The World May Literally End Before DOMA is Struck Down

I can still remember the first time in my life that the world was supposed to end. The year was 1999; the not-so-clairvoyant predictor, Nostradamus. It didn't happen. Nor did it happen in 2000, when my family celebrated New Year's Eve by turning off all our electronic device and sitting in the dark around our stockpiled canned goods. 2008 failed to bring about the collapse of the U.S. as a world power. Instead, I graduated from high school.

And still, when I read that Maine's new marriage law — Question 1, "An Act to Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom," which passed 53 to 47% in November — will take effect on December 29, 2012, my first thought was, "Oh no! They couldn't have bumped it up a week or so?"

Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in only nine states, plus the District of Columbia. None of these marriages are recognized as valid by the federal government. However, experts suspect the tides may be changing. Conservatives and liberals alike have voiced their support for marriage equality. Polls suggest that a majority of American are now in favor of making same-sex marriage legal.

But will delays in the U.S. Supreme Court prevent the issue from being addressed before doomsday comes?

SCOTUS met on Friday, November 30 to decide which cases to address. As of Monday morning, "the list [of orders] did not show any action on the 10 cases dealing with the same-sex marriage issue." These cases, including one about Prop 8 in California, address the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First and Second U.S. Circuit Courts have already found DOMA to be unconstitutional. Attorney General Eric Holder noted in 2011 that DOMA "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution's) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

December 7th is likely the earliest that SCOTUS will address challenges to DOMA, and a final court decision will not be issued until the new yea. But by that time, it could be a moot point, if you believe the Mayans. Of course, for some, legalizing same-sex marriage would bring about the end of the world. Prophets gonna proselytize...

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Sam Meier

Samantha Meier serves as the Identities editor at PolicyMic, where she writes on activism, gender, and new media. Sam was profiled in the New York Times for co-founding Sex Week at Harvard, and is currently working on a book about women and underground comix. Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, she currently lives in New York.

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