinbg when he went it office. You know, he wants to look bigger than Bush.... but it was all Bush's fault that made him look bad to look bigger.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/13 at 12:45

All the GOP has is archaic thinking and relics from the past. They pride themselves they still have a B&W tv w/ rabbit ears.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 1:20

Only in CA, dargent7. We've advanced enormously here in the South. We even have paved roads now.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 1:26

Just curious, Mike, but have you ever wondered why Obama "opened the door" and started pushing homosexuality so hard? Could it be because he is one and wants to be the first black homosexual president of the USA?

I believe he's wanting too many firsts.

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 1:57

This is not about gay rights, its about destroying an adverse culture.

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 1:57

Gay men average 1000 sexual partners in their lives. Classy.

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 2:06

I am so sick of the "gay priviliges" agenda. America is falling for this nonsense in between episodes of Honey Boo Boo.

By: brrrrk on 3/29/13 at 2:07

Jughead said

"Gay men average 1000 sexual partners in their lives. Classy."

Says who? Is this from your own personal research Juggy?

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 2:08

If you libtards were honest, you'd simply admit that this is simply an attack on Christians. But, you are not honest and frame it as some sort of equality crapola. Gays don't give a damn except to get attention. They'd rather stay single so that they can have sex with dozens of people each week.

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 2:10


There you go, dumazz. 28% over 1000. Now, go find a few so you can keep up.

By: brrrrk on 3/29/13 at 2:24

Jughead said

"There you go, dumazz. 28% over 1000. Now, go find a few so you can keep up"

Well you certainly can't argue with numbers from a study that's 35 YEARS OLD... But that's OK Juggy, it's just about a current as you are...

By: bfra on 3/29/13 at 2:38

Hey you 2, just because the old homo himself had to post another LIE about Obama, did you have to really continue this discussion?

By: brrrrk on 3/29/13 at 2:39

Hey NCP!!

I going after your advertisers...

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 3:28

I hate to 'say' it, bfra, but you're obviously so ignorant on the "Obama" facts you're indicating your stupidity. Can't you hear very well? Don't you even know how to read?

It's funny, you think you know so much when you don't even know who your buddy is in the White House. Do you have your hand out? What's he giving you?

By: Mike Burch on 3/29/13 at 3:31

acblynch on 3/29/13 at 4:19

Ad Hominem means "at the man" and I didn't insult or attack anyone. All I did was make general comments and quote what two Supreme Court justices said themselves. Also, since when is it wrong to state the truth?

By: Mike Burch on 3/29/13 at 3:33


Male heterosexuals would average 1,000 sex partners or more, if enough women would oblige. Why not be honest? Male heterosexuals don't have better morals, just fewer opportunities.


By: Mike Burch on 3/29/13 at 3:41


Why not be honest about Christianity. As an honest Christian man, Mark Twain, once pointed out, any redblooded man would give up any chance of heaven for a few moments of bliss in the arms of a woman. Young boys don't abstain from sex because they "believe in Christ." They abstain from sex because most girls are less anxious to sleep around.

Jesus saved most of his sternest criticism for hypocrites, but Christians are the greatest hypocrites on the planet because at puberty ALL the boys either want to have sex with girls, or with other boys, or both. But the churches only damn the non-heterosexuals to hell and try to deny them the right to marry.

Christian churches are run by Pharisees who should have the sense to know that everyone is the same, and be honest about human sexuality, which is not a "disease" and this cannot be "cured" by the Holy Spirit. But the Grand Illusion is sold to the tune of billions of dollars per year ... that heterosexuals get a free pass to have sex counter to the commandments of the Bible and still go to heaven, when everyone else goes to an imaginary "hell" that was never mentioned by any of the Hebrew prophets, or anywhere in the Hebrew Bible.

By: dargent7 on 3/30/13 at 10:55

Catching up, anyone who continues a discussion with Jug-H needs therapy.
And I thought "yogi" had severe problems...Jug-H is off the hook.
"Gay's have 1,000 sexual partners...."
Wilt Chamberlain had 20,000, and Magic Johnson had 6 women at a time.
So, even if true, gay's sexual lifestyle is a drop in the bucket.

By: yogiman on 3/30/13 at 11:41

How does anyone know how many sex partners anyone has had? Because they told you so? No way, Hosea.

By: budlight on 3/30/13 at 5:19

bfra on 3/29/13 at 12:57
Golly bud, do you think Obama is the first President not to pay at the gas pumps? Get with the program!

He is the only president ever who cannot and will not relate to average Americans or else the obama(don't)care would not even be an issue.

I heard a guy say that he has already been fined $500 for NOT HAVING INSURANCE. If he can pay a $500 fine, then he could probably get some insurance. Oh, I'm sorry, the insurance is going to be $5000 to $10,000 a year for a family of 4. Yeah, we're insured against malnutrition, hopefully, cause we can't afford to eat.

Thank you Obamadrama. Remember this, he was dumped by his birth mother on to h is grandparents and she abandoned him to galavant around the world with Muslim men. What do we expect. He's got issues - mommie and daddie issues. Hopefully his daughters will both be unable to unwilling to create anymore

By: bfra on 3/31/13 at 6:16

Big mouth bud making up stories again! Who fined this fictitious guy? He needs to get a lawyer & sue whoever fined him & bud for posting false stories.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/31/13 at 8:12

I have to buy commercial insurance and I don't have to pay that munch money.

By: bfra on 3/31/13 at 9:21

bud has never had children but tries to pass herself off as a professional on the subject. Ho Ho Ho & a bottle of rum makes more sense that bud & her parental skills.