Defense of Marriage Act

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Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Panetta announcement expected this week

(Newser) - In another big step forward for gay rights in the military, the Pentagon is planning to extend certain benefits to the same-sex partners of military personnel. The new benefits are expected to include housing benefits and access to facilities like spouses' clubs, but many more benefits will be out of... More »

Fate of Gay Marriage May Rest With Kennedy

Being on the 'right side of history' may be too tempting to resist: Law professor

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has agreed to take up two cases related to gay marriage, and one is much easier to predict than the other, writes Harvard Law professor Michael Klarman in the Los Angeles Times . The Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, is almost certainly... More »

Supreme Court Will Rule on Gay Marriage

Justices to hear cases on California's Prop 8 and DOMA

(Newser) - The Supreme Court will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals. The justices said today they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck... More »

NY Appeals Court: DOMA Is Unconstitutional

Second court to dump ban on gay marriage as issue heads toward Supreme Court

(Newser) - A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the US to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling today. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage... More »

Ginsburg: Supreme Court Will Likely Tackle Gay Marriage

Meanwhile, happy first anniversary of Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is likely to weigh in on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans sooner rather than later, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told students at the University of Colorado yesterday. When asked if the court might legalize gay marriage under the equal-protection clause, Ginsburg smiled and demurred, saying she couldn'... More »

3 States to Feds: You Can't 'Unmarry' Gay Marriages

DOMA is gone, but fights over law's provisions continue

(Newser) - The Defense of Marriage Act was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in February, but that ruling did not touch on the most controversial aspect of DOMA, the federalist test—that is, whether gay marriages have to be legally recognized in other states or by the federal government. With a... More »

83-Year-Old Lesbian to High Court: Review DOMA

Edith Windsor was forced to pay federal estate tax when wife died

(Newser) - An 83-year-old lesbian from New York is hoping the Supreme Court will review her challenge to the federal ban on gay marriage while she is still alive. Edith Windsor, who suffers from a heart condition, has asked the court to hear her challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, Reuters... More »

Federal Court Rules DOMA Is Unconstitutional

US appeals court slams Defense of Marriage Act

(Newser) - A US appeals court today declared that the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the Supreme Court. The unanimous ruling said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man... More »

Judge Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

He says it's unconstitutional, orders administration to cease enforcing it

(Newser) - A federal judge has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, ordering the federal government to provide health benefits to the wife of a lesbian court employee. It's the first ruling to come down on DOMA since the Obama administration decided to stop defending it in court , the LA ... More »

Gay Troops Sue Over DOMA

Lawsuit to be filed today

(Newser) - Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may be gone, but married gay and lesbian service members aren’t done fighting for equal rights: Six active troops and two veterans are filing suit today to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act. Lead plaintiffs Shannon McLaughlin, a Massachusetts Army National Guard... More »

Obama: Don't Just Sit There When People Boo a Soldier

President fires away at GOP contenters at gay rights fundraiser

(Newser) - Ah, election season—when politicians remember that they once had guts. President Obama swung hard at GOP presidential hopefuls last night, blasting them for not condemning the crowd that booed a gay soldier at a Republican debate on Sept. 22, reports the Hill . "We don’t believe in the... More »

Married Gays Grapple With IRS

Taxmen not recognizing same-sex unions

(Newser) - The Internal Revenue Service is refusing to recognize gay marriages, causing headaches for couples who have won the right to wed in their home states, BusinessWeek finds. The Obama administration has urged federal agencies to extend benefits as far as they can to same-sex couples under existing law, but analysts... More »

Al Franken Dismantles DOMA Backer's Testimony

Ex-comedian gets laughs from chamber

(Newser) - Stuart Smalley was nowhere in sight yesterday as Al Franken shredded a Defense of Marriage Act supporter. Seems the gentleman from Minnesota took offense with Focus on the Family's Thomas Minnery and his citation of a federal study that found children in opposite-sex married families fared way better than... More »

Obama Backs Repeal of Marriage Law

President endorses bill to kill act

(Newser) - President Obama's " evolving views " on gay marriage appear to have evolved even further: The president has endorsed a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act , which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein,... More »

Obama Relying on Gay Donors for 2012

Because some big money donors aren't showing up

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign is hoping gay donors can fill the holes left by the big-money interests that are deserting it. Gay donors have been showing their gratitude for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Obama's abandonment of the Defense of Marriage Act, and... More »

Holder Bars Deportation of Gay Man in Civil Union

With DOMA in question, Eric Holder wants case reviewed

(Newser) - The attorney general made the surprising move of suspending the deportation of a gay man in a civil union with a US citizen yesterday. The AP reports that Holder has asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider its decision. The board had called for the deportation of Paul Wilson... More »

Bill Clinton: It’s Time for Gay Marriage

President who signed DOMA backs NY bill

(Newser) - The president who signed the Defense of Marriage Act is now campaigning to legalize gay marriage in New York. Bill Clinton released a statement through Human Rights Campaign today backing the bill currently being considered in his home state, Politico reports. “Our nation’s permanent mission is to form... More »

GOP-Hired Law Firm Quits DOMA Case

Paul Clement, who was to argue case, resigns from King and Spalding

(Newser) - The law firm hired by the GOP to defend the Defense of Marriage Act is quitting the case, for reasons it hasn’t specified, notes Politico . “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate,” said King and Spalding’s... More »

GOP Paying Law Firm $500K to Back Gay Marriage Ban

Nancy Pelosi calls it a waste of money

(Newser) - House Republicans have agreed to pay a law firm $520 an hour, to a maximum of $500,000, to defend the Defense of Marriage Act now that President Obama has abandoned it. Former Bush Administration solicitor general Paul Clement will head up King and Spalding's defense of the law,... More »

Senate Dems Move to Zap DOMA

Introduce bill to repeal ban on gay marriage

(Newser) - It was another day of undoing in Congress: As House Republicans moved to dismantle financial reform yesterday, Democrats over in the Senate were fixing to make the Defense of Marriage Act go away. "It is time to right this wrong," Dianne Feinstein said in introducing the legislation. "... More »

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