Historic DOMA Ruling Could Help Repeal Prop 8

July 10, 2010 at 7:10 am 152 comments

by Paul Hogarth

Part 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was found unconstitutional on Thursday, by a 79-year-old Federal District Court Judge in Boston. Joseph Tauro, the longest serving Nixon appointee on the bench, ruled in a pair of cases that gay couples who were married in Massachusetts are denied equal protection. Part 3 of DOMA denies gay couples (even if a state recognizes their marriage) any of the 1,000-plus federal marriage rights – such as Social Security benefits, immigration or joint tax returns. Tauro noted how DOMA radically intruded in an area (marriage) that has long been the province of the states. As California awaits a federal court ruling that challenges Prop 8, Tauro’s decision paves the way for marriage equality – by proving that a court doesn’t need to rule under “strict scrutiny” to find DOMA unconstitutional. This is a departure from earlier California cases on marriage equality, and should guide the federal case to repeal Prop 8.

The two cases challenging DOMA – one by GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) on behalf of gay couples, the other by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley – were both smart lawsuits, targeted at making incremental progress for marriage equality. Massachusetts has had gay marriage since 2004, but couples there still don’t have full equality – because DOMA prevents them from accessing any of the federal rights that come with marriage.

In fact, I had argued back in January that this suit was preferable to the federal case against Prop 8, because the odds of success were better. Because so much of the tangible benefits that come with marriage are federal, going to federal court was always inevitable – but civil rights lawyers had avoided it for years, for fear of the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative bent. I even worried that a bad Prop 8 ruling could sabotage our challenge to DOMA.

But after reading Judge Tauro’s decision in the GLAD case, the federal court has improved the likelihood of repealing Prop 8. Rather than declare gays to be a “suspect class” and reject DOMA on “strict scrutiny” grounds, the ruling said that was unnecessary – because DOMA doesn’t even pass the more lenient “rational basis” test. The federal courts have never found gays to be a “suspect class,” but now we have a map for overruling Prop 8 on similar grounds.

When a law discriminates against a group of people, the first question a court generally asks is if that group is a “suspect class.” If so, the law must pass “strict scrutiny” – which means it’s presumed to be unconstitutional, unless the government defines a compelling public interest and the law is narrowly tailored through the least restrictive means. If not, the law is fine – as long as the court can literally dream up a “rational basis” that the law is legitimately related to. If there is no rational basis, it is “irrational” – and thus illegal.

What was so special about prior cases in California, Connecticut and Iowa is that those state Supreme Courts found sexual orientation to be a “suspect class” – and thus found on “strict scrutiny” grounds that gays must have the right to marry. But here, Judge Tauro writes: “DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster, even under the highly deferential rational basis test … There exists no fairly conceivable set of facts that could ground a rational relationship between DOMA and a legitimate government objective.”

Why is this so important? Because having live-blogged the Prop 8 trial, I’ve become very concerned about how we could get the federal courts to strike it down – if no federal court has ever found gays to be a “suspect class.” Without such a finding (and it’s naïve to count on any federal court to do so), anti-gay laws like DOMA and Prop 8 are presumed constitutional – unless we can prove they have no rational basis, and are motivated solely by animus.

How did Judge Tauro find no rational basis for DOMA? First, he went through the four reasons Congress gave for passing it in 1996 – which even the Obama Administration won’t argue anymore: (a) the purpose of marriage is to procreate, (b) government must defend and promote straight marriage, (c) Congress morally disapproves of gays and (d) DOMA preserves scarce government resources. Needless to say, he disposed of all four – by explaining how denying benefits to gay married couples did not achieve these goals.

Then, he looked at the “reasons” that the Justice Department currently gives for keeping DOMA on the books – (a) preserving the status quo, and (b) administrative efficiency.

On preserving the status quo, Tauro wrote: “the government assumes that Congress has some interest in a uniform definition of marriage for purposes of determining federal rights, benefits and privileges.” But the definition of who gets married has always been up to the states, and not all states have the same standards. All the federal government needs to know is that a couple legally wed under the laws of their state.

“Importantly,” he wrote, “the passage of DOMA marks the first time that the federal government has ever attempted to legislatively mandate a uniform federal definition of marriage.” Arguably, it’s the second time – Congress made polygamy a crime in 1865.

As for administrative efficiency, Tauro explained that it’s just a subterfuge for the old argument that DOMA was to preserve scarce resources: “it strains credulity to suggest that Congress might have passed DOMA – touching every single federal provision that includes the word marriage or spouse – simply for the discrete goal of consistency in the distribution of federal marriage-based pecuniary benefits.” Besides, now that states like Massachusetts allow gays to be married, DOMA adds an unnecessary layer of confusion.

In the absence of a rational basis, it is fair to conclude that the only reasons are irrational – and so the Federal Court Judge overruled Part 3 of DOMA. Gay marriage advocates hope that we’ll see a similar verdict in Prop 8 – where the opposing side presented very weak evidence at trial on any rational to deny gay couples the right, besides bigotry.

Will Judge Tauro’s decision be appealed? Everyone expects it to, just as we presume Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling on Prop 8 – which we anticipate any day now – to be as well. The right-wingers at NOM even went so far as to pray “with God’s help” there will be five U.S. Supreme Court justices to uphold Prop 8, and their press release over the DOMA ruling yesterday was equally hysterical. Expect this to be unresolved for years.

But with DOMA thrown out on “rational basis” grounds in a federal court, it should give hope to gay marriage advocates here in California that Prop 8 will suffer a similar fate.

Entry filed under: Trial analysis.

How will the DOMA ruling affect California? NOM Launches “Summer for Marriage” Tour – And We’re Going to Track Them

152 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marius  |  July 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

    good article=)

    Reply
    • 2. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

      Subscribing

      Reply
      • 3. Ben  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

        sub[ordinate] to a scribe, methinks …

        Reply
      • 4. Ronnie  |  July 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

        yeah I’m subscribing too… ; ) ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 5. JonT  |  July 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        (สมัครที่นี่)

        Reply
      • 6. Alan E.  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

        I wonder if the first post will ever be an actual response to the post anymore. Anyways, Subscribing.

        Reply
      • 7. Ben Lewis  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

        @ Alan: it’s better than « FIRST », « F1RST », etc., isn’t it?

        Reply
      • 8. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:13 am

        @Alan E.
        I would be glad not to have to do that subscribing thing every time, but this blog does not provide us with the option of automatic subscription to all comments of all new posts. :( Really sad! :(

        Reply
      • 9. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

        Hi, Kirille. I’m actually grateful that subscription is not automatic; I prefer not to have a zillion e-mails come into my box.

        Everyone’s ideas are different, of course … but I like the fact that you have to opt *in.*

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
      • 10. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

        I’d just like to be able subscribe at a subscriptions management page without having to post!

        Reply
      • 11. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

        Hey, Fiona!
        I was merely talking about giving us an option to automatically subscribe to all new posts and comments: who wants to — will get that kind of subscription, and who doesn’t want to — will make a choice upon reading the blog entry and deciding if they want to follow the comments.  And even then, like Kathleen says, it would have been better to subscribe without posting.  Give people more options!!!

        Reply
  • 12. Sagesse  |  July 10, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I read elsewhere about the 1865 polygamy law that Tauro did not refer to when he said the federal government has always left the definition of marriage to the states.

    Not a lawyer, so I could be wrong, but if I understand correctly, Congress has the power to enact laws governing territories, and the 1865 law was such a law. Utah and other states had to make polygamy illegal as a condition of being admitted as states. So technically, the 1865 law did not affect ‘states’ rights to define marriage.

