Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recent news and commentary

Jackson v. District of Columbia Bd. of Elections

Same-sex couples exchanged wedding vows today (Washington Post / LGBT POV / HRC Back Story), and Evan Wolfson explains what this remarkable development means for the national "freedom to marry." But Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, offered a different interpretation. Brown warned that "it's not over" for a pending legal challenge to D.C.'s marriage equality law. (Christian Science Monitor). The case is Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, Civ. No. 2010 CA 000740, slip op., (D.C. Super. Ct., Feb. 20, 2010), aff'd, No. 10-CV-177 (D.C. App. Ct., Feb. 26, 2010), emergency application for stay denied, No. 09A807 (U.S. Mar. 3, 2010). I expect the Jackson plaintiffs to ultimately have the U.S. Supreme review their demand for ballot qualification of the D.C. Marriage Initiative of 2009. (I hope that I am wrong.) I am still plodding along with my compilation of a a procedural history of the case.

Adoption - Florida

NPR has again profiled one of three Florida cases in which same-sex couples have secured rulings a state law [Fla. Stat. §63.042(3)] banning their adoptions. (03/09/10 All Things Considered) The profiled case involves Martin Gill and his partner, who seek to adopt two foster-care brothers. ACLU attorney Rob Rosenwald represents Gill. (Click here for briefs.) NPR reports that in Rosenwald's view, the "case has succeeded so far because it focuses on one constitutional issue: a violation of equal protection rights of both children and gay adopting parents." He said that it violates the state constitutional right of "[t]he children, in that it permanently denies them the chance to have a permanent home with their gay caretaker. So they will forever be in a state of foster care. It violates the rights of the parents by treating them differently than their straight counterparts without any rational basis.'" [In re Matter of Adoption X.X.G and N.R.G., No. 3D08-3044 (Fl. Ct. App. 3d Dist.)]

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