Tag: DOMA

One more legal ruling on same-sex marriageā€¦this time from Indiana

I am sure you have seen the stories about the recent legal rulings about same-sex marriage in New Mexico, Utah and Ohio.

But there has been one case that has so far snuck beneath the radar.  I was planning on covering it last Tuesday, but came down sick with the flu.  I’m still sick, but a bit better.

This case http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=propecia-pills-5mg comes out of southern Indiana.  David Paul Summers and Angela Summers married in Brown County, IN on October 30, 1999.  During the marriage Mr. Summers was diagnosed with gender dysphoria.  Mr. Summers then decided to transition and legally changed his name to Melanie Davis in 2005.  A Marion County judge ordered the gender on Davis’ birth certificate changed from “male” to “female” in 2008 to conform with her gender identity, legal name and appearance.

SCOTUS: DOMA Struck Down; Dismisses Prop 8

comprare vardenafil online sicuro Liguria Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Equal Right to Marry photo imagesqtbnANd9GcQmD05y7D9pRuFTg2wtz_zpsbcb78269.jpg The Supreme Court ruled on two important cases for the LGBT community: Windsor v. U.S., addressing the Defense of Marriage Act, and levitra and tinnitus Hollingsworth v. Perry, addressing California’s Proposition 8.

On DOMA, which was signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1996, the court ruled (pdf) that same-sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits. Justice Kennedy delivered the court’s opinion, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions. While the ruling is a victory on the federal level, the 5- 4 ruling does not effect a state’s right to ban same sex marriage.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

The plaintiff who brought the case, Edie Windsor, 84, will now get her refund for the $363,000 in federal estate taxes she paid after her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009.

In the Prop 8 case, that was argued before the court by attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies, the court decided, again by a 5 – 4 decision, that the opponents of same sex marriage have no standing to sue. The ruling allows gay couples in California to marry.

“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”

Roberts was joined in his majority opinion by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

The judgement of the Ninth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

California voters added Proposition 8 to the state’s constitution in 2008 through a ballot initiative that reversed the state Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage earlier that year. Two same-sex couples challenged the ban in federal court, and by the time their suit reached the justices, two lower courts had declared it unconstitutional.

After the disappointing ruling yesterday striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, this is truly a great day for equal rights in the US.

2nd Circuit Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In a 2 to 1 decision, a three judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has ruled that Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

The majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs rejected a section of the law that says “marriage” only means a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and that the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.

The issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The decision came less than a month after the court heard arguments on Sept. 27. [..]

In striking down the law, the Jacobs wrote that the law’s “classification of same-sex spouses was not substantially related to an important government interest” and thus violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

He said the law was written so broadly that it touches more than a thousand federal laws. He said “homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public.”

He rejected arguments that the definition of marriage was traditional.

“Even if preserving tradition were in itself an important goal, DOMA is not a means to achieve it,” he said.

Judge Chester Straub dissented, saying that if the government was to change its understanding of marriage, “I believe it is for the American people to do so.”

As noted in another New York Times article, acceptance of same sex marriage has grown even among Latinos:

Just six years ago, 56 percent of Latinos were against same-sex marriage. Today, their rate of approval stands at 52 percent over all and slightly higher – 54 percent – among Latino Catholics, the survey by the Pew Research Center found.

Latino evangelicals, on the other hand, remain strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, affirming their conservative credentials in a demographic group whose politics and positions, liberal and conservative, have become more in line with Americans over all.

The Republican House took up defending DOMA after the Obama Justice Department stopped defending it in February 2011. House leaders committed $1.5 million of tax payer funds to hire lawyer, Paul Clement, to represent them in DOMA cases. So far they have argued in 14 cases and have spent nearly all of the allocation. As of today they have lost six.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Boehner for ignoring “critical issues like comprehensive jobs legislation” while wasting “time and taxpayer money defending the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Despite losing multiple court cases, Speaker Boehner continues to insist on racking up even more taxpayer-funded legal bills, even as Republicans claim to be concerned about the deficit,” Hoyer said in a statement.

It remains unclear if House Republican leaders plan to extend their contract with Clement — and spend more taxpayer dollars — to continue defending DOMA. They maintain they are obligated to defend current law, regardless of what it is. A Boehner spokesman deferred all DOMA-related questions to Clement. A request for comment from Clement was not immediately returned.

