January 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring," opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court. By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required," said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans. This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.
July 11, 2009
Counting married same-sex couples should be easy; there aren't that many of them. Instead, the federal Defense of Marriage Act:H.R.3396.ENR: has forced lawyers to jump through legal hoops so this country can obtain a more realistic picture of the diverse families within its borders. And even when the U.S. census count begins in 2010, it won't provide useful information about the marital status of gay and lesbian couples. Nor is it likely even to call them married.
March 18, 2013 |
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - Until tax season comes around, Mary Ritchie and Kathy Bush can act like any legally married couple raising two boys. In midwinter, that means watching lots of basketball. "We go to every game and every practice," Bush said. But when they file their tax return with the federal government, they are no longer married. The return is supposed to be "true, correct and complete" by law, but they cannot check "married, filing jointly. " The loss of this routine tax break costs them as much as $6,000 a year.
December 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court justices are not exactly facing the "fiscal cliff," but they will be under more pressure this week to decide which gay marriage cases they will rule on this term. They discussed the pending appeals at their private conference on Friday, but announced no decisions. The justices will try again at their weekly conference this Friday, the last such meeting before the long holiday recess. It is not uncommon for the justices to discuss an appeal for two or more weeks before voting to grant it. The gay marriage question is complicated because there are 10 pending appeals, including a defense of California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
February 25, 2011 |
When President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996, no state in the union had ordained same-sex marriage, gays and lesbians in the military were on official notice to keep quiet about their sexual orientation, and the gay-friendly sitcom "Will & Grace" had yet to air its first episode. Change has swept the country since then, a shift in public opinion so dramatic that advisors to President Obama figure he took only a small political risk in announcing that his Justice Department would no longer defend the 1996 law, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
July 9, 2010 |
A federal judge in Boston on Thursday ruled a key element of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, saying it violated the Equal Protection Clause and interfered with a state's right to define marriage. Gay rights advocates hailed the rulings as important steps toward striking down the law, which they say discriminates against their sexual orientation. Opponents denounced the decisions as judicial activism. The 1996 law prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, which deprives gay spouses of federal benefits like healthcare and tax breaks that their heterosexual counterparts receive.
March 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As lawyers debated gay marriage inside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, activists outside delivered speeches, cranked up boom boxes and hoisted hand-made signs. "Kids do best with a mom and dad," one said; "Jesus had two dads, he turned out OK," another declared. Advocates for same-sex marriage turned out in larger numbers than supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married gay couples and was before the court. But the crowd of hundreds was smaller than the raucous gathering for Tuesday's arguments on California's ban on same-sex marriage.
October 11, 2009 |
President Obama, speaking to the nation's largest gay rights organization, pledged tonight to end the law prohibiting openly gay and lesbian citizens from serving in the military. "I will end 'don't ask, don't tell'; that is my commitment," said Obama, adding that he is also committed to ending the Defense of Marriage Act.Obama, speaking to nearly 3,000 gay and lesbian activists at a dinner-fundraiser hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, addressed the larger effort for equality.
December 12, 2011 |
New Hampshire voters pride themselves on vetting and testing their candidates, and Vietnam veteran Bob Garon waited for more than two hours at a Manchester diner Monday to get Mitt Romney's views on the proposed repeal of New Hampshire's law permitting gay marriage. “I judge most people by their eyes, as I think most Americans do,” Garon said a few minutes before Romney sidled over to his booth inside Chez Vachon, a popular breakfast spot known for its crepes and pork pies. What he saw at the diner, before they even spoke, did not impress.
January 28, 2013 |
One of the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, has formed a coalition of major companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. It's no surprise, of course, that the HRC in Washington would use its considerable clout to organize big businesses to fight DOMA, the law that excludes recognition of same-sex marriages. What will be a surprise to many is that one of the first companies to join the effort was Marriott International Inc., which was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott.