12 DOMA questions for John Boehner

March 8, 2011 at 11:00 am 124 comments

By Adam Bink

Our friends at HRC are putting the Speaker on the spot. He’s using this “BLAG” (advisory group consisting of 3 Republican House leaders and two Democratic House leaders) as cover and then just unilaterally going forward with this defense anyway. I hope members of the Hill press will be asking these important questions if the Speaker moves forward with this waste of time and money.

1.         There are as many as nine lawsuits in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA.  Will House Republicans intervene in all of these lawsuits?

2.         Who will represent House Republicans in court? Will the House hire outside private counsel to defend the cases? If pro-bono legal counsel will be asked to represent the House, who will that be? Will a conflict and ethics check be conducted? Will the BLAG be consulted on strategic decisions related to the litigation?

3.         How much taxpayer money will this all cost?

4.         What will the House argue in defending DOMA?  Will they go back to Congress’s 1996 arguments for passing the law – that it is necessary because marriage equality is “a radical, untested and inherently flawed social experiment” and contrary to the “moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality”?

5.         The Justice Department stopped defending DOMA because they concluded that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation should receive a higher level of scrutiny by courts.  Will the House Republican leaders disagree?  If so, will they argue that gays and lesbians have not suffered a long history of discrimination?  That sexual orientation is somehow relevant to an individual’s ability to contribute to society, when they have four openly-gay colleagues?  That gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation, a position at odds with every major psychological organization?  That gays and lesbians are politically powerful, ironically in defending a law passed by Congress specifically to disadvantage them?

6.         Do they think they’ll win, especially given that in two DOMA-related cases in Massachusetts, a federal judge appointed by President Nixon has already found Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional even under the lowest level of scrutiny that gives great deference to the legislature?

7.         Apart from these cases, will Republican House leadership do anything to address the inequalities that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face?

Entry filed under: DOMA trials.

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124 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jon  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    8. Why do you want to split your Party? Is it because you have to pander to the right wing extremists in your base? Is that worth driving a wedge between them and the half of your Party that believes citizens have rights, that’s what America is all about? How many supporters of your Party are distinctly uncomfortable with what you’re doing here? When will you realize that? Are you an idiot?

    Reply
    • 2. Ray in MA  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Excellent addition Jon!

      Reply
  • 3. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Great questions! I doubt we will ever get a ‘straight’ answer on any of them however

    Reply
  • 4. Cristina D. (Seattle)  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

    These are great questions – how do we get these into the hands of the Hill press to make sure they get asked. I want Boehner on the ropes in the daylight!

    Reply
  • 5. Ed Cortes  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

    The silence will be deafening!

    Reply
  • 6. Ronnie  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:19 am

    “3. How much taxpayer money will this all cost?”

    Continuation of question 3. Whose money will be used for House Republicans to defend this unconstitutional & discriminatory law? Federal Funding from the LGBT tax paying citizens or are you go to figure out which money has been collected by anti-gay citizens to go into the tax pool? If you are going to use federal funding then I suggest you stop taxing LGBT citizens. Our hard earned money should NOT be used to discriminate against us…..just saying…..<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 7. AnonyGrl  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Excellent point!

      Reply
    • 8. the other jc  |  March 9, 2011 at 1:52 am

      yeah ronnie!

      Reply
  • 9. Ed Cortes  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    More questions:

    How does this create jobs, or help improve the economy?

    Are you deciding this unilaterally, or will the house vote on it? If so, will there be a reading of the Constitutional sections that allow this discrimination, or will you just quote the bible, or will this promise also be ignored?

    Reply
    • 10. Steve  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

      Lawyers need to eat too

      Reply
  • 11. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Says 12 DOMA questions….where are the other 5?

    Reply
    • 12. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

      good point. HRC also shows 7
      http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2011/03/seven-questions-for-speaker-boehner-on-doma-defense/

      Reply
      • 13. JPM  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

        There are multiple questions in some of the numbered ones.

        Reply
        • 14. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

          Yes there are….those would be listed as
          5a, 5b etc
          Actual questions would be numbered seperate……
          It’s no big deal to me, just wanting to see the other 5 questions if there are another 5

          Reply
    • 15. Sagesse  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

      Does being able to count make one a math geek?

      Reply
    • 16. Alan E.  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

      I count 15 total questions in there.

      Reply
      • 17. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

        lol!

