Ron and Tom’s Story Shows Cost of DOMA (VIDEO)

To many people the Defense of Marriage Act is a somewhat abstract concept. They know it bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, but beyond that, its effects have not been widely reported. How does it impact every day life? How does it really injure same-sex couples who can now get married in certain states? Ron and Tom’s story below shows this in very real terms.

In related news, House Speaker John Boehner was forced to switch legal teams this week when firm King & Spalding withdrew from defending DOMA on behalf of Congress. More on that here.
House Speaker John Boehner has said that he aims to defund the Department of Justice to the tune of what it will cost for the House to defend DOMA: “It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DOJ, defending DOMA.”

Advocates point out that this is money the House could be spending elsewhere rather than defending an aspect of a law that has twice been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to alex-s.


Kathleen D.
Kathleen D.5 years ago

John C; It is the offensive verbage you use to describe a civil union of a gay couple. This couple chose each other as their life long companion/love. They've been prevented from enjoying the same freedoms and rights of all other American citizens. Why? Because you and so many like you have decided they're not worthy of the equality under the law. Whether a same sex companion or of the opposite sex, he deserves the pension. It is not up to you or anyone else to legislate, contrary to our Constitution and Civil Liberties, morality of which does not live up to the 'standards' or 'your own morals'.

John Coleman
John Coleman5 years ago

Karla, sorry but it does affect others if there are financial and other benefits being conferred via redefining “marriage”. Kathleen D: One big problem with all this phony “rights” argument cloaked in phony “American values” is redefining “marriage” as including two same sex couples is where it has been done it has been by judicial activists so far and not by any democratic process. As a matter of fact, when put to a vote if fails by wide margins even in leftwing CA where the LGBT activists then went to the court to once again negate the democratic process. All DOMA does is prevent misuse of state judicial activists from ramming their (and YOUR) agenda down everyone else’s throat via a perversion of the Full Faith and Credit interpretation. Once again, there are more valid claims to change the definition of “marriage” that you “civil rights” extremists consistently which to negate. BTW, what did I say that was “racists” other than pointing out that this administration seems to practice a preferential agenda in the JD and elsewghere for their supporter groups? Seems the only way you people can "defend" your position is by name calling, insults, and diversion. Heather that is CHANGING the definition!

Heather G.
Heather G.5 years ago

it wouldn't be CHANGING the definition of marriage, it would be ADDING TO it.

John Coleman
John Coleman5 years ago

Heather, changing the definition of “marriage” from a union between two members of the opposite sex to two members of the same sex has the common denominator of “sex” if you mixed that little factor. Once again another little snide remark on the end makes you point that you have no logical argument. Glenna: Sorry but there are several factors in SS survivors benefits including a provision for wives to draw the husband’s SS early at age 60 and the whole SS issue would not be solved by eliminating DOMA since there would be legislation at the Fed level involved in making changes as would changes in military pensions. Survivor benefits for the military are contributory in that money is taken out of the pension to fund it. Ron can keep his house but the additional SS, even if legal, wouldn’t solve his problem. Only one SS benefit can be drawn and none is going to generate an additional $3K a month.

Karla Roller
Karla Roller5 years ago

As for as gay marriages are concerned, let me just quote Billie Holiday, " Tain't nobodies business if I do". Get out of other peoples lives!

Kathleen D.
Kathleen D.5 years ago

Oh gee John Coleman; did I insult your 'integrity and patriotism' because if I did, it was in response to your insult to the integrity and patriotism of not only the gay couple written about in the article but for every American who believes in equality in this country. You obviously do not share those core values. And I honor those who have served in the military but serving in the military alone does not make you patriotic. Practically every one of the male members in my family have served in the military and many of them have served as officers in whatever branch they served and some died as officers actively serviing. My father joined the military at age 16 and his older sister had to sign the military documents giving him permission to join. You're not the only one who served. Yes, our civil rights do include equality for all. That is a right. Religious beliefs or our own fragmented ideaology in what we personally believe has no merit in what is written as our civil liberties or in the U.S. Constitution. I have deep empathy for gay and lesbian couples who live their lives honorably, pay taxes like most of the rest of us, serve in the military, love just as deeply as heterosexuals, are great parents, etc., etc. If you perceive I insulted you because you've worn the 'uniform', I've not. I stated the obvious, you are racist and a bigot and if that is insulting, then so be it because I make no apologies to you.

Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M.5 years ago

Thanks for posting Steve.

Just goes to prove how dumb DOMA is and how it makes second class citizens out of loving same sex couples.

@ John, It is not about "rights" it is all about EQUALITY.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

You would want discrimination to remain as part of a document that is supposed to grant equal rights to every American citizen, irregardless of color, sex, religion and supposedly sexual orientation. The Constitution grants all the rights of life, liberty & pursuit of happiness. It didn't specify - only those who believe in Jesus; it didn't spell out that it was only white males over the age of 18; & it very specifically didn't state that it was only for the straight people here.

I don't think what I said about what I think GOD thinks about you is an very clearly do engage in arrogance, and in prejudice against homosexuals - those you know & those you don't.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

John, just to put things in perspective DOMA is the reason WHY Ron is having to sell the home they lived in together as partners for 55 years before they married in 2008. He should be able to keep it after Tom's death in 2011...Instead, because he cannot get the higher survivor's benefits of Tom's SS because they were not a heterosexual couple, he is short almost $3,000 a month. They could never file jointly like you & your wife. They WERE DENIED EQUAL RIGHTS. Ron doesn't want any special rights because of their sexual acts - he doesn't even want special rights because he is gay...HE JUST WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO LIVE IN HIM HOME UNTIL HE DIES. HE WOULD JUST LIKE TO HAVE THE EQUAL RIGHTS STRAIGHT PEOPLE HAVE WITHOUT QUESTION. He worked. He served in the military. He is not allowed Tom's pension nor the higher social security. THIS IS NOT EQUAL & THIS IS NOT FAIR.
I never insulted you. I never called you any names. All you are worried about is a sexual act. You don't worry or think about your straight friends sex lives (or at least I assume you don't) so why is same sex sex on your mind?
These 2 people loved each other. They were together almost 60 years. It wasn't a batcheor household it WAS their household. They were together longer than many heterosexual marriages today - yet because they were the same sex - you would deny them the same rights under the law that YOU enjoy. (cont)