Written by Svetlana Dotsenko
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Kevin Cryan is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University and an active supporter of DOMA. In fact, he is spending today in front of the Supreme Court Building, and look at his face beaming with happiness!
Kevin has done his undergraduate research on DOMA as part of the Foreign Affairs Symposium at Hopkins. Each spring they bring in high-profile and thought-provoking speakers to the Hopkins campus, such as people engaged at all levels of government work, the heads of non-profits, Nobel Prize Winners, and renowned journalists. As part of that program, in April 2013, Rick Santorum came to speak on campus, and Kevin has been prepared to speak to him.
Kevin took a research-based course called Great Constitutional Issues. He looked at a number of cases surrounding the Defense of Marriage Act and found that the majority of arguments were quite nuanced. He thought that the baseline argument against DOMA was quite straightforward, "This is discrimination, therefor this is bad." However, smaller cases were trying to break this down statement and involve smaller arguments about levels of scrutiny, federal interests in responsible child-rearing and procreation, uniformity, and money... By doing this research, Kevin became quite conversant in DOMA legislation and all the main arguments.
Finally, when Rick Santorum did come on campus, Kevin walked up to the microphone and asked him bluntly, "Is there a reason not to apply ethics laws to legally married same sex couples? Are gays just more trustworthy, less corruptible, than their straight counterparts?" Kevin admits it's been the scariest thing he's done. And... Santorum was STUMPED! He didn't have a good reason, let alone a good answer. Kevin politely thanked him and stormed out of the stage.
Admittedly, asking this question was "without a doubt one of the scariest things I had ever done", says Kevin, but so worth it! He is spending the day at the Supreme Court building today, that ensured the DOMA is dead by 5:4 vote.
Congratulations to Kevin and all the other tireless advocates of equality for gay couples!