        Reply
      • 18. Straight Dave  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        I counted 16 actual question marks (?), without bothering to read the text behind them
        And yes, I am a math geek. I also like to take shortcuts

        Reply
  • 19. Michelle Evans  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Mr. Boehner, Since your Republican led congress was elected on the premise that you would focus on creating jobs, and that you criticized Pres. Obama for not doing just that himself, why is it that you feel it is worthy of your taking the time away from this important issue of jobs to further discriminate against Americans?

    Reply
  • 20. Kathleen  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Reply
  • 23. Alan E.  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    7. Apart from these cases, will Republican House leadership do anything to address the inequalities that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face?

    Answer: No.

    Reply
    • 24. RWG  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Yes. By adding to those inequities whenever and wherever possible.

      Reply
  • 25. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

    OT – International Celebrate Women Day –today! Hats off to all you awesome women who were the original fighters for gender equality.
    http://www.google.com/events/iwd2011/

    Reply
  • 28. Larry Little  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Mr. Speaker John Boehner,
    Did you ever tap your foot in an airport bathroom like Republican Senator Larry Craig? Just asking.

    Reply
  • 29. Jordan  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’d just like to know, genuinely, is Boehner even aware of the full scope of damage that this does to every facet of American life? Does he realize that is the only thing keeing gays in the military from ever actually being equal to their counterparts?

    Specifically, what protections does Boehner plan to enact for same-sex, dual-military spouses? Does he think that just being told which entitlements we could elect to anyone (SGLI, pay arrears) will make up for the thousands- even tens of thousands- that hetero families get whether they want it or not? What about the policies that are affected by marital status?

    For perspective and to show how detrimental and complicated it is, basic allowance for housing alone for my area and rank at my last duty station was 12k a year. Because I was not married to my ‘partner’, though, I had to live in the barracks. Even without DADT, I could not request BAH and get an apartment on my own; we’d have to figure it out together. Which we did. But the military cannot check you out of the barracks, whether or not you wish to stay there. So I’d have to come back (at least) once a week for field day cleaning. I was also assigned the Barracks 1stDeck NCO- which means I had to be there early every morning to get stuff done, and sometimes on the weekends. Considering how much time I get taken away from my guy just doing Funeral Honors, Duty, annual training, and just generally being a Marine, that was a constant and unfair strain on us.

    Now add that we’re BOTH military and this: Above everything else, I want to know what he plans to set in place for dual-spouse, same-sex couples when they’re given Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. Which we get about every three years in the Corps. We were together for two years when he got PCS to somewhere over 1k miles away. Then i got PCS, and we’re separated by 1800. What if we wanted kids? What if we HAD kids? Technically the military can split married families already, but then they rate dual-BAH, they rate family separations allowance (which can cover a plane ticket, if nothing else), they rate to request the monitors to re-station them after a year to get them back together. What do same-sex couples get? After DADT, they get to ask the monitor nicely, and hope for the best, and there is no way to determine if they’re separated anyways despite options just because of the moniter’s animus.

    Again, what will the House leadership do to address the inequalities that we face?

    Reply
    • 30. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      thank you for details about your military experience. I have no military background …you having to live in the barracks when others got to be with loved ones… so UNFAIR ! : (

      Reply
      • 31. Jordan  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm

        Thank you, Gregory. The sympathy does help.

        Reply
    • 32. Jordan  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Sorry for the rant. Side note… I noticed on the site the other day they were asking for stories, concerning the request for expediting the Cali Supreme Court. Because that’s passed, would they still want us to submit stories? I’d like to formally type ours up if it benefits the cause… But if it doesn’t serve a purpose, wouldn’t want to stuff P8TT’s inboxes with useless spam. =P

      Reply
      • 33. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        There would be nothing useless about telling your story Jordan. I know many would love to hear what these policies/laws and discriminatory policies have done and continue to do to you and your partner.
        I certainly remember what it was like for us when my Robert was active Navy….was very hard on our family.

        Reply
    • 34. Steve  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      The ironic thing is that with kids, a service member would be eligible for BAH at the with-dependent rate, because even just a guardianship or providing 50+% of the child’s expenses would make him/her a dependent.

      What complicates that is that some states don’t allow second-parent adoptions for example.

      http://outserve.org/2011/02/marinenavy-vignettes-to-commanders/

      See vignettes 12 and 13

      Reply
      • 35. Jordan  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        Some of the DADT training hit us yesterday, and I used it to hunt down some more thorough correspondance and electronic documents for the training.

        You’re absolutely right that having a kid would get you the BAH- but only one of the parents. That’s when it gets complicated, as you noted with the state laws meddling.