    If Tauro did get this wrong, how would it affect the validity of his decision on appeal?

    Reply
    • 13. Ben  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      I do not think it would have any sort of effect, really, given that polygamy is a matter of numbers, and marriage equality is solely about allowing two individuals to enter into a marriage contract. Additionally, I think the polygamy matter had to do with the LDS/multiple wives matter in Utah, and that being considered a bit … archaic.

      Reply
      • 14. Ray in MA  |  July 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm

        On an international scale, Polygany goes beyond the LDS… many Mid East countries have polygany as custom…migrating to western countries, it is becoming an issue. The Netherlands is grappling with this iisue now.

        Reply
      • 15. Ray in MA  |  July 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm

        (wow, twice I typoed “Poligamy” time to put the cocktails down!)

        Reply
      • 16. Ben Lewis  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:19 am

        Agh … I kept intending to reply, but I’m pleading pain levels from my wisdom teeth coming out. I know that polygamy is common in other cultures, and in older time periods; the key point above was the bit about territories. Territories are directly subject to the rule of Congress, while the States have some autonomy. As has been noted multiple times, the question of polygamy has never been put on the table in the States except as a scare tactic. Mostly, it seems like the anti-equality folks are grasping at even thinner straws than ever …

        Reply
      • 17. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

        Actually, Ray, you were closer than you know. The majority of cultures that practice plural marriage have polygyny — multiple wives. Very few practice polyandry (multiple husbands).

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
  • 18. Sagesse  |  July 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    A thoughtful discussion of what’s wrong with the Pentagon’s DADT survey

    ‘What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?’ and Other Pentagon Survey Questions

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/07/what-would-you-do-if-a-gay-or-lesbian-were-in-your-shower-and-other-pentagon-survey-questions.html

    Reply
    • 19. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

      So ridiculous. There are already gay men and lesbians in the group showers …

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
      • 20. Papa Foma  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

        If the shower issue was regarding mixing male and female service members my head spins at how fast the measure would be approved of in a poll to the service members…but to publicly acknowledge what is ALREADY occurring?….

        Makes you wonder!

        Reply
      • 21. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

        @Fiona
        Yes, but nobody knows who’s who because if you tell you’re out from the service!
        But, you know, the repeal of DADT wouldn’t just mean that homosexuals could tell anyone they are gay, they would also be allowed to butt-fuck anyone they want!  Don’t you see it???  o_0

        Reply
      • 22. Ben Lewis  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

        @kirille: Of course, because everyone knows that gays and lesbians live only for the sex — and they’re so horny that they’d even find bigots who spend far too much time contemplating the mechanics of such relations attractive. Gosh.

        Reply
  • 23. Rick  |  July 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    As a 58-year-old gay person trying to put all of this into perspective, the events unfolding are truly remarkable and historic. Growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, “homosexuality” was still a word for a love that dared not speak its name. I can remember at time when THE New York Times would not even print the word! The incredible Prop 8 trial and now Judge Tauro’s ruling represent great leaps forward. I never thought I would see this much progress in my lifetime.

    Reply
    • 24. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      Rick, We’re of the same generation. As someone who grew up knowing from a very young age that glbt people existed, were members of my family (and my mom’s circle of friends) and that it was just a fact of life with no ‘moral’ value attached to that fact at all, it came as a shock to me that so many people felt they had to hide who there are and were the target of prejudice and, often, violence. I literally was taken aback when I’d sense the internalized shame some of my friends and family members exhibited just because of who they were/are.

      All that said, having become aware of what people our age and older endured, I’m just so glad to be here to be a witness to history, and am thrilled that you’re here to share it, too.

      Reply
    • 25. truthspew  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

      I’m a little younger than you having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s and am constantly impressed by the progress being made in regard to extending the full measure of rights to ALL people.

      I’ve been following this blog since the start of the Prop 8 trial and I find the analysis very interesting.

      Reply
    • 26. Sagesse  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

      As a 60 year old straight person, I’ve lived through and observed the evolution of civil rights of all kinds over this time period as well, and am awed by the pace of progress with respect to LGBT rights, and cultural perceptions. Prior to 1973, being gay was a mental disorder. Until 2003, private sexual conduct was illegal in many states. HIV/AIDS devastated an entire generation before it was brought under control. There is no accurate count of the community because there’s still a closet.

      Clearly popular opinion is coming around at a steady pace. Ever the optimist, I hope the Supreme Court, when it looks at LGBT rights in future, will remember the conversations around race and gender and have the common sense to realize that it doesn’t have to take 100 years to recognize them for what they are.

      Reply
      • 27. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

        To add to the story, I will become 60 this coming Dec. , and I am most gratefull to have survived Aids for the past 25yrs. Especially because I am able to witness history being made, and this website allows me to feel a part of it.

        Kathleen, I so appreciate your story, and how sexual orientation was not an issue for you, considering the parents you had, it is always a victory for me to hear of someone who had the priviledge to experience life that way, and to know it is possible.

        I was one of those like Rick whose feelings of LOVE were an unspeakable evil.

        For me this belief was instilled in me by Religious upbringing, my part was buying into that belief, which reeked such Spiritual Violence, it caused me to act out , using my sexuality in distructive ways. Eventually culminating in the diagnosis of AIDS.

        During the past 25yrs, watching my friends die, I grew spiritually, and as I witnessed their deaths, I reassured them they were loved and the message we had recieved as children was wrong. I believed this to the depths of my being, in spite of all the messages to the contrary;.

        Through this process, I worked out many of my own issues, most recent being a two year dialog with the Church , I still have issues with my mother, who is the kind that told me to seek my blessings where I may, but leave heer church alone.

        I am presently on palliative care, wondering if I’ll make it to 60, and for me this website has been a way of writing, a place to express my feelings, openly, to vent my anger and rage. Thanks to the nature of the site, I can attest to the fact that what is found lhere is all real, and part of a journey of self discovery.

        If we had a gay agenda, monitors would not have allowed some of my posts, especially the one in which I ranted about the Church, but because of the nature of us as Rainbow People, we are not tryng to portray ourselves in some perfect way in order to be accepted, first we accept ourselves, and in doing so we nurture each other along.

        I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity, at this particular point on my journey. and especially seeing Judge Tauro’s ruling based on jusitce and equality, I feel vindicated, and reassured that their will be more rulings like this.

        I once again have faith in the United States, and their ability to portray these qualities to the world.

        What I have learned from my theolodgical debates, and I say this to Maggie, It is a disgrace to have sunken so low that you go to the secular courts asking them to uphold your spiritual beliefs. Spirituality thrives only by the grace of God. Put your faith back where it belongs, please , you’ve ridiculed your church and yourself, and belittled your god enough.

        Like Rick and many others I am grateful to have lived long enough to see Rainbow People gather the courage to stand up and be ourselves, for people like Kathleen and Straight Grandmothers children, it was a natural thing to do, instilled by loving parents,

        For myself and many others it meant, rejecting what our parents and our churches told and expeceted of us, wondering a lonely path, uncertain of the outcome, but with more conviction because of the abuse we had alreadly known.

        Kathleen, I want to say a very special thanks to you, I understand the pressure you must be under, especially what it means to “stroke out” what I am saying now is because that has become a part of my own reality, if I succumb to a stoke tonight my spirit is free, I am at peace, let freedom reign.!!!!!

