Attacking DOMA, Again, And Again, And Again

Ari Ezra Waldman notices two more new lawsuits:

This is the latest salvo in a plan that is being executed on multiple fronts. There have been state challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage (e.g., Varnum v. Brien in Iowa and Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health in Connecticut). There are federal challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage (e.g., Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Prop 8 case) ... There are federal challenges to DOMA Section 3 from states (e.g., Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services filed by the much maligned politician, but highly capable Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley). And, there are individual as-applied challenges to DOMA Section 3, which has the effect of denying federal benefits to gay individuals legally married in those states that have marriage equality. ... [T]hese two new cases, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management and the ACLU's case on behalf of Edith Windsor, are two more steps with a strong likelihood of success.

Waldman outlines each new case. As the federal Congress now has one branch dominated by Republicans, the chances for any legislation that advances gay equality, or rather reverses federal laws that explicitly make same-sex couples and gay people unequal and stigmatized, the arena for action will increasingly be in the courts. Legislative middle grounds - such as the "civil unions" of many other Western countries - remain impossible because of polarization, and because the Democrats do not have the will even to enact changes that command over 70 percent support in the general public.