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Studd's spouse swindled

Gerry Studds was an openly gay congressman, outed due to a page sex scandal just like Mark Foley. Studds went on to marry a man, Dean Harra, where gay marriages had been legalized in Massachusetts. When Studds died a week ago, his spouse Dean Harra found that he could not receive benefits due to federal laws blocking same-sex benefits. MSNBC, Gay congressman's spouse denied benefits:
BOSTON - When same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, among those who tied the knot were former Rep. Gerry Studds and Dean Hara.

But getting married didn’t protect them under federal law: Hara has learned he is not eligible for any portion of Studds’ estimated annual $114,337 pension following his partner’s death last week.

The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act blocks the federal government from recognizing the 2004 marriage between Studds and Hara or other same-sex couples.

Laws like this remind me of religious legislation in Saudi Arabia. Discrimination against a homosexual based on Christian values is no different than discrimination against a homosexual based on Islamic values. Sure, the punishments aren't the same. A homosexual in a Muslim country would be executed or tortured to death, whereas in the United States they are simply denied equal rights. It's the principle of religious discrimination that's the same. If the government continues to pander to Christian fundamentalists it won't be long before it starts to pander to Muslim fundamentalists.

And for those who read this and think homosexual rights are a stupid liberal issue, think again. The Otter is not liberal, nor are the thousands of registered Republican homosexual voters or the homosexual Republicans in congress. It's an American issue and it's what sets Americans apart from religious extremists such as those found in Islamic countries. Equal rights are what separate America from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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