        To Krill and Felyx, hang in thleir boys, remember you have a grandmother who owns an olive orchard, she humbles herself lto rise at dawn to pick her treasured crop, and in the dark of night she works on this site as an activist for your rights. Perhaps one daly she will bottle her new crop of oil, and label it VICTORY, and give us a product to sell, and raise money for that website.

        remember always , ‘we don’t know what we don’t know”
        and all that we do know is that we are LOVE

        Reply
  • 28. Bolt  |  July 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I hope Walker delivers his masterpiece soon. We need to strike while the irons’ hot! This is a very exciting time in our history; however, it’s too bad that we can’t take these equalities for granted, like everybody else, and focus on greater things.

    Reply
  • 29. Sagesse  |  July 10, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Update on what LGBT activist Freg Karger is up to

    We’re Changin Our Name

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-karger/were-changin-our-name_b_639538.html

    Reply
    • 30. RebeccaRGB  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      My immediate response was, what the heck kind of name is Rights Equal Rights? It doesn’t make any sense! After straining my brain for a while, it clicked, I think: (any kind of) Rights = (all) Rights. Still a little too hard to make sense of, so wtf?

      Reply
      • 31. Sagesse  |  July 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

        Cute to the point of being obscure, certainly. But it kinda echoes my favourite phrase on the subject…

        Rights is rights; if you’re a human being you have them.

        Reply
  • 32. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thanks, Paul for an insightful overview. And unless I am mistaken, part of the hysterics you are referring to is the fact that so many of the opponents are saying that ALL of DOMA is gone, rather than revealing the truth that it is only Section 3. Is that correct.
    Also, I really hope this IS appealed, because unless it is, this decision only affects MA, and will not have the full effect of becoming a binding precedent that could really help us in future litigation. Of course, IANAL, and this is just my not-so-humble gay opinion.

    Reply
    • 33. Alan E.  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Yes, it is only Section 3, but they don’t want to let their constituents know that. Better hysterics and all that.

      Reply
  • 34. Dave  |  July 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

    What would be easier to overturn, a broad ruling that if upheld at the SCOTUS would strike down all bans on SSM, or a very narrow ruling that would only striked own California’s ban even when upheld at the SCOTUS. One fear I have though if Walker does give a broad ruling, and it is struck down it would be devestating.

    Reply
    • 35. Alan E.  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

      No matter Walker’s decision, each level of the appellate court can decide the scope of their decision. they can say that Walker is right, but for different reasons; wrong for the wrong reasons; right for the right reason; wrong for the right reasons; or even right to a certain extent (or even more broad) for the right/wrong reasons. It’s a complex game, and the scope of Walker’s reasons only act as a starting point.

      Reply
  • 36. AlexD  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I can see how this helps us in Prop 8 in particular, but not in marriage rights in general:

    Part of his ruling was that the “status quo” argument wasn’t valid, because DOMA actually *changed* the status quo.

    I can see a similar argument for Prop 8 (prior to Prop 8, the status quo was that gays and lesbians were allowed to marry).

    But I’m not sure how this helps me in Texas – where gay marriage has NEVER been legal, and the constitutional amendment that was passed here can be said to have preserved the status quo.

    I mean, even if it doesn’t help us here in Texas I want Californians to get their rights back(and the federal government providing rights will crucially help reduce the stigma – advancing our rights elsewhere) – but does his “status quo” argument make it harder to get the Texas law overturned in federal court?

    Reply
    • 37. Dpeck  |  July 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Alex,

      Even if a law against same sex marriage in a particular state can be thought of as ‘preserving the status quo”, one of the points made in this ruling is that this alone is NOT a valid reason for denying rights to a group of citizens. A point was made in the ruling that preserving the status quo in and of itself does not serve any legitimate govornment purpose, it is only a means to an end and that end must support some legitimate govornment interest. So the reasoning in this ruling is helpful for our side even in states that have never had legal same sex marriage. This reasoning can be used in new cases in states like Texas to show that this ‘status quo’ argument is invalid, just like the other arguments.

      Reply
  • 38. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Just in case anyone missed this in the yesterday’s posts: Attorneys for Plaintiffs sent Walker a letter, bringing attention to the these two DOMA cases:

    Reply
    • 39. JonT  |  July 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      Neat. Cooper’s response should be… entertaining… :)

      Reply
      • 40. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

        Yes. I know…. It helps break up the tedium while waiting for Walker’s ruling.

        Btw, I :)placed my bet on the ruling coming out sometime between July 6 and July 12. So, he better hurry…

        Reply
      • 41. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm

        Especially if he submits a video as well as the written argument. If he does, I want to see that.

        Reply
  • 42. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Allo reported yesterday, but in case someone missed it, Olson joined in the media’s request to be given 48 hours’ notice of the decision. He went one step further, asking that Walker let them know whether or not he intends to give notice.

    I think yesterday’s rumor played havoc with everyone’s blood pressure.

    Reply
    • 43. BradK  |  July 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      I was actually wondering if there is some correlation between the delay in announcing the Perry decision and the Gill case (whether or not it had anything to do with Thursday’s misunderstandings).

      Questions then, for all you legal eagles out there: Would a Federal court (in this case Justice Walker’s) deliberately delay issuing a final ruling in light of a very similar case being ruled upon the same day/week in another Federal court? As if the court would like time to review the substance (and fallout) of the latter court’s decision before issuing its own ruling — and perhaps revisiting that ruling in light any new precedent. Or are Federal courts expected to operate in a vacuum from one another?

      Reply
      • 44. Alan E.  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

        Would a Federal court (in this case Justice Walker’s) deliberately delay issuing a final ruling in light of a very similar case being ruled upon the same day/week in another Federal court?

        Sure, but you probably couldn’t prove anything.

        Reply
    • 45. Franck  |  July 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Yes, it did. Imagine my reaction reading about that at work.

      Reply
    • 46. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      It definitely hiked my blood pressure about 100 points.

      Reply
    • 47. JonT  |  July 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      Yeah, me too, until I saw that it was on drudge :)

      Reply
      • 48. Ben  |  July 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

        As soon as I saw Drudge report, my thought was, Now why would anyone, anywhere, ever take the Drudge Report seriously?

        Reply
      • 49. james  |  July 11, 2010 at 6:01 am

        Well I’m sorry but, to my credit, I suppose I haven’t seen anything yet that was so totally incorrect on Drudge. I was just reporting what I saw and did so in a way that asked others if they had heard anything. And there were lots of others who thought the same thing…not just myself.

        Reply
      • 50. Ben Lewis  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

        It’s true; I do not fault you in any way about your source, it popped up all over. I, personally, simply do not have a high opinion of the Drudge Report. That’s all.

        Reply
      • 51. JonT  |  July 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm

        Sorry james, that wasn’t meant as a dig at you.

        Reply
  • 52. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    In theory, Judges are meant to consider nothing but the facts in front of them and relevant law. In reality, that’s clearly impossible.

    As to the particulars here, the only thing I know for certain is that the Mass DOMA cases are NOT binding authority for the Prop 8 case. District Court decisions never establish binding authority for other courts; only decisions in an appellate court do that. And then they are only binding authority for the lower courts within its jurisdiction.

    These DOMA cases constitute what is called “persuasive authority” – that is, authority a court can look to for information and guidance, but which it is not bound to follow.

    As to the question of whether Walker might have been intending to release a decision the other day and then waited, I won’t even speculate. Maybe someone who has clerked with a federal court and understands the workings of the inner chambers has some insight.