        Two interesting things that I read up on: 1) Commanders CAN grant emergency leave for same-sex partners as though they were spouses and they get the full 30 days (but technically, they can grant it to anyone for anything if they’re emotionally impaired; the training states that Commanders are ‘required’ to be ‘compassionate’). 2) If you DO have a child, and you get on base housing, if you have a same-sex partner, that partner can live with you but would have to abide by rules as though he was a non-depedent (any guy off the street you invited in). If you’re both military, one of you is probably in the barracks, but that’s… a confusing twist. Hypothetically, two parents can’t both claim the child, but in this case, it’s more like a divorced military couple both claiming the child, but still living together. I have no idea how that’d play out. One gets BAH, the other gets BAH-partial… Screwed up, no matter what way you look at it.

        Reply
        • 36. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

          SCOFF!! Ridiculous!

          Reply
        • 37. Ray in MA  |  March 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

          WOW.

          Reply
    • 38. NavySailor  |  March 10, 2011 at 4:51 am

      So let me see if I understand:

      1. You are single

      2. You live in a place that the US Government provides for you – TAX FREE

      3. You had to clean it once a week

      4. Because you have some rank, you were given extra responsibilities related to that TAX FREE housing

      5. Since you live on base, you get all of your meals in the CHOW HALL for free

      And yet, that TAX FREE housing/meals wasn’t good enough for you, and you wanted the US Government to give you an extra $1000/month (still tax free), just so you could go off base and live in your off duty hours?

      I’m missing how that is inequality?

      Reply
      • 39. Jordan  |  March 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        1. I was single, yes, but because the military doesn’t recognize same sex unions, and at the time- and is still currently- making it illegal to attempt to have a same sex union.

        2. I lived in a place that the US Government supplied for me- and required me to live in, even though it imposed an unnecessary intrusion on my relationship, and denied me the opportunity to actually establish that relationship for some time until we moved out on our own.

        3. I had to clean it once a week, yes.

        4. I had extra responsibilities, which I would’ve appreciated if it weren’t for the rest of it, yes.

        5. We did not have a chow hall.

        I think you missed the part of the rant that included how I was in a relationshp with someone, and had we been a heterosexual couple, we’d’ve already been married, and would be living together. In my situation, there was on base housing we could get- the money would be nice, but was not my aim. My aim was to have the privacy and intimacy that I deserved with my boyfriend of two years. I was willing to pay $1,000 a month of my own money a month to get that, and it was worth it. But the inequality is being denied my opportunity to be with my guy, not not to be given extra money for no reason.

        Reply
        • 40. NavySailor  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

          You signed the contract, and now you want to complain about the terms and conditions?

          Did anyone twist your arm and make you sign it?

          Reply
          • 41. Jordan  |  March 11, 2011 at 8:23 am

            Read my response to your last post below.

      • 42. fiona64  |  March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        Anchors aweigh, troll …

        Reply
        • 43. NavySailor  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

          Fuck off bitch whore

          Reply
          • 44. Zak  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

            WOW, that was uncalled for.

          • 45. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

            There is no need to use foul language here, even if you are a sailor. As such, you should be a professional enough and adult enough individual to keep a civil tongue in your head. And Fiona is a lot stronger person than you will ever be! And worth a lot more!

          • 46. Sagesse  |  March 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm

            I’ve reported him to Courage Campaign. This is in no way acceptable conduct here.

          • 47. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

            Thanks, Sagesse.

          • 48. fiona64  |  March 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

            Aww, isn’t that cute?

            The big, brave “sailor” calls a straight, married woman a bitch and a whore because she doesn’t kowtow to him.

            How many times have I said it, friends? Scratch a homophobe and a misogynist will bleed.

            Sorry to disappoint you, trollboy, but I’m not interested in your tiny offering. I’m only attracted to men.

            And thank you to the gentlemen who came to my defense.

          • 49. fiona64  |  March 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

            Thanks also to Sagesse, for reporting Popeye here to CC.

            Love,
            Fiona

          • 50. adambink  |  March 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

            As this comment follows a stream of comments that violate the code of conduct here regarding treating fellow users with respect, you’ve been placed on probation and each of your comments will now be marked as spam and held in moderation for approval. If you have comments that are good faith arguments on substance, they will be considered for posting.

            Comments must be based on substance and not attack other users with abusive language.

          • 51. Rhie  |  March 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm

            Yup. Real men defend women. Little boys attack them. It’s really that simple.

