- DOMA, Prop 8 DOWN (dgsmith.org)
- DOMA is unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules. Prop. 8 ruling coming next. (dailykos.com)
You should- the arguments to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act are being heard today. So if you changed your Facebook profile photo yesterday (and most of mine did) don’t change it yet! One of my friends has vowed to keep his red equality pic up until they hand down the decisions.
For a good brief on the impact of DOMA, see today’s Washington Post.
And if you don’t have your facebook pic changed yet- feel free to borrow from yesterday’s post.
What was the first thing this shiny new Congress did?
Well, Daines, who ran on a “more jobs, less government” platform, cast one of his first votes in favor of the House continuing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) which denies hundreds of benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
Apparently when Daines said “more jobs” he meant “more jobs for lawyers defending blatantly unconstitutional archaic laws.”
DOMA is the Clinton-era law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. This law denies benefits to the same-sex partners of military members killed while fighting for our country. It also prohibits the federal government from recognizing bi-national same-sex couples in immigration cases, which has led to several high-profile deportations. It also refuses to acknowledge same-sex spouses in relation to Social Security survivor benefits.
This law is clearly unconstitutional, which is why in early 2011 the Obama administration’s Department of Justice announced they would no longer defend the law. Our illustrious House members though chose to pick up the torch of bigotry and continued to defend the law at the taxpayer’s expense. Thus far, Steve Daines, John Boehner and the Republicans in the House have spent more than $1.7 million defending this law.
The latest expenditure in support of DOMA was actually buried within the House of Representative rules that the new Congress approved today. Generally these rules simply lay out the process for how the House will run. To bury an appropriation inside this bill is an unprecedented abuse of the process.
This is just the latest example of the clear hypocrisy of Daines and his tea party colleagues advocating for smaller government except for when they don’t.
DOMA, ruled as unconstitutional ten different times in seven different cases, will face the US Supreme Court later this year.
By Adam Polaski
Dec 07, 2012 at 03:25 pm
Moments ago, the Supreme Court announced in an order that it has decided to hear the Proposition 8 case and a challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Now, the Court must schedule the cases for oral arguments, which are likely to be heard in the spring of 2013. We should hear final news on rulings in both cases by June of 2013.
Our founder and president Evan Wolfson reflected on the news that the Supreme Court will hear Windsor v. United States, one of the key challenges to DOMA:
By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that comes with marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities – couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.
With the clock now ticking on a Supreme Court marriage decision in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. With momentum from Election Day victories for the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, the way to maximize our chances of winning in court over the next several months is to win more states and win over more hearts and minds. We can show the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.
He also commented on the Court’s decision to hear the Proposition 8 case, Hollingworth v. Perry:
Gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.
Windsor v. United States dates back to November 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old widowed lesbian from New York who sued the government for the $363,000 in estate taxes that she was forced to pay under DOMA following the death of her late partner Thea Spyer in 2010. Windsor and Spyer were together for more than 40 years and wed in Canada in 2007. Because of DOMA, their marriage was not respected by the federal government.
In June 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones sided with Windsor by ruling DOMA’s Section 3 – which explicitly restricts marriage to different-sex couples – unconstitutional. In October 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld that lower ruling, and the case was subsequently petitioned to be heard by the nation’s highest court.
The Proposition 8 case, Hollingworthy v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown) dates back to March 2009, when the American Foundation for Equal Rights filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Prop 8, which passed in California on November 4, 2008, is a citizens’ initiative that repealed the freedom to marry in the state, overturning a May 2008 decision from the California Supreme Court legalizing marriage for same-sex couples across the state.
Yeah, I left the donation link in for a reason….
Help if you can.
The President is making good on his promise to finally repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act- an act designed to smugify people who can get married (and have- some of them four or five times) and alienate those who can’t (like this couple, who have been together for 48 years). From the Atlantic Wire:
The Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to hear appeals for two different cases to finally decide whether or not DOMA is constitutional.
Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner reports David Verelli filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court asking them to review the law’s controversial Section 3 to see if it “violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State.” The question is connected to the Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management case. In a ruling in February, a U.S. District Judge ruling on the case said that DOMA was unconstitutional. It’s currently slated to be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but now it’ll be presented to the Supreme Court before the Ninth Circuit can even make a ruling.
The other case the DOJ asked SCOTUS to look at is Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services. A judge from the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled against DOMA in the case in May. Another judge from the First Circuit Appeals Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional at the beginning of June.
The Associated Press reports the “earliest the justices might decide to hear the case is in late September.” Arguments would be made over the winter, with a final decision coming in late June. So basically, DOMA is the new blackAffordable Care Act.
This administration is taking the dignity of LGBT persons to an all-time high, politically speaking. We are closer to being equal citizens than we have ever been, and today- despite the miles left to go- I’d like to celebrate that.
Click here for an exhaustive list of the Obama administration (and Congress’) accomplishments.
Could you imagine this even two years ago? We have two very public videos about marriage equality by Montana Congressional candidates. You’ve probably seen Dave Strohmaier’s video- but here’s another one from Rob Stutz:
President Obama has had his critics from within the LGBTQ community, but will he go down as the hero of same-sex binational American couples? We’ve already discussed the Justice Department’s decision to no longer defend the Constitutionality of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Acts’ in the courts, but this week one of America’s top immigration attorneys for same-sex couples won a delay in a deportation case that may have far reaching effects for a long time to come.
Lavi Soloway returns to the interview chair this week to discuss his legally married clients Monica Alcota and Cristina Ojeda; their win in immigration court, and why the prosecutor and the judge both agreed with Soloway over the need for delay in light of new DOMA developments.
However, that’s not all. Two immigration districts have put all cases on hold involving legally married same-sex binational couples. Are we about to see a total halt to the break-up of binational families based on DOMA’s discrimination?
We’ll takle this on our round table as well as get the skinny on state-wide developments, strategies on ENDA, and a whole lot more. Find out the who and the what and give it a listen after the jump.
Once again, our brilliant round table breaks down the news of the week:
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