After DOMA and Prop 8

The ACLU has published a handy resource guide, After DOMA: What it Means for You.

Implementation of federal rights, benefits, and protections will vary from state to state and on an individual basis.

The Supreme Court's decision in Windsor v United States is here. The ACLU says: [More...]

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Obama Certifies Repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

Via CBS News:

President Obama on Friday signed a certification of Congress' repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning gay men and women from serving openly in the military, setting the stage for the Clinton-era policy to be formally abolished on September 20, 2011. The policy will not be formally abolished until September 20 because the legislation passed by Congress late last year requires a 60-day waiting period between the certification by Mr. Obama and military leaders and full repeal.

...Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen also certified that the military was prepared for repeal to be implemented.

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Federal Judge in Boston Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro in Boston has declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in two cases. In one case, he found the statute violates the Tenth Amendment. In the other, he found it violates the equal protection guarantee in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

"The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment. For that reason, the statute is invalid," Tauro wrote in a ruling in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

In the second case, (opinion here)he ruled:

As irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest, this court must hold that Section 3 of DOMA as applied to Plaintiffs violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


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DOJ Files DOMA Brief: Law Bad, But Must Be Enforced

The Justice Department filed a brief yesterday in a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While it says Obama opposes DOMA and thinks it should be repealed, it still recommended the challenge at issue be dismissed.

With respect to the merits, this Administration does not support DOMA as a matter of policy, believes that it is discriminatory, and supports its repeal. Consistent with the rule of law, however, the Department of Justice has long followed the practice of defending federal statutes as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality, even if the Department disagrees with a particular statute as a policy matter, as it does here.


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Giving Up

Last year, in the heat of the primary, Barney Frank wrote a very important essay on the "partisan fights of the 90s." In light of the Obama Justice Department's decision to defend DOMA in Federal court, I would like to briefly revisit that essay.

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Gay Rights Groups Outraged By Obama DOJ's DOMA Brief

The Justice Department filed a brief today (available here) in a federal case in California. Gay rights groups are outraged.

This week, the Obama administration is facing the ire of gay rights groups after it filed a brief in California federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act and calling it a "valid exercise of Congress' power" that is saving taxpayers money.

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. It doesn't prohibit same-sex marriages; instead, it says that no state "shall be required" to honor same-sex marriages taking place elsewhere or any "right or claim arising from such relationship."

Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and other groups issued a joint statement today blasting the filing: [More...]

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