    Reply
  • 53. JonT  |  July 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Joe.My.God has a few interesting posts up:

    A poll needs freeping http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/07/freep-this-poll.html

    It’s about the Today show decision to allow gay people to enroll in their contest. Pro-gay is *way* out ahead :)

    Also, there a good clip on glenn becks “university”, specifically his ‘faith 101’ class.

    PS: Yes, I admit it, I used scare quotes around “university”. Also, I won’t post the urls since moderation will result, and I so detest moderation in these matters :)

    Reply
  • 54. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    This is weird… a post hasn’t appeared. Which means I either posted it some obscure place or it’s gotten hung up in moderation. If the latter, we probably won’t see it until Monday. It only had one link, but the link was to a PDF at GLAD. Any chance that’s what caused the problem?

    I’m going to try again…

    Reply
  • 55. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Yep. Tried a second time and it’s still not here. Don’t know what the problem is.

    Anyway,, GLAD has a FAQ on the DOMA cases. It doesn’t answer some of the thornier questions that have been discussed here about the implications of moving out of an inclusive marriage jurisdiction into one that doesn’t honor the marriage, as it impacts fed benefits. It sticks to answers to questions as they relate to present facts, namely,, that this currently only effects married ss couples living in Massachusetts.

    It does however, have some information about what to consider in order to protect (and conversely not to jeopardize) rights in the areas of immigration and federal tax filing.

    If you’re on facebook, you can find the link to it on GLAD’s fb page wall. I haven’t yet located it at the GLAD site, but will continue to look.

    Reply
    • 56. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      Here it is… there’s a link at the bottom of the page “Read answers to frequently asked questions about this decision.”

      http://www.glad.org/current/news-detail/federal-court-strikes-down-doma-section-3/

      Reply
      • 57. Bob  |  July 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm

        WOW, theire’s some equality and justice in that court order

        music to my ears (only animus and irrational prejudice are the basis for creating the challenged class)

        Thanks for this link Kathleen

        Reply
      • 58. Sagesse  |  July 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

        Very well written. Especially refuting the NOM ‘DOJ ran a lame defense’ claim.

        Reply
      • 59. Felyx  |  July 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm

        @ Fellow Binationals

        I read the FAQ and there is a section on sponsorship. I know I am an enthusiastic advocate of optimism but I am a realist too. The section on sponsorship sounds harsh but it (annoyingly so) leaves out time references. I believe it means to say that we should not take sponsorship action at this time but will be able to do so after a definitive ruling on these cases (probably by SCOTUS.)

        Immigration is a prickly affair in and of itself without adding SS woes. Kirill and I need to do quite a few things to be able to make a successful case and it will take us at least a year for that alone. I would seriously recommend to all binationals to become familiar with immigration law and procedures now so that you will be prepared when your time comes. Get finances in order, create documentation to support your case, find friends and family willing to testify (a more difficult task for those who come from countries where such people are rare or not safe to confide in) and by all means learn about immigration procedures and policies. I suspect Kathleen will agree with me when I say that lawyers do not know everything. Out4Immigration.com and ImmigrationEquality.com are excellent resources and considering the extra challenges we face we need to have all the assistance available. We have every reason to believe our time is at hand; let’s not put ourselves in a position to have to wait longer because we are not prepared.

        Good Luck to everybody,
        Felyx

        PS: Kirill and I are seriously looking into creating an independent companion forum site to this one so that the momentum and camaraderie can continue. It would definitely have a section dedicated to binationals as well as internet unions. Anyone wanting to give input into its design and makeup (hint hint Straight Grandma and JonT) should feel free to contact one of us or Richard of Fayetteville. We love all of you and want to see this community take on a whole new dimension!

        4NH4NAIIIKA 4 4N6YPAIIIKA!

        Reply
      • 60. Kathleen  |  July 10, 2010 at 11:07 pm

        Felyx, Don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm, but note that the FAQ’s section on immigration and the discussion of sponsorship is speaking specifically of SPOUSES. It is answering the question: “What about immigration protections for married couples?” In other words, it is addressing the situation where you are already married.

        As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the FAQ that addresses issues of petitioning for a fiance visa. As I’ve said before, it’s possible that this ruling could be seen as saying nothing on that question, still leaving unanswered how the feds will deal with that when/if this becomes settled law.

        You should, of course, continue to get information from all possible sources and begin putting together anything and everything you can to start building a case.

        I’m certainly cheering for the two of you.

        Reply
      • 61. Franck  |  July 11, 2010 at 1:31 am

        @ Felyx

        I would certainly participate in such a companion site. I have to admit that I grew weary of going through some of the immigration sites. I’m looking for help and guidance, most of the time all I can find is more stories of people in situations like mine.

        I’ll say, it ruined my mood for over two days this week, I even cried at one point.

        Reply
      • 62. Felyx  |  July 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

        @ Kathleen

        Sorry, Kathleen, but I have to rub it in :P I read the section and I did note that it mentioned nothing regarding fiancé(e) visas so I intentionally did not mention it in my post above! :P

        On a more serious note, your comments are so valuable to me that I hope you see this lighthearted joshing for what it is…just a bit of ribbing. Kirill and I are well aware that we will want to seek out a professional immigration lawyer for our case. In the mean time we have lots of work to do and that alone will take at least a year.

        Felyx

        Reply
      • 63. BradK  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

        Thanks Kathleen, for your response to my question yesterday, and for all your thoughtful and illuminating input here.

        I read through the GLAD FAQ though and I’m still unclear on the implications of a Federal court ruling across state lines. GLAD explained thoroughly the difference between the Gill and Perry cases – namely that Gill</i is about Federal recognition of marriages as already defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, while Perry is about the right to marry in the first place. And I understand that a victory for us in Perry will only restore the right to marry in the state of CA (at least unless it is appealed all the way to SCOTUS and upheld) because Prop 8 a CA law (or, rather, constitutional amendment) and not Federal.

        But Gill is a challenge in Federal court to a Federal law. Let’s say that by some miracle the DoJ decides not to appeal Justice Tauro’s ruling, doesn’t that mean that Part 3 of DOMA does indeed violate the U.S. Constitution AND therefore can no longer be applied to ANY couple that has a marriage license issued by ANY state? Why should a couple with a MA marriage license have any more access to Federal recognition – and benefits – than a couple married in, say, NH or one of the 18,000 in CA? If a couple married in MA and receiving Federal recognition then relocates would they then loose that recognition, even if they moved to another state with marriage equality?

        In a nutshell: aren’t Federal laws supposed to apply to all citizens in all states equally?

        Reply
      • 64. Felyx  |  July 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

        @ BradK

        In a nutshell you are right, unconstitutional is unconstitutional…in practice however each state will need to bring forth its case separately to reaffirm that this is so. Unless, of course, the case is appealed all the way to the SCOTUS. If there is a favorable ruling at the US SC level then all states would be enjoined to follow the law. Also bear in mind that there is a concerted effort among the various legal groups to bring multiple well financed well researched cases forward in a variety of venues.

        Patience and perseverance,
        Felyx

        Reply
      • 65. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

        @BradK, I had the exact same question re: the implications of a District Court striking down federal law if it isn’t appealed, so I posed the question to a very experienced civil rights attorney at LAMBDA Legal. His answer:

        “Since there aren’t many instances where the Executive Branch did not appeal a decision holding a federal law unconstitutional, I’m not sure whether the decision not to appeal such a decision would or would not bind the federal government in other parts of the country.”

        Basically, this so rarely happens that even a very experienced civil right lawyer didn’t know the answer off hand.