      • 52. Sheryl Carver  |  March 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

        It never ceases to amaze me how a supposedly normal adult like NavySailor can fail to see the inequities when an LGBT family is denied the same protections & benefits that a heterosexual family gets. That same (lack of) reasoning applies when we hear that we’re “flaunting” our sexuality by doing something as innocuous as having a picture of our loved one on our desk.
        If the results of such thinking weren’t so harmful, it would be funny.

        Reply
        • 53. Jordan  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

          During the DADT vote, I had a long night on a FoxNews forum. I made an unhealthily long post about my guy, and I left with, “I’m not even asking you to fix this- I joined during DADT and I knew what I was getting into. I just want to put a picture on my desktop of me and my guy. That’s it. Is that really so bad?”

          And incredulously, I got a response, “YES, it IS that bad! I’m sorry about your situation, but…” And she enters some ridiculous tirade about how this lady’s grandson wants to go into the military and now won’t be able to, and how her retired husband is prior-service. As though a picture of us somehow prevents her grandkid from joining up and strips her man’s honor. Maybe we are the wrong ones? Maybe a picutre on a desk really is destroying the fabric of America and Sanctity of Marriage? And stuff?

          Or maybe they’re full of @%#$ and have a lack of perspective.

          Reply
          • 54. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

            Actually, they are hiding something from themselves, and the fact that we choose not to run from or hide from who we were born to be makes them very uncomfortable. I have a feeling that this woman’s grandson will still go into the military service if he truly wants to serve this country. Nobody should be forced to hide a picture of their spouse simply because that spouse is of the same gender.
            And as for NavySailor, our troll from a short while ago–that individual is a disgrace to the uniform worn by honorable sailors! I know, because my adoptive mother (G-d rest her soul) was in the Navy during WWII, and BZ and I have a granddaughter and grandson who are currently in the Navy. They are far more professional than the troll from earlier. And so are you, Jordan!

        • 55. NavySailor  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

          He signed the contract voluntarily. Noone made him do it. If he didnt like the terms and conditions, he shouldnt have signed.

          Reply
          • 56. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

            And how would you have felt if after you signed your contract as a single individual, you found someone, fell in love, got married to that person, and your relationship to that person was not recognized? Have you ever heard of something called empathy? Have you ever heard of changes in life situations? If not, you may want to read up on them sometime!

          • 57. NavySailor  |  March 11, 2011 at 5:27 am

            “And how would you have felt if after you signed your contract as a single individual, you found someone, fell in love, got married to that person, and your relationship to that person was not recognized?”

            But you knew when you signed the contract that your relationship would not be recognized…

            Once again, the man went into the situation with his eyes wide open… knew the terms of the deal….

            I just dont see how, despite whatever empathy I feel, he is being treated unequally.

          • 58. Peterplumber  |  March 11, 2011 at 5:54 am

            Mr. Navy,
            You answered your own question. Just the fact that there IS terms in a contract that exclude him from having the same rights as you sux.

            Do you get it now???

          • 59. Jordan  |  March 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

            NavySailor, You Fail Logic Forever: Moving the Goalposts.

            Equality is not based on me signing a contract, and being aware of the terms. This is the same error in logic that people use when they say that gays have the same rights as straights because we can all marry our opposite gender partners (which gay people don’t have). It ignores the greater scope of the issue, by pushing the requisites of ‘equality’ outside what the original debate is (from two groups being treated differently in a situation by specific laws), and into a more generalized and basic qualifier (semantics, as being treated the same by a single law).

            Legality does not determine equal treatment; indeed several of these laws are being faught in court and found unconstitutional because of the inequal treatment.

            You have to keep the perspective of where the issue is. The problem is that there is a very extreme contrast between how I’m treated with my relationship, compared to how heterosexuals are treated with their relationships. We are specifically being denied the term ‘spouse’, because of a single qualifier- same-gender (gay) -which is inconsequential to what being a spouse is, and has no determining affect on the purpose of those benefits, and therefore is unfair treatment.

            I am not being treated equally, and that’s my complaint.

            It is not that the Corps is not what I expected (it is what I expected). That’s an error in logic in itself by the way- I believe Appeal to Tradition. Just because that’s the way things were when I joined up, doesn’t mean that I can’t determine that it’s wrong, and doesn’t mean I can’t be upset that it’s wrong.

          • 60. fiona64  |  March 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

            “Noone made him do it”? If Noone made him do it, it doesnt’ sound very voluntary to me.

            (Do you think it was Peter Noone, from Herman’s Hermits?)

