The White House announced this week that President Barack Obama was throwing his support behind legislation which would effectively kill the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Posts Tagged DOMA
At a hearing on the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, Sen. Al Franken took issue with the testimony of Tom Minnery, the head of Focus on the Family’s political arm, CitizenLink. After Minnery cited a government study he said showed that the children of married gay and lesbian couples fared worse than married opposite-sex couples, Franken flatly stated that Minnery was wrong and called into question any further testimony from Minnery.
The battle between the Obama Administration and House Republicans over the Defense of Marriage Act (which has come to include GOP state attorneys general like Colorado’s John Suthers) took an historic turn last week. Responding to a filing brought by lawyers on behalf of House Republicans and led by conservative legal eagle Paul Clement, the Department of Justice clearly sought to bury a stake deep into the heart of the the act, delivering an expansive brief outlining for the first time the federal government’s role in singling out gay and lesbian Americans for discrimination (pdf). Chris Geidner, writing legal analysis at MetroWeekly’s progay PoliGlot blog, called the brief a “must read” and “instantly historic” and “the single-most persuasive legal argument ever advanced by the United States government in support of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”
Under pressure from gay rights groups, Atlanta-based international law firm King & Spaulding announced it was pulling out of a deal struck with Republican leaders to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives. Paul Clement, the high-powered attorney who spearheaded the arrangement for the firm, has resigned and announced he will now take up the case as a member of conservative-politics-associated firm Bancroft PLLC.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has contracted high-profile conservative attorney Paul Clement to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of House of Representatives. Boehner has agreed to pay Clement initially up to $500,000 to defend the law, although analysts say that figure is sure to rise. Colorado Springs Christian right organization Focus on the Family celebrated the arrangement, touting Clement’s resume as one of the nation’s top attorneys.
Conservative celebrity Sarah Palin and right-wing blogger Erick Erickson are just two of the high profile far-right leaders disparaging Speaker of the House John Boehner for the budget deal he hammered out with President Obama and Democratic Senate leaders last week. Colorado “liberty movement” talk radio hosts are unhappy. Colorado Tea Party freshmen Congressmen Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner as well as Colorado Springs conservative Doug Lamborn broke with the Speaker and voted against the budget. But Boehner can’t go back on the deal and he won’t likely win over the Tiptons and Palins and Ericksons with a lecture on the delayed gratification of budget cutting and the difference between outlays and spending. On the contrary, it would just make him seem more establishment. So instead, Boehner followed the lead of GOP presidential hopefuls and took a provocative and distracting stand against gay rights.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday titled “Defending Marriage,” called by subcommittee chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who has recently called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama because of his decision to order his administration to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Legally married gay couples this month will be filing joint tax returns to the IRS, pressing the federal government to again acknowledge that, by failing to recognize gay marriage, it routinely asks U.S. citizens to lie on their tax forms. “More people are refusing to lie on those forms even though the government is telling them to,” said Nadine Smith, director of gay rights group Equality Florida. Smith is gay and married and she says that she and her partner will not lie on their tax form this year. “It would be both dishonest and deeply humiliating to now disavow each other or our marriage and declare ourselves single,” she said.
Speculation that the the Obama administration’s February announcement that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court would change how same-sex married couple’s applications for green cards and visa applications are reviewed — making the process no different from heterosexual married couples — ended Wednesday.
Openly gay Chairman of the Colorado Federation of College Republicans Troy Ard is lobbying colleagues and friends to support Senator Pat Steadman’s same-sex civil unions bill making its way through the state legislature. Ard’s support for the bill is personal, political and ideological. He wants to enjoy equal rights under the law as a gay American; he believes the Republican brand would benefit enormously by embracing gay rights; and he believes Americans should always be pushing their government to expand individual liberties.