        BTW, the other question I asked was whether the feds were required to appeal and he said there are cases where they haven’t, but they’re rare. And here, if they don’t, the Court might well allow members of Congress to intervene as defenders.

        Reply
      • 66. BradK  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm

        Thanks both! And apologies for not closing my tags. [:`)

        So S.O.P. for the DoJ is to appeal any Federal court ruling that finds a law unconstitutional, and to continue the appeal until they either prevail or run out of venues? Effectively, this means that any ruling striking down a Federal law must first be obtained, then upheld through a protracted appellate process before any real change in the law takes place. At the very least it sounds like a gross waste of Federal resources.

        And pretty sad, when you consider that it only seemed to take a few weeks for the Legislative and Executive branches to shove this turd through yet we’ve had to live under the boot heel of it for 15 years. And now that we’ve finally obtained corroboration from the Judaical branch that the law is indeed unconstitutional, it may take us some number of additional years (and $$$) to derive any true benefit from last week’s decision.

        You ask for “Patience and perseverance” Felyx? I’d say the wheels of justice need a little oil…

        Reply
      • 67. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm

        The other possibility is that Congress could just repeal DOMA before the cases exhaust all appeals. Not predicting how likely that is, just saying it could happen.

        Reply
      • 68. BradK  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

        We can also go back to the ballot box and beg the people of CA to restore our rights, but I’m not holding my breath on that one either. And I think a court decision has the weight of, “That was wrong and you can’t do it again”, while repeals usually come with a feeble apology at best, “OK, we’ll take this away — but we reserve the right to restore it in the future”.

        On another note, I just saw that Holder’s DoJ is threatening a second lawsuit against the state of AZ for it’s fascist immigration law. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they choose to defend DOMA and actively seek to continue denying one group its civil rights, while just as eagerly work to defend those of another’s — including non-citizens? That’s not a take a position on the immigration issue, just to point out how politics often trumps justice. And usually for the sake of votes.

        Reply
      • 69. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

        @BradK

        Just so long as the oil is Kosher! ;`)

        Reply
      • 70. BradK  |  July 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm

        Oy!

        Reply
  • 71. Sheryl Carver  |  July 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    To Kathleen, our wonderful explainer of legal issues:

    If Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside,CA, ultimately rules that DADT is unconstitutional (one can hope), will her ruling also apply only in CA unless it is appealed? If so, that would be a real mess, since military personnel are always being moved around.

    (If you’ve already explained this, I apologize. Please point me to your answer.)

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • 72. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 1:21 am

      I would imagine it would be the same situation as the DOMA cases, i.e., only would apply in California, as it’s a District Court case. If Judge Phillips strikes it down, you can bet it will be appealed, and the decision stayed pending appeal. So any law it creates isn’t likely to take effect anyway, until all appeals have been exhausted.

      Reply
      • 73. Sheryl Carver  |  July 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm

        Thanks, Kathleen.

        I was hoping that MAYBE since it was a federal law being challenged, & by a group on behalf of all military personnel, not just those in CA, that somehow a judgement overturning DADT would have an effect nationally. I agree with you that it will be appealed, no matter which way the judge rules, but still it would be nice if DADT was eliminated for all, even if stayed until appeal #1.

        The cracks in the wall are encouraging, but I’d like to see a big enough section fall that even NOM would realize the inevitability of finally having equal rights for all in the US. And someday, hopefully, worldwide.

        Reply
  • 74. Dave  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:07 am

    If Walker strikes down Prop 8 and doesn’t issue a stay pending appeal could one of the higher courts step in and issue the stay instead? Could a higher court force a stay if the lower court doesn’t issue one?

    Reply
    • 75. Chris  |  July 11, 2010 at 8:16 am

      Further, what are the state rules on such a ruling (presuming Judge Walker rules against Prop 8)? I know that the Massachusetts ruling came with an automatic 14-day stay for appeals; does this apply here in California?

      I ask because my wife and I, a Wiccan High Priestess and High Priest team, have been asked by one of our coven member’s daughter to perform a handfasting (our marriage ceremony) for her and her partner. The ceremony is at the end of the month, and I’d be tickled red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet to be able to make this one the legal one for them! :)

      Reply
    • 76. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      @Dave, Yes, a higher court can issue a stay. It’s quite common for the losing party to ask the appeals court to stay the decision, pending the result of their appeal.

      @Chris, I can’t answer with authority because I’m really weak in civil procedure, but I think the answer is yes. The FAQ from GLAD on the DOMA cases says there will be an automatic 14 day stay, but doesn’t say what rules require that. However, the AP story Sagesse pointed to in the previous post stated, “Under federal rules, there is an automatic 14-day stay of judgments in civil cases.”

      So, if the AP story is accurate as to the source of the requirement, then it will apply in the Perry case also, as It is a civil case in federal court.

      Reply
      • 77. Chris  |  July 14, 2010 at 5:05 am

        Bummer if you’re right. Thanks for the info!

        Reply
  • 78. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Funny thought.

    Our enemies claim opposite-sex marriage is the only way to channel procreative function and assure responsible procreation.  And at the same time they say we need straight marriages to help these families stay together and raise the kids they accidentally and unintentionally produced…

    How responsible is that to knock up a girl and then “do the right thing” by marrying her?  Is this what we call responsible procreation — lack of sexual education on contraceptives?
    It’s not responsibility!  It’s dealing with irresponsibility!

    Reply
    • 79. PamC  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

      Kirille–I think it’s because these people can only think in monochromatic extremes–and then end up contradicting themselves without understanding the problem with their thinking. Like we’re weak (physically & mentally sick, etc.) and strong (politically powerful, aggressive) at the same time! Or our parents were either domineering or absent (I’ve heard variations on this theme ad nauseam), but we also chose to be gay.

      Many oversimplify, reducing marriage and parenting to procreation with no comprehension of the relationship skills needed for either. Of course, just discussing “relationship skills” such as empathy and consideration means you don’t understand the hierarchical nature of god, man, wife, and children.

      The religious right often truly believe in a benevolent dicatatorship, and get furious when anyone challenges their “mysterious, yet well-meaning” tyrannical system. It’s their way or the highway (again, simple black/white thinking). God and/or father knows best–don’t argue. But “benevolent dictatorship” is a contradiction of terms.

      Reply
  • 80. Felyx  |  July 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

    IgNOMinious message of the day…

    New poll shows 85% of Guatemalans oppose same-sex marriage. http://nomblog.com/1124/ #NO4M # 16 hours ago

    In completely unrelated news, the republican party proposes immigration reform language to immediately grant all Guatemalans full citizenship status. Maggie Gallagher quoted as saying, “Clearly Guatemalans know what is best for the US!”

    Felyx

    Reply
    • 81. Felyx  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:09 am

      More igNOMinious quotes…

      Regarding Brian Brown and the bus tour…

      The NOM president adds that the tour will also show that proponents of traditional marriage are well organized and set to battle Congress and the courts if they try to change the definition of marriage.

      First just the courts were against you but now Congress too? What next, the will of the American people?!!!

      :P

      Reply
      • 82. Dpeck  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

        Yes.

        And yes.

        : )

        Reply
    • 83. Felyx  |  July 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      IgNOM-inanity reigns!

      “…millions of Americans do understand why marriage is the union of husband and wife and I believe the majority of the Supreme Court will as well.” – Maggie

      Maggie hath to believe … it’th the only way she can thave faith!

      :P

      Reply
    • 84. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      More igNOMinious comments!

