Jefferson, the Bible and Education »« Republicans and Pop Culture

Brian Brown: Still Completely Clueless

Last week the IRS announced that they were complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DOMA case and would now recognize all legal same-sex marriages for the purposes of jointly filed tax returns. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Bigotry Marriage stamps his feet and holds his breath in response:

“The Treasury Department is grossly overstepping its authority. This is a nation of laws. Only Congress has the authority to change the law,” stated Brian Brown, NOM president.

This action continues a pattern of lawlessness across the nation where administrators and clerks have taken it upon themselves to interpret and re-write laws as they pertain to marriage. Only the legislative branches of the Federal or State governments enact or rewrite the law.

“The Obama administration is intent on forcing same-sex ‘marriage’ on an unwilling public,” Brown said. “Congress alone has the responsibility of determining federal tax law.”

Well yeah, if you completely ignore that third branch of government, the judiciary. Hey Brian, remember how the day before the marriage ruling came down, the Supreme Court struck down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act? Obviously you were opposed to that since “only Congress has the authority to change the law,” right? Right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Just another example of special pleading from the bigots.

Comments

  1. says

    Like every federal bureau, the Internal Revenue Service has the authority — granted by Congress — to establish its own rules. It is done like this so that changes in policy can be done quickly and as needed, without having to wait for Congress to take action on every procedural issue. Congress sets the tax laws, yes. And more than a century ago, Congress gave the IRS power to act upon the laws.

    Crimeny, this is sixth grade civics. Is Brown really that ignorant, or is he being willfully stupid?

  2. Chiroptera says

    The Treasury Department is grossly overstepping its authority. This is a nation of laws. Only Congress has the authority to change the law.

    Except that Congress has no authority to enact a law that violates the Constitution. And the Supreme Court of the US is final arbiter on disputes over what is and is not Constitutional. DOMA — at least the section that was overruled — is invalid according to our accepted and established procedures for deciding such issues. The Treasury Department would be grossly overstepping its authority if it decided to enforce DOMA in violation of the Constitution.

    As Gregory in Seattle said, this is basic civics.

  3. raven says

    You don’t quite get how devastating this is to Brian Brown and the other bigots.

    He is going to have to find a new job. With no real skills except babbling.

    The anti-gay hate thing is rapidly becoming boring and irrelevant. The fundies are going to have to find some new groups to hate. And what does Brian Brown know how to do? Nothing but sell hate.

  4. says

    He’s right. What happened to Superman and his American Values™? The IRS used to accept joint returns from Traditional Marriages and used to aggressively investigate fronts for International Communism, but now it spends it’s time forcing homosexual joint file tax returns down the throats of Constitutional Conservative Americans and aggressively investigating applications from Constitutionally Conservative PACs.

    Also, he’s wrong. This started long before Family Guy. Personally, I blame comic books.

  5. says

    Hah! I managed to combine two comments for two different pages in to one comment on one page, posting it on the page where it makes the least sense. Take that, Internet!

  6. Abby Normal says

    I think it’s an overstatement to say the Supreme Court decision required this action from the IRS. Though I’m very glad the IRS has chosen to recognize all legally performed same-sex marriages,

    As I understand it, Veteran Affairs and Social Security have statutes that require them to define marriage by the state in which the couple resides. If the state doesn’t recognize their marriage then neither will those agencies. The IRS has usually applied that same guideline for things like cousin marriages today or miscegenation prior to Loving. Though I don’t believe they have the same legal obligation to do so as those other agencies. They chose use a different standard this time, whether or not the marriage was valid at the time it was performed. This inconsistency is going to take a while to work through.

  7. eric says

    I think it’s an overstatement to say the Supreme Court decision required this action from the IRS.

    Maybe, but Gregory is right: Congress delegates (certain) rule-making authority to the executive branch agencies. It is perfectly legal for those agencies to authorize legal decisions within that delegated power.

  8. D. C. Sessions says

    The IRS has usually applied that same guideline for things like cousin marriages today

    SRSLY? Rather surprising, since even the States that forbid cousin marriage(and marriages below the local minimum age) recognize those originating legally elsewhere.

  9. Abby Normal says

    Eric, absolutely. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Thanks for clarifying.

    D.C. Sessions, that’s what Wilson Cruz of GLADD said in a recent TV interview. I assume that if the state recognizes cousin marriages performed elsewhere then those agencies will too. I’m not sure that every state does. Though it’s probably only an issue if there’s an audit. But I’m getting way out in conjecture land now.

  10. magistramarla says

    Abby Normal,
    We’re going to have to do something about Veteran’s Affairs and Social Security very soon then.
    It is truly wrong for legally married same-sex military couples to be able to share military benefits while one is active duty and both are alive, no matter where they happen to be stationed, and then to take those rights away once the military member is retired or is dead.
    Social Security should be a federal right. What the hell business does the state have deciding whether a widow or widower should be paid those benefits?

  11. tomh says

    @ #9

    even the States that forbid cousin marriage(and marriages below the local minimum age) recognize those originating legally elsewhere.

    No, they don’t. At least not all of them. See Kentucky, for instance, “Marriage between first cousins is prohibited by KRS 402.010. There are no exceptions to the prohibition and such a marriage is incestuous and void. Kentucky does not recognize such a marriage between first cousins even if it is consummated in another state.”

  12. tomh says

    @ #11

    Today’s NYT has a news item that the Department of Veterans Affairs will immediately begin providing spousal benefits to gay men and lesbians despite a federal statute that limits such benefits to veterans’ spouses who are “of the opposite sex.”

  13. bybelknap says

    @Modusetc
    You are the bestest commenterater anywheres, evar, in the history of the innnerwebs. Never, ever stop. Please.

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