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Pennsylvania Judge Bars Gay-Marriage Licenses

One county clerk took it upon himself to start issuing them, despite state law

(Newser) - A Pennsylvania judge today ordered a suburban Philadelphia court clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini said Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes did not have the power to decide on his own whether Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban violates the...

Texas, Mississippi Won't Honor Troops' Gay Marriage Benefits

Meanwhile, a new same-sex marriage battle brewing in New Mexico

(Newser) - Texas and Mississippi are defying a Defense Department directive (and a Supreme Court ruling ) granting full benefits to troops in same-sex marriages, by denying those benefits to their respective national guards. In a statement yesterday, the commander of Texas' guard said that the federal rule violates Texas' "Family...

Memo: Gay Troops to Get 10 Days of Leave to Marry

As part of proposed Pentagon plan to extend benefits to same-sex couples

(Newser) - Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act , the Pentagon is reviewing a plan that would extend full marriage benefits to same-sex couples by the end of this month, according to a draft memo from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlining the proposal obtained yesterday by the...

You Must See the New Yorker's DOMA Cover

Bert and Ernie tableau makes headlines

(Newser) - Odds are you have, at some point in your life, made a joke about Bert and Ernie's sexuality. Well, a just-revealed New Yorker cover takes those jokes to the next level, making them downright sweet. Titled "Bert and Ernie's Moment of Joy," the image is intended,...

In Battle of 'Two Stooges,' Kennedy Beats Scalia

Andrew Koppelman: DOMA opinion is mess, but to so is the 'fun' dissent

(Newser) - Antonin Scalia's scathing dissent to Anthony Kennedy's DOMA decision has drawn lots of attention because of lines like the one dismissing it as "legalistic argle-bargle." The thing is, Scalia is correct—Kennedy's opinion is a mess, writes Andrew Koppelman at Salon . But so is Scalia'...

DOMA Killer Edith Windsor Celebrating With ... Dance Party

She will also be grand marshal of NYC's Gay Pride Parade Sunday

(Newser) - It was 83-year-old Edith Windsor's case that ended up killing the Defense of Marriage Act, and Windsor will celebrate Sunday by acting as grand marshal of the Gay Pride Parade in Manhattan. But another special celebration precedes that on Saturday night: a dance party with friends, reports People . The...

Gay Marriage Will Be Law of Land in 5 Years: Advocates

And the issue could well end up back in the Supreme Court

(Newser) - When gay marriage advocates finish celebrating yesterday's Supreme Court rulings , a sobering bit of reality is bound to sink in: The nation now has a confusing patchwork of state and federal laws that often conflict with each other, reports the New York Times . Consider a gay couple that marries...

High Court Strikes Down DOMA

Broad ruling declares marriage benefits a matter of equal protection

(Newser) - The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act today, in a broad ruling arguing that it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause. The decision was 5-4, with Anthony Kennedy joining the court's more liberal justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan), and...

History Cometh: Supreme Court to Rule on Gay Marriage

A primer in advance of today's decisions

(Newser) - It's a day for the history books: Two landmark Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage are coming today, something we know with certainty because it's the last day of the term. The justices will convene at 10am ET and issue their rulings shortly thereafter, reports the New York ...

DOMA Plaintiff: 'Spectacular' Day for Me

Edith Windsor, 83, thinks things went well in court

(Newser) - The 83-year-old woman at the center of today's arguments about gay marriage before the Supreme Court offered a more human side to the debate in comments afterward. Edith Windsor recalled suffering from "broken heart syndrome" when her longtime partner died, reports the Huffington Post . She also called marriage...

Obama Approach 'Exactly' Right on Gay Marriage

Andrew Sullivan thinks Justice Department is wise to make 'modest' arguments

(Newser) - Andrew Sullivan may be a big believer in marriage equality, but he also thinks it is a policy best pursued through legislative means, not the courts. Which is why he thinks the Obama administration is taking "exactly the right approach" in joining the Supreme Court cases over Prop 8...

White House Brief Makes Strong Case for Gay Rights

Urges Supreme Court to kill DOMA, suggests Obama will weigh in on Prop 8 case, too

(Newser) - The White House looks poised to make a robust defense of gay marriage before the Supreme Court. The first step came yesterday when the Justice Department filed a legal brief urging the court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, reports CNN . DOMA defines a marriage as a union...

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