U.S. Supreme Court Reschedules Consideration to Hear Proposition 8 Case

U.S. Supreme Court Reschedules Consideration of Whether to Hear Proposition 8 Case 

Prop. 8 and DOMA Cases Now Distributed for Nov. 30 Conference 

Washington, DC – Today, the United States Supreme Court indicated that it has rescheduled the date when it will consider whether to grant review in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown), the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.

The Perry case, along with several cases challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), have been distributed for consideration at the Justices’ private Conference scheduled for Friday, November 30. The Proposition 8 and DOMA cases had previously been distributed for the Conference of Tuesday, November 20. Continue reading

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2012

PRESS CONTACT:
Manny Rivera 323.892.2081 or manny@afer.org

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

New York, NY – Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, making it the second federal appeals court to find DOMA unconstitutional. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit made a similar ruling in May of this year. Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law. Continue reading

How Obama’s DOMA Decision Affects Idaho

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Feb. 24, 2011

Calling it an “historic position,” Idaho scholars and activists cheered the Obama administration’s move to no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In Wednesday’s announcement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the act unconstitutional by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry.

David Adler, director of the McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Idaho, told Citydesk the change would carry a great deal of influence in the courts.

“The fact that the Justice Department has changed its position reflects the fact that it can, in fact, change a historic position on a constitutional issue,” said Adler. Continue reading

Idaho AG’s Office Reacts to DOMA Ruling from Federal Judge

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com July 9, 2010

U.S District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled Thursday that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

Enacted in 1996 DOMA defines “marriage” and “spouse,” for purposes of federal law, to include only the union of one man and one woman.

The Massachusetts plaintiffs, seven same-sex couples and three widowers, claimed that because of DOMA, their families were denied critically important rights and protections that interfered with the state’s authority to regulate marriage.

Massachusetts Attorney General Spokeswoman, Amie Breton, told Boise Weekly the decision applies only to Massachusetts and any appeals would be up to the Obama administration.

“Because there was no stay in the law suit,” said Breton, “starting today immediately effective same-sex wedded couples in Massachusetts are eligible for federal benefits. That means this decision is binding for the federal agencies.”

For states like Idaho with constitutional bans, the Massachusetts decision appears to have no bearing.

Idaho Attorney General spokesperson, Bob Cooper said his office has not yet seen the decision but based on news accounts said:
“On its face it would appear this is not going to have any impact on the state of the law in Idaho. The decision is not inconsistent with the Idaho constitutional provision in which the state has defined marriage. From that perspective, it wouldn’t matter what a particular state’s definition of marriage is this ruling would uphold the authority of the states to define marriage.”

Tauro stated: “There are at least, a total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor.”

Same-sex couples legally married or not, except in Massachusetts, are denied the right to file joint tax returns, claim Social Security survivor benefits, take family medical leave, as well as take gift and estate tax exemptions, have joint workplace health care and collect a spouse’s retirement.

“The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and, in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment. For that reason, the statute is invalid,” wrote Judge Tauro.