      Jon Rauch Defends Prop 8 Expert Witness David Blankenhorn
      (Because no one else will!)

      In a letter to the New York Times published today, Jonathan Rauch, prominent pro-gay marriage author, defends David Blankenhorn, who testified as an expert witness in Prop 8 trial, from scurrilous multiple attacks by Frank Rich:

      “Frank Rich, for the third time since February, unfairly criticizes David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values and a witness in the trial over Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. . .”

      Evidently Mr. Rich will not stop congratulating Blankenhorn on his excellent if not expert testimony!

      :P
      http://nomblog.com/category/ssm/

      Reply
  • 85. VoxCanaille  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Very quiet today.

    Perhaps everyone is watching the world cup?

    Coincidence? The world cup is being contested by Spain, where they have equal marriage, against Netherlands, where they have equal marriage, in South Africa, where they have equal marriage.

    Reply
    • 86. Rhonda  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      And the Gay welcoming Spain won. (Actually it was a win-win for a Gay welcoming winner).

      Just a low news no gay news day, I guess.

      Reply
    • 87. Franck  |  July 14, 2010 at 5:20 am

      I’m sorry, I missed that detail about all three countries evolved being amongst the most pro-equality crowd before. I should have seen it…

      Reply
  • 88. PamC  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I’m wondering whether, if Walker decides soon and his decision is appealed, then the next court up (9th circuit?) is appealed, would the Supremes bundle the appeal of Perry with the appeal of Tauro (if there is one) and address them together? I think they’ve done that in similar circumstances, if two or more cases all address the same issue(s).

    I hope that made sense! :-/

    Reply
    • 89. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Highly unlikely because they’re not addressing the same issues.
      1. The DOMA cases challenge a federal law while Perry challenges a state law
      2. The DOMA cases ask whether the federal government can refuse to extend benefits to couples who are already married, whereas in Perry the question is whether a state can refuse to allow ss couple to get married.

      Reply
      • 90. PamC  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm

        You’re right; they both discuss states’ rights, but from different angles. DOMA addresses federal discrimination between SS and OS married couples within a single state, effectively changing the meaning of the word “marriage” within MA –it means one thing for OS, and another for SS with regards to benefits and taxes, etc. Perry addresses a state, CA, limiting use of the term marriage for OS couples, and doesn’t address the issue of the federal DOMA at all.

        I guess I got caught up in all the excitement and wishing that the Supremes could be hurried along! (I know, justice rolls out slowly…)

        Reply
  • 91. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    The ruling by Judge Tauro says that the state does have the right to refuse ss marriage, and also the reverse.

    The question at issue in the Perry case which Judge Walker will decide is if in the Perry case , the state was properly represented in the upholding of prop8, (that sort of the jist I’m getting)

    He’ll be making some similar decisions, i.e. weather or not prop 8 was based on the facts or evidence at hand, or largely influenced by out of state religious views, We don’t know what the vote would have been if the NOM hadn’t entered the fray to influence the public view, Judge Walker already mentioned private morality,
    One thing that Tauro said which seemed pertinent was that things have changed in the time since the enactment of DOMA, publc attitude has changed, and also it is presently such a hudge topic publicly that it warrants more attention. Hopedully Judge Walker will make some similar statement.

    Reply
    • 92. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Bob, Judge Tauro’s ruling doesn’t say that the state has the right to refuse ss marriage. No one asked him that question and he never answered it. The DOMA cases only asked questions about how the law must be applied to people who are already married in their particular state.

      Also, for the sake of clarity, in the Perry case, this lawsuit could have been brought even if Mormons hadn’t been involved and there had been no influence from out of state. These things were all brought up in the case simply to provide supporting evidence that the motivations behind Prop 8 are not legitimate state interests (e.g., adherence to a particular religious view or animus toward a disfavored group of people).

      All that evidence makes the case stronger, but Walker could reach the same conclusion as Tauro, in much the same way, without any of that evidence being there. He could simply go down the list of all the purported legitimate reasons for Prop 8, decide that the law bears no rational relation to any of them, leaving the conclusion that the only interests it furthers are those which the state doesn’t consider legitimate.

      Reply
      • 93. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

        Kathleen, I’m a legal nimwit, but at least we arrive at a consensus in your last paragaph. And that’s my hunch, that Walker will reach the same conclusions, on his own

        Reply
      • 94. Kathleen  |  July 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm

        I hope you didn’t take my comment as being critical. I’m just trying to clear up possible misunderstandings when I see them posted.

        I feel pretty confident that Walker is going to strike down Prop 8. I just don’t know what particular situation that exists in California will be the basis of his ruling, and thus how broad its impact might be.

        Reply
  • 95. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    let me rephrase, the question for Judge Walker is not if the state can make that ruling, but HOW that ruling came to be made.

    And yes I’m all for the Supremes, wonder if Ronnie could find one of their old tunes appropriate for the occassion so we could all here them.

    Reply
    • 96. PamC  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm

      LOL I always say “the Supremes” now, since I bought the book, “The Supreme’s Greatest Hits: The 37 Supreme Court Cases that most directly affect your life” They’re going to have to change that number sometime in the next 5-10 years, for certain sure! (btw it’s a great read!)

      Reply
    • 97. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      Like maybe “Where Did Our Love Go?”?
      Ronnie, this is a not-so-subtle hint.

      Reply
    • 98. Ronnie  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      sorry I’ve been busy today…..here you go….<3…Ronnie:

      Reply
      • 99. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

        thanks!

        Reply
      • 100. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

        Yes, Ronnie to the rescue again!!!! good choice Richard, it really did the trick for me, took me way back, to the time we used to dance and sing along, makes you forget all the feakin shite goin down all round, for a while you’re invincible,

        Yes we can do this, thanks Ronnie,

        Reply
      • 101. Ronnie  |  July 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

        You’re welcome guys/gals….<3…Ronnie

        Reply
      • 102. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        Thanks, Ronnie!!

        Reply
  • 103. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    My biggest fear is that we get caught in a political battle. Some (well, many) politicians are less concerned about justice of a small segment of people than they are their own agenda and votes.

    I would go even further and say that I believe there are more people who are with us on this, but fear of backlash (from peers, family and friends) and that stops them from standing with us in our battle for human rights.

    Which is why justice like this – one step at a time – doesn’t seem like much, but is a giant leap.

    The Aspen Ideas Festival video someone put up here with David Boies and Ted Olson was a huge pick-me-up. They poised the question I hear quite a bit, and have even asked myself, “are we trying to do this too soon. are people ready for us to have equal rights.” Of course we/they/all are, but fear of losing any step of this battle is a psychological drain.

    The fact that those two legal men (Boies and Olson) are willing to stand up for our rights just tickles me pink! And makes me realize that the Maggie Gallager’s of the world are just hateful and full of ‘bleep’.

    Just my rant for today!

    Reply
  • 104. Sagesse  |  July 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    @ Kathleen

    “The other possibility is that Congress could just repeal DOMA before the cases exhaust all appeals. Not predicting how likely that is, just saying it could happen.”

    With DOMA, which has been criticized as badly drafted and probably unconstitutional from the beginning, perhaps this challenge moving through the courts will give just an extra bit of leverage to repeal it.

    Don’t think the same applies to DADT, where you have the whole “We’re the military, we’re different , we have to worry about readiness and unit cohesion and (other legislative purpose) stuff.”

    A Supreme Court challenge is an uphill battle with DADT.

