Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Defense of Marriage Act

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I.R.S. to Recognize All Gay Marriages, Regardless of State

All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

The federal rules change is one of many stemming from the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That ruling found that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits, but left open the question of how the federal government would actually administer those benefits.

Precisely the right decision.

Filed under LGBTQ gay rights politics taxes policy law lawblr discrimination DOMA defense of marriage act news

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Today’s SCOTUS ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act IS historic, don’t get me wrong.

And Scalia’s dissent IS full of quotable bitter lemons.

However, as allies for queer and trans* communities, and people of color, our work is not done. There’s the recently-overturned crucial aspects to the Voting Rights Act. And DOMA doesn’t address inequalities faced every day by queer and trans* people.

So yes, let’s celebrate, but let’s not forget queer youth fighting for a place to stay, trans* people fighting to keep their jobs, or people of color fighting to keep their right to vote.

The Pledge of Allegiance still ends, in my opinion, with: “…and liberty and justice for SOME.” So as we celebrate DOMA today, remember, there’s much more work to be done tomorrow.

Cheers,
Meg

Filed under defense of marriage act doma equality lgbtq scotus politics marriage equality

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The ill-conceived, misbegotten, politically-inspired H.R. 3396 [Defense of Marriage Act] should not be enacted into law. And if it is, the President should veto it.

It is not the role of the State to uphold the tenets of any religion nor to base its laws on a particular religious belief. The proper province of the State is legislation, not salvation. The State is not the church and does not accept its orders from God.

America is not a theocracy, and it is not the State’s business if a person marries a member of the same sex. In short, Caesar has no responsibility for souls.

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, (D-Omaha) in a prepared statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on H.R. 3396, May 16, 1996. H.R. 3396 would later become the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’ve posted this once before, but it’s especially relevant this week as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

And Nebraska’s Sen. Ernie Chambers is the goddamn man.

Filed under SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court DOMA Defense of Marriage Act politics lgbtq marriage equality

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Buzzfeed: Federal Trial Court In Connecticut Strikes Down DOMA's Marriage Definition

U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant today held in a federal case in Connecticut that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal definition of marriage — is unconstitutional… Federal judges in Massachusetts, California and New York also have found DOMA’s provision defining “marriage” and “spouse” as only being unions of one man and one woman in all federal laws unconstitutional.

Bryant — appointed to the bench by President George W, Bush on April 2, 2007 — found that laws that classify people based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny by courts — as the Department of Justice and plaintiffs argued in the case — but found the provision of the 1996 law unconstitutional “even under the most deferential level of judicial scrutiny.”

In her decision in the case, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, Bryant found:

In sum, having considered the purported rational bases proffered by both BLAG and Congress and concluded that such objectives bear no rational relationship to Section 3 of DOMA as a legislative scheme, the Court finds that no conceivable rational basis exists for the provision. The provision therefore violates the equal protection principles incorporated in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This is a big deal, y’all. With several pressing cases in different Federal Court Districts, the chances of the Supreme Court reviewing DOMA goes up — the only hitch is that there hasn’t been much conflicts in the circuits, except regarding levels of scrutiny. Here’s why that’s important.

Filed under DOMA Defense of Marriage Act marriage equality federal court Politics same-sex marriage GLBTQ GLBTQ rights civil rights

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The ill-conceived, misbegotten, politically-inspired H.R. 3396 [Defense of Marriage Act] should not be enacted into law. And if it is, the President should veto it.

It is not the role of the State to uphold the tenets of any religion nor to base its laws on a particular religious belief. The proper province of the State is legislation, not salvation. The State is not the church and does not accept its orders from God.

America is not a theocracy, and it is not the State’s business if a person marries a member of the same sex. In short, Caesar has no responsibility for souls.

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, (D-Omaha) in a prepared statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on H.R. 3396, May 16, 1996. H.R. 3396 would later become the Defense of Marriage Act.

Chambers made national headlines when he sued God in 2007 for causing death and destruction. If you want a giggle, read his suit, State Senator Ernie Chambers v. God (2007).

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Ernie Chambers DOMA GLBTQ Defense of Marriage Act lulz politics God BAMF gay rights law

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The suffering that [the Defense of Marriage Act] DOMA causes and will cause is very real and it’s cruel. DOMA hurts people who love each other and want to make a commitment to each other for life. DOMA hurts people who want to have kids and adopt kids and raise them and take care of them. DOMA hurts people who want to save up money and retire and live the rest of their lives together with some degree of comfort. DOMA hurts families.

Mr. Chairman, we need to pass this bill. And when we do pass it, straight people aren’t suddenly going to become gay. Straight people aren’t going to stop getting married. We’re going to be just fine, really.

What will happen is that millions upon millions of lesbian and gay Americans aren’t going to suffer the indignity of having their own government tell them that their marriages are no good. What will happen is that it will be easier for those people to start and to protect their families.

Sen. Al Franken at today’s hearing on the Respect For Marriage Act.

Franken sums up the very real, human issues behind DOMA so well. Video here:

I feel Neil Patrick Harris cheering is appropriate.

Filed under Sen. Al Franken Al Franken DOMA Defense of Marriage Act Respect for Marriage Act government politics DOMA GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights marriage equality same-sex marriage US Senate Senate

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Gay and lesbian military personnel sue US government

A group of married gay current and former military personnel sued the US government on Thursday, seeking equal recognition, benefits and the same support as married heterosexual couples who serve in the military.

The lawsuit filed in US district court in Boston says the government’s defence of marriage act violates their constitutional rights and asks the military to recognise their legal marriages.

"This case is about one thing, plain and simple," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which filed the suit. "It’s about justice for gay and lesbian service members and their families in our armed forces rendering the same military service, making the same sacrifices, and taking the same risks to keep our nation secure at home and abroad."

I knew it was a matter of time before US military members filed a challenge. The benefits awarded to spouses are quite far-reaching, and have legal implications. For example, if a gay U.S. Marine is killed in combat, under federal law, his husband is not his next of kin, cannot receive his body or any of the death benefits with which to bury him. He cannot have his spouse’s GI Bill benefits passed on to him. This is an excellent case to overturn DOMA. Let’s hope it succeeds. 

Filed under DOMA US Military government politics same-sex marriage Defense of Marriage Act marriage equality equal rights justice military GLBTQ

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Here’s a Facebook poll from the rabidly anti-gay Rep. Steve King, (R-Iowa). He’s equated marriage equality with establishing socialism, that ENDA wouldn’t be necessary if gay people wouldn’t wear their sexuality on their sleeve, and claimed the hate crimes act was the pedophilia protection act.
Something tells me this is not the answer he was hoping he’d get. Click on the picture if you’d like to vote.

Here’s a Facebook poll from the rabidly anti-gay Rep. Steve King, (R-Iowa). He’s equated marriage equality with establishing socialism, that ENDA wouldn’t be necessary if gay people wouldn’t wear their sexuality on their sleeve, and claimed the hate crimes act was the pedophilia protection act.

Something tells me this is not the answer he was hoping he’d get. Click on the picture if you’d like to vote.

Filed under DOMA Defense of Marriage Act Steve King bigot marriage equality politics push poll same-sex marriage GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights

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Democrats poised to introduce legislation to repeal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has announced plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.

Feinstein’s announcement comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement last week that at least one part of DOMA will not be able to pass constitutional muster in federal court, and that the Justice Department will not defend that part of the law in two pending cases in the Second Circuit.

Fuck yeah.

Filed under Dianne Feinstein DOMA Defense of Marriage Act Equality Equal rights marriage equality GLBTQ GLBTQ Rights Gay gay rights