Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
The Seven Minutes In 2000 When The Clinton White House Considered Endorsing Marriage Equality (SL Longform Buzzfeed)
The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will recognize same-sex marriages for the purpose of filing federal taxes, even if the couple lives in a state that does not recognize their marriage. [more inside]
New York was the closest to drive to, but they’d both need to be there for the license and return for the wedding. Out, they decided. California and Washington, and the knot of northeastern states that have legalized same-sex marriage, were too far. Maryland required only one partner to come for the license. Then a 48-hour waiting period. It was an hour and 10-minute flight. This might work, they decided: A destination wedding in Baltimore.
SCOTUS declares DOMA Unconstitutional, 5 - 4. The gay rights movement saw a significant victory at the Supreme Court Wednesday, where the justices struck down part of a law barring federal benefits to married same-sex couples. In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down a provision of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits -- like Social Security benefits or the ability to file joint tax returns - to same-sex couples legally married. The impact of the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, is clear for the nation's approximately 130,000 married same-sex couples. Section 3 of the law, the provision that was struck down, denies same-sex couples federal benefits. That provision impacts around 1,100 federal laws, including veterans' benefits, family medical leave and tax laws.
David and Jason are a married bi-national couple fighting the Defense of Marriage Act which denies gay Americans over 1100 federal rights. This includes preventing gay Americans from gaining green cards for their foreign born spouses. Since meeting in the Spring of 2007, Jason has returned to LA over a dozen times for expensive lengthy visits but is now being warned he will no longer be allowed to visit as a tourist.
Journalist Brody Levesque and military widow Karen Morgan on what Memorial Day means for LGBT Americans. [more inside]
"We wait for the economy to improve, DOMA to go away, the passage of UAFA, anything to finally allow us to live peacefully in the US near our family. We wait for our time to join those who are fighting for our families." The DOMA Project and why LGBT and HIV Equality Is at the Heart of Immigration Reform [more inside]
In a private conference this morning, the Supreme Court of the United Stated discussed ten petitions relating to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. [more inside]
Today, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that "we conclude that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional" [PDF of decision]. Plaintiff Edie Windsor has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear her case. [more inside]
Federal Immigration Authorities Cancel Removal Proceedings for the Same Sex Spouse of a US Citizen. [more inside]
Today, Judge Donovan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled [link is to pdf of decision] that DOMA is unconstitutional. 19 judges join his opinion. [more inside]
In what appears to be the first such action of its type, an Immigration Judge in Manhattan has adjourned deportation proceedings for the Argentine lesbian spouse of an American citizen to allow the couple to proceed with their application to have their marriage recognized for purposes of federal immigration law. [more inside]
Obama Justice Department Finds DOMA Unconstitutional, Will Not Defend in Court The Justice Department just today sent a letter to John Boehner and other house leaders informing them of the decision. Here is the DOJ's official statement on the decision.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts.
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
On August 12, President Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- to the late gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk. Lesbian tennis star Billy Jean King and Teddy Kennedy will also be honored that day. Previous recipients include Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi, Colin Powell (twice), Muhammad Ali, Mother Theresa, Elie Wiesel, Vint Cerf, George Tenet (Bush fail), Irving Kristol (WTF?) Dick Cheney, Walter Cronkite, Julia Child, and Lucille Ball. Now about that DOMA thing...
Tomorrow, Obama will extend federal employee benefits to same-sex partners. But is it too little, too late to mend the growing rift between Obama and gay rights advocates, especially after last week's controversial DOMA brief (discussed previously)?
Dear Mr. President: ... I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you. [more inside]