    Reply
  • 105. Dave  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I thought you all should be aware that most of the tax benifits associated with marriage will end starting next year and having your marriage recognized by the federal government will likely result in higher taxes and not lower. If you are in a two income household then you wouldn’t want the federal government to recognize your marriage starting next year.

    Reply
    • 106. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      So much for channeling resources only to hetero-families. Yet another heterosexist argument out the window!

      That’s ok…there are a thousand plus other benefits out there that we want and need!

      Reply
    • 107. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      My household falls under the $250,000 mark

      Reply
      • 108. Dave  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

        Lesbians,

        There is no gaurentee that congress will extend the cuts and benefits for those making under 250,000.

        Reply
      • 109. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

        And, by your same words… we don’t know anything. Congress has until Dec 31, 2010 to act on Bush’s tax cuts. They could keep them the same.

        Let’s not bring hysteria into the mix, just cause it’s fun to watch people squirm

        Reply
      • 110. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:42 am

        The Bush tax cuts did not help the vast majority of people; just his wealthy cronies. Unless you make more than $250K, you are not going to see any changes.

        Those tax cuts, BTW, are the *primary* reason for the economic mess in which our country has found itself.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
    • 111. Ray in MA  |  July 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      Dave, you are FOS.

      Reply
      • 112. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

        What Ray said.

        Reply
  • 113. Bob  |  July 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    re Daves comment about tax brackets, I have friends in Canada who would not benefit, and in fact it works out better for them to not be married, so they have the option to choose to not be married. (strictly for financial reasons)

    Everyone has to weigh the pros and cons for each individual situation, but it’s based on what you decide is best for you,

    Reply
  • 114. Michelle Evans  |  July 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Being married to me is not about any government benefits I might or might not receive. I do want to make sure that my spouse is protected as far as her rights to my Social Security goes, if something happens to me, but that is not why we are married. We are married for one simple reason: We love each other and have shown our commitment to each other my being married. For better or worse and all that stuff. That’s what it is all about, not so much worrying about the amount of our taxes.

    That’s what we are fighting so hard for! To have our love and commitment legally recognized by our own country.

    We actually have a next door neighbor here in our condo who put her place on the market for the simple reason that she cannot stand to be living next to a transgender lesbian couple! I hope that she, along with all the other hateros out there may one day actually understand the hurt they cause to so many good people.

    Reply
    • 115. Bob  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:12 am

      Michelle, I agree with you, LOVE is what it boils down to for us too. However personally I only truly experienced this wonderful emotion and way of being after years of trial and error. I feel it as a hudge accomplishment that I can finally identfy that as the motivation on both our parts for our marriage.

      I spent a lifetime running from commitment. (for better or for worse) It’s strange though that this all happened at appropriate timing for us financially wise as well.

      Had it happened a yr earlier I would have bought a hudge pile of financial debt. Which was easier for my partner to clear up on his own.

      The financial aspect is one we work on with all the other like communication, sharing, respect. allowing each other space to be ourselves. Contributing jointly.

      What I do know is that this right like any other is a very personal one, and is affected by each inidividuals capacity to be a whole person in themselves, some people base their decisions on the wrong reasons. I have done that many times.

      The friends I speak of making decisions for financial reasons, were concerned about the amount of money coming in, due to heath problems and disability plans, or so they tell me, I just accept that they are excersizing their rights in a different way than me.

      Hopefully, and I do think in my heart of hearts, everyone has the ability to eventually experience LOVE and use that as their motivation, Thanks for the inspiration, and know that the door is open, to attracting new neighbours, forget the motivation for the others selling,

      Reply
    • 116. Jeff Baily  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:09 am

      Yeah, but the opposition has been trying to block homosexual couples right to enter into the legal status of marriage that affords us numerous benefits and protections. They aren’t telling us not to love each other.

      This is why we are fighting, for the legal status of marriage.

      I get frustrated when people start getting off topic with arguments such as yours, of course it’s also about love. But let’s also do our homework and be able to argue about why we should be equal under the law, and why it’s unfair to have these double standards under our government.

      Reply
    • 117. Franck  |  July 14, 2010 at 12:54 am

      Just to add to what Jeff said. Sometimes, you can’t ignore government benefits when being denied them actually harms loving couples beyond just monetary concerns. Just ask those of us who are in binational ss couples (Shun, Kirille and Felyx, myself and I don’t know who else). Some of us were forced to move away just to be together. Some of us can’t even be together yet…

      I personally never wanted to get marriage benefits before. If I was to get married, it would be for the symbolic part. But see, if the law says that I can’t go live with the one I love yet because we’re not married… well, there’s a big problem there.

      – Franck P. Rabeson
      Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1118 days, as of today.

      Reply
  • 118. Sagesse  |  July 12, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Sacto Stonewall Dems Launch “StopAndrewPugno.com”

    http://firedoglake.com/2010/07/11/sunday-late-night-sacto-stonewall-dems-launch-stopandrewpugno-com/

    Reply
  • 119. Sagesse  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    A bunch of people who aren’t even experts present a cogent analysis of what’s wrong with the Pentagon DADT Survey. And it’s funny, too.

    Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Survey is Extra Biased Against Gays, Somebody Failed Statistics!

    http://www.autostraddle.com/dont-ask-dont-tell-survey-is-biased-51485/

    Reply
  • 120. Sagesse  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Know Thy Neighbor.org, who were involved in the successful Doe vs Reed Supreme Court Challenge, are asking to know who at Westat and in the Pentagon Working Group designed the DADT Survey questions.

    KnowThyNeighbor Demands Names of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Survey Creators

    http://knowthyneighbor.blogs.com/home/2010/07/knowthyneighbor-demands-names-of-dont-ask-dont-tell-survey-creators.html

    You may have noticed the in-your-face bias of that survey really, really irritates me. Everyone uses hyperbole in these debates, which is a shame at times like this, because the survey is REALLY bad.

    Reply
  • 121. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

    you have to wonder why they ask if the service member has a homosexual family member.

    Just saying..
    <3 Rhonda

    Reply
  • 122. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:26 am

    http://www.towleroad.com/2010/07/ohio-gay-marker-struck-by-vandalism.html

    This happened really close to home (about 20 mins away, to be exact). I think I might make a drive out there this week and do a rubbing for thegayrub.com. If you haven’t checked out the site, do so. See if a site they need preserved is near you. Even though I’m jobless and broke, I’ll scrounge up some money to help pay for repairs on this sign.

    Reply
  • 124. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/09/Anita_Bryant_is_Back_Hosting_Antigay_Rally/
    Bryant’s Back, Hosting Antigay Rally
    By Advocate.com Editors
    ANITA BRYANT X390
    Former orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant has largely dropped out of sight since campaigning against gay rights in the 1970s, but the singer-antigay activist returns to the stage in Okahoma City Friday night for the Reclaiming America for Christ rally.

    Bryant will share the stage with the husband of antigay state representative Sally Kern. The event, which is typically held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is banking on Bryant’s name to draw crowds.

    Reply
    • 125. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:48 am

      ANITA BRYANT = Hate Speech

      Reply
    • 126. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:00 am

      I hope someone pies her in the face again…

      Reply
      • 127. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

        If only they could give her an anti-homophobia elixir in her orange juice.

        Reply
      • 128. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

        Hey Richard,

        If such an elixir exists, let me know. I’ll dump it in the water supply locally. Oh, I asked Bruce if he wanted to join the contest for that free televised wedding. He declined, since he has done wedding planning in the past. He wants to be in charge of everything, and I’m more than happy to let him have at it. I’m horrible at doing stuff like that, and would probably make a colossal mess out of everything. The gay gene seems to have only lightly touched me in that regard. I’mma t-shirt & jeans kinda guy, horrible housekeeper, “typical” male, etc etc.