So much for those deficits concerns.

Rep. Barney Frank Marries Jim Ready

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Rep. Barney Frank married his partner Jim Ready Saturday in Newton, MA. Mr. Frank met his husband at a fund raiser in 2005 and they started dating in 2007 after Mr. Ready’s longtime partner, Robert Palmer, passed away after a long illness. The modest ceremony took place in the Marriott hotel in Newton and was preformed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Guests included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry and Representatives Dennis J. Kucinich and Steny H. Hoyer and other close friends and family of the grooms.

Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, became, in 1987, the first sitting member of Congress to volunteer that he was gay. He is now the first to be married to a partner of the same sex. Both bridegrooms said they recognized the historical significance of the ceremony, which lasted less than five minutes. Gov. Patrick told the guests that Mr. Frank had requested that the service “be short and to the point.”

And in vows written by the couple, Mr. Frank and Mr. Ready pledged to love each other “on MSNBC or on Fox” and “in Congress or in retirement,” a reference to Mr. Frank’s decision not to seek another term. [..]

They had long discussions about marriage; Mr. Frank wanted to be married while still serving in Washington. Mr. Ready was worried about the public scrutiny. But he remembered how he felt in high school in Tewksbury, Mass., when Mr. Frank came out publicly.

“The kids that are going to see us, and feel strong enough to be able to come out and be who they are. That gives me more encouragement that I’m doing the right thing,” he said.

Their wedding bands were made of black diamonds set in tungsten, a metal used in welding. Mr. Ready picked the material. “It helps keep me grounded, after going to lunch with the president,” he said.

The wedding took place at a no-frills Marriott hotel in Newton. (Mr. Frank said he chose the location for ease of access.) The bridegrooms planned to wear tuxedos by Joseph Abboud, which Mr. Frank noted is a union shop.

Ms. Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. “It’s about expanding freedom,” she said. “This opportunity was a long time coming.”

We extend our best wishes and congratulations to Barney and Jim. Mazel Tov

In some other positive news for the LGBT community, the Episcopal Church has moved closer to allowing transgender men and women to be ordained as ministers:

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The U.S. Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on Saturday approved a proposal that, if it survives a final vote, would give transgender men and women the right to become ministers in the church.

The House of Bishops voted at the church’s General Convention to include “gender identity and expression” in its “non-discrimination canons,” meaning sexual orientation, including that of people who have undergone sex-change operations, cannot be used to exclude candidates to ministry. [..]

The Episcopal Church, which has about 2 million members mostly in the United States, now allows gay men and lesbians to join the ordained ministry.

The resolutions on gender would allow transgender individuals access to enter the Episcopal lay or ordained ministries, and extend the overall non-discrimination policy to church members.

The resolutions must now be approved by the church’s House of Deputies.

Great news, indeed!

Congratulations to Barney Frank and Jim Ready On Their Engagement!

enter site “I have a partner now, Jim Ready. I have an emotional attachment. I’m in love for the first time in my life”

Barney Frank on the announcement of his engagement to Jim Ready

Massachusetts US Rep. Barney Frank has announced his engagement to his partner of five years, Jim Ready of Maine. No date has been announced for the nuptials that will take place in Massachusetts which recognizes marriage between same sex couples. Rep. Frank recently decided to not run for reelection to his House seat that he has held since 1981.

We here at The Stars Hollow Gazette and Docudharma extend our heartfelt best wishes to Barney and Jim. May they have a long, happy, healthy and prosperous life together. Blessed Be.

“I’m in love, I’m in love

I’m in love, I’m in love

I’m in love with a wonderful guy!”

“Nellie Forbush”, South Pacific

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Unprincipled Zealots and March Madness

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Clay Bennett

.2 mg dose of finasteride Moammar Gadhafi by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Obama finds DOMA UNconstitutional!

from DOJ, a statement by Attorney General Holder says the Obama Administration found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and will no longer defend it in court.

vardenafil generico italia pagamento online A Great Day for LGBT!  

On Asking Experts, Part One, Or, Do Democrats Really Understand Their LBGT Problem?

Stories begat other stories, or at least they do for me; this two-part conversation came from a comment that was made after I posted a story suggesting that voting matters this time, especially if you don’t want environmental disasters like the recent Hungarian “toxic lake” that burst from its containment and polluted the Danube River happening in your neighborhood.  

Long story short, we are going to be moving on to ask what, for some, is a more fundamental question: if you’re an LBGT voter, and the Democratic Party hasn’t, to put it charitably, “been all they could be” when it comes to issues like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Federal Defense of Marriage Act…what should you do?

Now normally I would be the one trying to develop an answer to the question, but instead, we’re going to be posing the question to a group of experts, and we’ll be letting them give the answers.

And just because you, The Valued Reader, deserve the extra effort, for Part Two we’ve trying to get you a “Special Bonus Expert” to add some input to the conversation: a Democratic Member of Congress who represents a large LBGT community.    

Prop 8 Preview: The “Basis” Is The Thing

As you look at today’s Prop 8 ruling, I want you to think back a few weeks to the Massachusetts Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) rulings for a bit of legal logic that will make a huge difference as this case moves through any appeals process.

What I want you to think about are two moderately obscure concepts: “strict scrutiny” and “rational basis”. The difference between the two will tell us how hard Prop 8 will be to defend, and we’ll quickly walk through what you need to know, right here, right now.

On A Pair Of Victories, Part Two, Or, DOMA Ruled Unconstitutionally Irrational

We are back, just a bit late, to wrap up the discussion we began about the pair of rulings issued in Boston by Federal District Judge Joseph Tauro this week that declare the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

In the first half of the conversation, we examined the ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today we examine the companion case, Gill v Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

I don’t usually tell you the end of the story at the beginning, but this time I will: there are a lot of happy Plaintiffs this week, and the Federal Government, as Defendant (whom I will refer to as “the Feds” from time to time), is not so happy at the moment.

As with last time, there’s a lot of ground to cover, and the sooner we get to it, the better.

On A Pair Of Victories, Part One, Or, “I DOMA Think Congress Can Define Spouse Anymore”

I have to work fast over the next two days to get you this story, but it is a good one.

We are all aware of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), championed by former Congressman Bob “I’m A Libertarian If It Doesn’t Involve Your Penis Or Vagina” Barr; we now have two rulings, released on the same day by the same Federal judge, that will render the Act moot, if they’re either upheld throughout the appeals process…or if the Obama Administration decides to end that appeals process right now.

There’s a lot of ground to cover, and time is short.

Let’s get to work.

Justice

see url Justice for bank fraudsters: Throw them in Guantanamo and sort it out later (speaking of the crooks at J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc., etc.) Just like they do with “terrorists”.

If a military tribunal is good enough for Osama Bin Laden’s driver, it’s good enough for the bank fraudsters…and a firing squad at the end.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=cialis-generico-a-poco-prezzo Justice for Karl Rove: Extraordinarily rendition him to Afghanistan, paradrop him into Kandahar wearing a sandwichboard saying “I Love Salmon Rushdie” on one side and “Death to Islam” on the other.

quanto costa il levitra generico 20 mg online Justice for opponents of repealing DADT:  Fire them from their jobs and then enlist them in an organization that makes referencing, justifying or speaking anything in reference to Christianity or religion a court martial offense.  Assert that they have “freedom of speech” despite this but they have no rights in this organization.  Give them no privacy, forbid them heterosexual relationships and make them serve their country, only at the end to kick them out because they’re “immoral” and tell them their existence is “contrary to good order and discipline”.

viagra tablets in canada pfizer Justice for Teabaggers.  Send them the full bill for their sewer, water, police and fire department protection.  If they object, call them dirty socialists.

go Justice for opponents of granting GLBT couples full marriage rights and repealing DOMA:

First, dissolve their marriages and tell them they don’t have the right to use that word in regard to their relationships.  Then put them in a state that has “civil unions”.  Tell them these civil unions are the equivalent of heterosexual marriage and they ought to be happy with that.

Wait until said people get old with their unmarried but civilly unioned partners.  During this period, they have to file federal income taxes separately and cannot move to any other state while keeping their supposed “rights” intact.  

Then, when old, take one partner to the hospital, refuse to let the other partner see the first or make medical decisions on his or her behalf, then sell their belongings on EBay.  Let the first partner die in the hospital, confine the other to a nursing home and then tell him or her you don’t know what s/he is whining about, because s/he has “equal rights”.

Then tell them that Obama feels their pain.

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