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Don’t Mess with Dumbledore’s Rights
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While high drama keeps unfolding across the nation and in the U.S. Supreme Court over same-sex marriage, the constitutionality of the DOMA, the validity of California’s Proposition 8 and political alignments over the issue, proponents of gay marriage have found an unlikely icon – Dumbledore, the principal of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series.

On Wednesday, the scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court resembled a carnival with loud signs and infinite message variations in support of gay rights.  The sign that drew our attention most and in multiple places was – “Don’t Mess With Dumbledore’s Rights.”

After J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series said in an interview that the character Dumbledore was gay; he became an instant icon for gay fans of Potter.

  
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And no one seems keen to mess with Dumbledore’s rights: politicians are rushing to affirm their stance in favor of same-sex marriage while the eye of the public is on the debate, considering things are in the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, while arguments over the DOMA were taking place inside the Supreme Court, North Carolina Democratic senator Kay Hagan posted on Facebook: “After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.” Hagan is the sixth Democratic senator to affirm a stance against DOMA or for same-sex marriage within this week.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, had announced his support for gay marriage rights this March explaining that he had taken the decision after his son told him that he (the son) was gay, about two years back.

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Inside the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts couldn’t restrain himself from commenting to Kaplan, the lawyer representing Edith Windsor “As far as I can tell, political figures are falling over themselves to endorse your side of the case.”

Edith Windsor is the octogenarian lesbian widow, who brought the lawsuit to the Supreme Court over the federal government taxing her in a discriminatory fashion, because DOMA did not recognize a same-sex marriage. In Edith’s case, as also in cases of other same-sex couples, the federal DOMA creates financial burdens and deprives them from spousal benefits as enjoyed by heterosexual couples, in the calculation of taxes and assets.



On Wednesday, after walking out of the Supreme Court building while the crowd cheered her on, Windsor spoke of how the reality of the discrimination hit her after her spouse died. “In the midst of my grief, I realized that the federal government was treating us as strangers, and I paid a humongous estate tax, and it meant selling a lot of stuff to do it, and it wasn’t easy.”

Edith Windsor had to pay more than $363,000 in taxes for her spouse’s estate, because her spouse was a woman, and the DOMA and the federal government would not allow her the same tax breaks enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

That situation, at least seems about to change, and the question of discriminatory federal taxation depending on whether the marriage is heterosexual or homosexual is destined to go.

For the rest of issues, it seems wise not to mess with Dumbledore’s rights.

Even President Bill Clinton, who had actually signed DOMA into law, has now joined the critics of DOMA.



 

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