            /snark

  • 61. New  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday afternoon will hold a bipartisan leadership meeting to determine whether the House should take legal action to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act
    The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) will include Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

    Reply
    • 62. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      come on Nancy Pelosi!!!!!!

      Reply
    • 63. Steve  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      This is what I think of when I hear the word “blag”:

      http://xkcd.com/148/
      http://xkcd.com/181/

      Reply
      • 64. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

        : ) !

        Reply
  • 65. Glenn I  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Sadly, the answer to question #7 is simple.

    Will Republican House leadership do anything to address the inequalities that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face?

    Enforce the inequalities to the best of the Republican ability, naturally.

    Reply
    • 66. Dave in ME  |  March 9, 2011 at 4:19 am

      Well, you know, if they CHOOSE to live their lives like that and they know what they’re allowed to do and not do, have and not have, then it’s not anyone else’s fault. (~another eye roll~)

      Dave in Maine

      Reply
  • 67. John  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I am so proud of my home state:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#41918532

    For whatever reason, the Wyoming senate gets it: small government stays out of the business of bigotry. Maybe Boehner should learn from that.

    Reply
    • 68. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      John – BLESS YOU for that link! Give me hope that other conservatives like Cale Case and Phil Nichol will step forward ….WOW!!!! Recommend everyone take time to watch!

      Reply
      • 69. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm

        BINGO! post signs in Wyoming airports, roads “Warning!…..Proceed with Caution!” LOL!

        Reply
    • 70. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      I think part of it is that, in Wyoming, if you want to get anywhere you have to be Republican (much like you have to be a Democrat in Massachusetts). Thus, not everyone is in lock-step. But yes, this is what small-government conservatism actually means, and I especially like the Ph.D. economist fellow.

      Reply
    • 71. Rich  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      I loved watching this!! Go small “c”onservative and go Rachel!!

      Reply
    • 72. Ray in MA  |  March 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Another WOW.

      Reply
      • 73. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm

        Hi WOW/Ray : )

        Reply
  • 74. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I am in such a foul mood today, even before thinking about this. I have no patience for these anti-equality, anti-science, anti-history, anti-Constitution, fascist theocrats and the professional bigot stooges of NOM, FRC, and their ilk. So, so sick of it. I’m going to be really upset if Maryland capitulates to them.

    Reply
    • 75. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      I’ve been a funk for several days too : ( sick of I.T.! the Wyoming video cheered me up a LOT though. Big deep breaths…inhale…exhale…. AOMMMmmmm…

      Reply
      • 76. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

        Ah, Gregory, my son could sympathize with you. He is so fortunate that he now has a job that he is passionate about and is out of the corporate world. He was truly sick of his IT job and was going to resign even though he didn’t know if he had this “dream” job of his or not. He got the phone call that he had the job before turning in his resignation letter, so left on positive terms. He is now the Artistic Director for BATS in SF. Improv is his passion and I am so happy for him that he is able to not only perform but also earn his living with improv. Should all of us be so lucky to have a passion and be able to make a living with it.

        Anyway, hope you are able to do something else with your life soon.

        Sheryl, Mormon mother who is job searching and getting depressed about lack of a job.

        Reply
  • 77. Don  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    As a legally married CA gay couple (during the pre Prop 8 window) the impact of DOMA hit home again as I just finished 3 Federal tax returns – 2 “single” Federal returns filed with the IRS and a “married filing jointly” Federal return filed with our CA and OR returns. Our penalty this year was $1,747 more in Federal taxes because we had to file the “single” Federal returns.

    Reply
    • 78. Alan E.  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Don, the latest update is that married couples and RDP’s are required to file “married filing separately” on federal forms, and everything gets split down the middle (except social security). You may not get caught doing it the way you did, but if you get audited, you will have to redo everything.

      Reply
      • 79. be[4]marriage  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

        This usually also provides better tax benefits to the couples if there is a large difference in their salaries – it might wipe out the penalty that Don and his husband are paying to the federal government. Also, this only applies if Don and his husband are currently residing in one of the “community property” states. If you live in other states, I believe the IRS requires that you file two single returns. Confused? Yeah – thank Congress.

        Reply
      • 80. Shannon  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

        Are you SURE we’re supposed to file as “MARRIED” filing separately? I don’t think so. Our tax accountant is a star at this stuff and we still each file as single… although we DO split most things down the middle.
        As I’m a full-time parent with little income, it actually works out nicely for us… one income gets split in half, taxed at a lower rate overall.
        And yes, this only applies to couples in CA, OR and WA due to these states’ community property laws.

        Reply
        • 81. Alan E.  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          Positive. It’s not in the original tax law book, but it was in one of the updates. There was only 1 update about it, so you have to do a careful search.

          Reply
          • 82. Alan E.  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

            At any rate, I would recommend all couples consult a CPA for this matter.

          • 83. Ed Cortes  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

            I volunteer for a tax prep organization. I received a notice that we were supposed to file as MFJ, but that was almost immediately replaced by an update stating that we must file as Single, and split all the income, etc. The IRS will not recognize us as married while dumass…errrrr….doma is on the books.

          • 84. Shannon  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

            I’ve read several places in just the last week that we can only file as “single” or “head of household”, NOT married. And I was wrong… Oregon is not included… it apples to California, Washington and Nevada couples who are partnered or married.
            I second the recommendation that couples consult a CPA who is knowledgeable on this matter! Even if you end up doing the taxes yourselves, at least get a professional opinion on how the change might affect you based on your respective incomes.

        • 85. Nyx  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

          Shannon, our accountant prepared our Federal taxes as you described. Since we are DPs in CA we filed two Federal single returns (because of DOMA) but our total income was split in half between the two returns due to being in one of the three community property states on the west coast you listed. It is my understanding that all same-sex couples in California who are married or in a Domestic Partnership are required to file this way starting this year. Since we are also a one income couple it was to our benefit to do amended returns for last year as well which our CPA said was optional.

          Reply
          • 86. gaydadtobe  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm

            I’m saving all my amending for when DOMA is finally ruled unconstitutional. That is much more beneficial for us than having it repealed since the application of the unconstitutionality goes back to Day 1.

          • 87. Nyx  |  March 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

            And… I agree with Alan E and Shannon that it is a good idea to consult a CPA on tax matters! I had always done my own taxes until my partner and I moved here to California a couple of years ago. California… you make things so complicated….

    • 88. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      NOM clearly thinks that Jesus wants married gay couples to have the most onerous tax forms.

      Reply
      • 89. Ed Cortes  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

        I do volunteer Tax preparation for Seniors and low-income people – ALL tax form are onerous!!

        Reply
    • 90. Bill  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Remember that filing only applies to community property states–CA, NV, WA who recognize same sex civil unions or marriages. I believe its single in those cases. For those other states, I’m not sure how you file.

      Reply
  • 91. Rhie  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Watching

    Reply
  • 92. be[4]marriage  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Since Speaker Boehner has directed that all new laws introduced in Congress include the relevant passages from the Constitution on which they are based, I would like to ask:

    Before you defend DOMA, on which sections of the Constitution is the law based?

    Reply
    • 93. Maggie4NoH8  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Uhhhh… that’s a GOOD one be{4}marriage!

      Reply
    • 94. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      The part where it says we’re a Christian nation. Oh, wait….

      Reply
  • 95. Ronnie  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Massachusetts Launches Wedding Tourism Site
    http://instinctmagazine.com/blog/massachusetts-launches-same-sex-wedding-tourism-site

    “Thinking of gettin’ hitched in Massachusetts because your state continues to discriminate against your holy union? Taking advantage of its solidified place as a leader in the burgeoning wedding-tourism industry, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism wants to help gay couples plan their big day away on vacay. To facilitate the flow, MOTT has launched a website coming to the aid of out-of-state couples planning their nuptials in Massachusetts.”

    “Massachusetts still leads the country when it comes to ‘firsts’ for the LGBT community,” says Betsy Wall, MOTT’s Executive Director. “The first online resource guide aimed at helping same-sex couples plan for their wedding celebrations is another one of those firsts.”

    (me) Here is the website…..<3…Ronnie:

    http://www.lgbtmassvacation.com/wedding/

    Reply
  • 96. Sagesse  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    A pillar of American religious life. Providing leadership in protecting marriage and family life. Lecturing legislators and defending religious freedom everywhere.

    21 Priests Suspended in Philadelphia

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/us/09priests.html?_r=1&ref=us

    Reply
    • 97. Carpool Cookie  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      I agree with one of the comments over there, asking why the Cardinal and church officials who were supervising these priests aren’t stepping down, themselves. Haven’t they proven they’ve run a really shady organization, that has no control, or ability to enforce policy?

      Reply
    • 98. Sagesse  |  March 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Perhaps this will put a crimp in their… well… pontificating across the border in Maryland and Rhode Island. NOM, that rumbling you hear is your moral high ground quaking.

      Reply
      • 99. Tasty Salamanders  |  March 9, 2011 at 3:09 am

        Wait, NOM had any moral high ground to begin with?

        Reply
        • 100. Sagesse  |  March 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

          Well, no.

          Reply
    • 101. Sagesse  |  March 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      I’m massively upset and angry that this is still happening. But I’m almost more annoyed that the church hierarchy will not shut up. Sanctimoniously proclaiming themselves the protectors of morality and virtue… everyone else’s.

      I keep thinking the Catholic Church will get it’s comeuppance.

      Reply
  • 102. Sagesse  |  March 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    “If pro-bono legal counsel will be asked to represent the House, who will that be?”

    Oh, the possibilities. The Pacific Justice Institute, perhaps, or the Advocates for Faith and Freedom. Doesn’t the Liberty Council have a pet legal organization?

    “Will the House hire outside private counsel to defend the cases?”

    Andy Pugno is looking for work.

    Reply
    • 103. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

      Come on, Orly Taitz! This is your moment!

      Reply
    • 104. Kate  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

      How ’bout the Phelps clan????

      Reply
      • 105. Ed Cortes  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

        ya mean the Looney lawyers?

        Reply
      • 106. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:56 am

        That would work! Having the Phelps clan doing the legal work would almost certainly guarantee the overturning of DOMA on the basis of civil and human rights violations! That would absolutely get DOMA ruled unconstitutional!

        Reply
  • 107. Ronnie  |  March 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Gaga Dissolves Deal With Target
    By Advocate.com Editors
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/08/Gaga_Dissolves_Deal_With_Target/

    (me) Lady Gaga is a woman of her word…..EQUALITY NOW!!!!!….<3….Ronnie

    Reply
    • 108. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      good for gaga!

      Reply
  • 109. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Very good questions. Now to see if the Weeper of the House actually answers any of them, or if he pulls his usual tricks and just gushes with tears and a lot of doublespeak! Will read in more detail tomorrow. Getting ready for sleep time. Long day today, and I am about worn out.

    Reply
  • 110. Dave in ME  |  March 9, 2011 at 4:15 am

    “If so, will they argue that gays and lesbians have not suffered a long history of discrimination? ”

    There is no more discrimination! There is a gay in the White House now! The appointment of the first MAN who is also GAY as the social secretary proves it! (~eye roll~)

    Dave in Maine

    Reply
  • 111. james corbett  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

    “Advocates” for Faith and Freedom, isn’t that a group that represents gay rights, and offshoot of the Advocate Magazine? No? Really? They make money by representing God in court (I had no idea he needs the help) and then beg for donations to further their “ministry?” Wow, what a business model, represent a client who doesn’t demand work or victory, pry money from the faithful, and all the while claim you’re doing God’s work. If I wasn’t so faithful myself, I’d think they’re engaged in a con that would make Madoff blush.

    Reply
    • 112. Sheryl Carver  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:31 am

      James, your business model comment reminds me of an old joke about 3 members of the clergy who were discussing how they decided how much of the donations they kept for themselves & how much to “give to God.”

      One said, “I put the money in a basket, draw a line on the floor, & toss the money up in the air. What falls on the left, I keep, what falls on the right, I give to God.”

      The 2nd said, “I do almost the same thing, but use a circle. What falls inside, I keep, what falls outside, I give to God.”

      Number 3 said, “Well, I do things just a little differently. I toss the money up in the air & what God doesn’t keep, I do.” That seems to be the model NOM & their cohorts use.

      Reply
      • 113. Ronnie  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

        ROFL….. : D …..Ronnie

        Reply
  • 114. Ronnie  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:25 am

    NY Governor Cuomo Summons LGBT Activists to Capitol for Marriage Equality Strategy Session
    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/03/ny-governor-cuomo-summons-lgbt-activists-to-capitol-for-marriage-equality-strategy-session.html

    <3…..Ronnie

    Reply
    • 115. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Damn! It’s nice to see a politician who runs on a platform that includes equality actually putting his money where his mouth is. Mario is looking on with pride wherever he is in the great beyond! Go, Andrew Cuomo! AnonyGrl, I am going to have to make sure we get to Albany so that you can take us to the Governor’s office to meet this fine young man!

      Reply
    • 116. Kathleen  |  March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I’ve been seeing reports that Marriage Equality NY wasn’t on the invite list. MENY is responsible for organizing the action in Albany last month. Any locals know what’s up with this?
      http://www.gaycitynews.com/articles/2011/03/08/gay_city_news/news/doc4d76c062d5c56715620630.txt

      Reply
      • 117. AnonyGrl  |  March 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

        Sorry, don’t know… and have not had any luck finding out. If I do, I’ll let you know.

