Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 11th
8 hours ago
"1) by singling out only the marriages of same-sex couples, DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution; 2) DOMA represents an unprecedented intrusion of the federal government into marriage law, which for 230 years has been legislated by states; and 3) by denying federal protections to families, DOMA burdens the marriages of same-sex couples and their right to maintain family integrity." (05/07/10 GLAD Blog)Department of Justice attorney W. Scott Simpson defended the law at the hearing, while acknowledging that the Obama administration opposes it as a policy.
"He said Congress had a legitimate rationale to pass the federal law 14 years ago, given that some states [such as Hawai'i] were beginning to consider legalizing same-sex marriage. DOMA, he said, maintains the status quo -- marriage reserved exclusively for heterosexuals -- and prevented the federal government from having to keep track of which states had legalized gay marriages and which had not." (Boston Globe)Is the federal government challenged over the fiscal and administrative costs of legal bookkeeping it would allegedly need, but for DOMA? "We’re not talking about mom-and-pop operations here," Bonauto replied, "We’re talking about the federal government." (NY Times) Of course, without DOMA, the federal government would not need to tally which states do and do not allow same-sex marriages. It would simply treat all married couples equally. Bonauto also relied on DOMA's legislative history to show that Congress adopted the law to express moral disapproval of homosexuality - an illegitimate reason for the law's unequal treatment of married, same-sex couples. (Christian Science Monitor)
[T]he D. C. Court of Appeals will have the chance to consider the relevant legal questions on their merits, and petitioners will have the right to challenge any adverse decision through a petition for certiorari in this Court at the appropriate time.Although the D.C. Court of Appeals offers real-time, video streaming of oral argument, I expect public interest to overwhelm server capacity.
The divorce had been granted, the decree signed and the last legal step — the final order — was imminent when a representative of the Texas Attorney General's Office arrived in court to object on the grounds that the marriage was never legal in Texas. Judge Jenkins posed several questions to the AG's office: Did the AG really want to pursue this action since the state was already litigating a same-sex appellate case in Dallas? Had the AG's office given any consideration to the impact of the appeal on the couple's adopted four-year-old son and the custody arrangement included in the divorce decree? "The wise and merciful thing to do in this case is to simply leave these parties alone." Judge Jenkins told the Austin American Statesman after he signed the final order over the AG's objections.