        Reply
      • 129. Mark  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

        You beat me to the comment…

        Reply
  • 130. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:35 am

    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/12/GLAAD,_AIDS_Groups_Direct_Ad_to_The_View/
    Variety Ad Targets The View
    Advocate.com Editors
    Advocate.com
    The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Black AIDS Institute, and the National Black Justice Coalition took out a full-page ad in variety on Monday to demand that ABC and The View correct misinformation the popular morning program spread about African-American men and HIV infection on June 22.

    According to part of the ad, “On June 22, ABC’s The View aired inaccurate information about HIV, blaming African American gay and bisexual men for increased HIV rates among straight African American women. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has publicly disproven this myth. And since June 22, thousands of people have written to ABC, asking that The View provide correct information to viewers. Unfortunately, those requests have been greeted with silence from both ABC and The View.”

    The June 22 episode focused on the Food and Drug Administration’s ban against gay and bisexual men giving blood. Host Sherri Shepherd and guest host D.L. Hughley perpetuated the falsehoods about African-American men and AIDS in their comments.

    GLAAD issued a call to action on June 24 urging viewers to contact the show and ask for a retraction. More than 3,000 people participated, according to GLAAD.

    Watch the controversial segment, see transcript excepts, and read more about the call to action here.

    Reply
    • 131. Straight Grandmother  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      I filled in the protest letter on the GLAAD site. I am filling in everything nowdays, everybody should.

      Reply
  • 132. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

    A Day in Gay America
    What does it look like to be gay in America in 2010? We asked our readers to submit photos of their lives from one single day, Friday, May 21. This is part one of the results.
    By Advocate Contributors

    (me) awe, pg2 is adorable, Rachel Maddow is on pg6, pg9 has a young gay couple w/1 set of supportive in-laws, pg16 has a soldier who fought 7&1/2 years for those anti-gays freedom (INGRATES), awe, pg17 has babies, JUJUBEE ON PG37!!!.. this is beauty, love, & a part of humanity, normality, & reality.. open UR eyes anti-gays.

    http://www.advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Photography/A_Day_in_Gay_America_Part_One/

    Reply
    • 133. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

      Cute pix,,,,however VERY ‘white’. Only 4 of 37 pix of anyone of color

      Reply
      • 134. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

        Maybe that was the ratio among the respondents?

        Reply
      • 135. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

        They also said that there will be more photos available online, and that this first group was only the ones that appeared in the print edition.

        Reply
  • 136. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

    <3….Ronnie

    Reply
    • 137. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      Hmmm…doubt it was the ratio of respondents. And yes I also read that these were only the pix used in the ‘print edition’…
      I was just making an observation that once again men and women of color are all but left out. It is common among most all LGBT publications….I have observed.
      Will withhold full judgment until after I see what other pix they decide to post.

      Reply
  • 138. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Derrick Martin, the young man from Georgia who got permission to take his boyfriend to prom but was subsequently kicked out of his home by his parents, has launched a project for at risk lgbtq youth.
    http://www.projectlifevest.org/

    Also, lots of reports, Towleroad, etc.

    Reply
  • 139. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    This just in…
    Courage Campaign is launching the campaign to follow NOM’s bus tour by sending its staffers to tell American people the truth about us after NOM is done spewing the lies there.

    Reply
    • 140. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      And they are planning to match the bus stop for stop. So, I will ask once again–I know that Felyx and I are not the only ones on here from NC. Who wants to meet us in Raleigh?

      Reply
    • 141. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      The NOM mystery machine will be in Indianapolis, IN July 26th, and I’ll be there to greet it with my middle finger.

      Reply
    • 142. Straight Grandmother  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      I can’t be there but I sent in a donation, we all should really. I also sent the e-mail to my daughter and asked her to donate (my son just donated to GetEqual a couple weeks ago). I will be asking my children to attend.

      Reply
      • 143. Elsie  |  July 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        I donated. I live on the west coast or I’d show up personally. Anyone have an idea about how the fundraising is going?

        Reply
  • 144. Casey  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Does anyone have a complete list of cities? I would love to go to one of their stops and ever-so-delicately point out the volume of lies they tell.

    Reply
  • 145. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I posted the list but it must have gotten swept up in moderation……..
    Will try again with just the link

    http://www.marriagetour2010.com/tour/

    Reply
  • 146. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Your request is being processed…

    Alvin McEwen
    Alvin McEwen

    Blogmaster, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
    Posted: July 12, 2010 11:28 AM
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    Robert Knight Cites Nonexistent Poll in Attack on DADT Repeal
    What’s Your Reaction:
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    Comments 5

    Maybe Coral Ridge Ministries writer (and perennial anti-gay activist) Robert Knight is getting jealous of Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Andrea Lafferty, and the rest of that bunch.

    He seems to be using the issue of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to move himself back into the spotlight where he had been plaguing the LGBT community for over 30 years during sojourns with the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the Media Research Center.

    Last week, Knight made the incredibly wild accusation that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would lead to “forced abortions.”

    This week, he tries to top that accusation with one attacking the Log Cabin Republicans. He is accusing them of not being Republicans, but a group of “infiltrators” out to weaken the Republican party. I kid you not. Those are his inferences:

    “It’s important to understand that the Log Cabin Republicans aren’t really a Republican group; they’re a group of homosexual activists who are inside the Republican Party, trying to neutralize the party on the issue of homosexual activism,” he explains. “It’s sort of a voluntary disarmament that they’re advising the Republicans to undertake.”

    He thinks it is clear that lifting the ban on homosexual service would be extremely detrimental to America’s armed forces.

    “This would destroy the volunteer military as we know it, because 25 percent of people in the military have said they’ll either resign or they wouldn’t re-enlist,” Knight reports. “It would hurt recruitment because the military draws from traditional populations that have very traditional values. It would hurt unit cohesion.”

    Knight isn’t skipping a beat when it comes to misleading folks. The 25 percent figure he refers to is a lie.

    According to Media Matters, the 25 percent claim came from a World Net Daily column by conservative black activist Mychal Massie. Here is the exact quote:

    A reader who is in a position to know told me that the “last survey among military folks [revealed] that 25 percent won’t re-up if this happens. This means that to allow [the] 2 percent of those out there who choose this lifestyle into the military, we’d lose 25 percent of the experienced military folks who have morals.”

    You got that? Massie never cited a specific poll or gave the name of “the reader” who told him about the poll. For all we know, Massie could have thought up the 25 percent figure and the mysterious “reader” out of thin air.

    And from what we know about World Net Daily (or as it is called in some circles -World Nut Daily due in part to its constant inferences that President Obama isn’t a United States citizen), the idea that its columnists push false facts and figures isn’t totally implausible.

    As for Knight, a man who freely cited the discredited work of Paul Cameron, exploiting a nonexistent poll is par for the course.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvin-mcewen/robert-knight-cites-nonex_b_642929.html

    Reply
  • 151. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Pm me on FB with them and I will get the Yiddish translations for you.

    Reply
  • 152. Ben  |  July 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Iowa didn’t actually find sexual orientation to be a suspect class. It was a semi-suspect class at best. They gave it intermediate scrutiny. Not sure about Connecticut, but you’re right about California. That’s part of the reason the California case was so huge. They found sexual orientation to be a suspect class, used strict scrutiny, and rejected the idea that domestic partnerships were an acceptable substitute.

    Reply

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