        Reply
  • 118. Ronnie  |  March 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

    EXCLUSIVE: Md. lawmaker comes out
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/03/09/exclusive-md-lawmaker-comes-out/

    “On the eve of a historic vote on marriage equality, a member of Maryland’s legislature announced in an exclusive interview with the Washington Blade today that he is gay.”

    <3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • 119. Sagesse  |  March 10, 2011 at 5:25 am

    House’s GC Told to Defend Marriage Act

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/03/houses-gc-told-to-defend-marriage-act.html

    Reply
  • 120. New  |  March 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    On Wednesday, Speaker Boehner convened the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) which voted 3-2 along party lines to direct the House General Counsel to initiate defense of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) using outside lawyers. This afternoon, Leader Pelosi sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner on the legal defense of DOMA–reiterating her opposition to DOMA and expressing concerns about the cost and oversight of the litigation as it proceeds through the courts. The full text of the letter:

    http://www.democraticleader.gov/blog/?p=3700

    Reply
  • 121. Little Man  |  March 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Very simple, really:

    We can tell a woman from a man via DNA. We can differentiate a black person from a white via DNA. Show us how to tell a person of homosexual behavior from the person of heterosexual behavior, aside from a show of hands. Tell us how people of homosexual behavior are going to adopt all the orphans, so they can show they can contribute to society. Well, anyone can contribute to society in that way. But you miss the point. By your reasoning, Republicans should get more rights than others, because they’ve suffered so much discrimination.

    Reply
    • 122. Ronnie  |  March 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Obvious Troll is Obvious …..”Little Man”…..enough said…..\

      The only people who have more rights are anti-gay heterosexual religious fundamentalists….the rest of your bull is BUNK….ok, moving on…. 8 / ….Ronnie

      Reply
    • 123. John  |  March 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      Actually, NO, you can’t tell a woman from a man via DNA. It’s for this reason that DNA testing for sex was dropped at the Olympics. Basically, the DNA testing was giving the wrong answer in about 1 out of 500 athletes, due to all sorts of different medical conditions. XX and XY fit most of us – we’re almost all one or the other, but there’s a non-trivial group (probably around 500,000 people in the USA) that don’t fit that. Here’s the kicker: most probably don’t even know that their genes aren’t “proper”. Let’s actually use truth in these arguments.

      This ignores the reality of the brain being the most important sex organ. Right wing folk like to say that there are differences in social interactions between men and women, due to different brain wiring. Yet they conveniently ignore that when talking about transsexual people, instead focusing on either DNA or genitals. Strange, really, that a group that insists the brain differs between sexes (women are supposedly “caring and nurturing”, men are supposedly “leaders”, which ironically is how your type justify the need for banning gay marriage – kids need nurturing AND leadership after all…) then turns around and ignores brain differences when convenient.

      But all this aside, as your views of sex, DNA, and gender are immature and clearly uninformed and unsupported by truth, there’s another problem. You admit that men and women can be differentiated. Well, if that’s the case, it is simple, really: men and women should have the same rights. That includes the ability for a man to marry whoever a woman can, and vise-versa.

      Trust me – you don’t want to claim to know about sex or gender here, at least not if your knowledge consists of one high school biology class where the teacher skimmed through the book because he was terrified of saying the word “sex” when referring to male or female.

      Finally, nobody is asking for extra rights. When your heterosexual marriage is threatened, or when your job is threatened because you marry a woman instead of a man, then, yes, you deserve those rights. But here’s the kicker: you already have them. You can’t be fired for marrying a spouse who is the opposite sex – that’s already legally protected. And you are allowed to marry her. Just because someone else is seeking rights you already have does not make those rights “special.” And just because your rights are so common that nobody thinks about them does not mean you don’t have the rights that others are being denied.

      Reply
    • 124. Rhie  |  March 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      You also can’t tell “white” (whatever that means) from “black” (whatever that means). You can tell if a person is from a certain country or region of the world. You can sometimes tell ethnicity. Both of those are slightly correlated with color.

      So, it is ENTIRELY possible for a person who looks “white” to have DNA indicating their ethnic ancestry originates at least to some degree from Africa. Where do you think the one drop rule came from? How and why do you think “passing” was possible?

      I am actually laughing that you think the party of rich white men have suffered anything, ever that qualifies as discrimination.

      Reply

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