ACLU: Federal Government’s Comments on DOMA Promising

August 17, 2009
The brief filed by the Justice Department in Smelt v. United States on Monday shows that the federal government heard and understood some of the concerns raised by the LGBT community in response to the brief it filed in June. [Link]

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Obama affirms DOMA is discriminatory, calls for repeal in legal brief

August 17, 2009

Following a furious outcry from the gay community, the Obama Administration is toning down its defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. President Barack Obama is also stepping out on the issue, issuing a written statement explaining his stance.

In a brief filed Monday morning in a lawsuit challenging the validity of DOMA, the Justice Department put on the record that the administration favors repeal of the statute — a position that was omitted from a controversial legal filing the department made in June. DOJ also explicitly rejected arguments put forward by conservative groups that the importance of marriage for child rearing is a legitimate justification for DOMA's ban on federal recognition of same-sex unions.

The brief states:
"The government does not contend that there are legitimate government interests in "creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents" or that the government's interest in "responsible procreation" justifies Congress's decision to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. ... Since DOMA was enacted, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, and the Child Welfare League of America have issued policies opposing restrictions on lesbian and gay parenting because they concluded, based on numerous studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents. ... The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality"


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Obama Administration: DOMA Unfair

The Associated Press
August 17, 2009
The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continue to defend the law. "The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits. [Link]

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Feingold is courted to push bill to overturn federal marriage ban

The Washington Blade
July 31, 2009
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Constitution Subcommittee, is considered a prime candidate to sponsor the Senate version of a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Feingold, whose panel has jurisdiction over DOMA, was one of 14 senators not to vote in favor of the law in 1996. [Link]

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Summer of 2009 an active one for Marriage Equality

The Detroit News
August 5, 2009
Deb Price reviews the summer of 2009, during which Massachusetts has brought "a gem of a lawsuit" against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, former President Clinton has carefully endorsed marriage equality (Evan Wolfson: "President Clinton is Exhibit A in the power of talking with people about our lives - and not writing them off. It shows people can and do move."), President Obama has urged the repeal of DOMA, and much more. [Link]

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Marriage Equality Measure Passes Without Debate at American Bar Association House of Delegates Meeti

ABA Journal
August 3, 2009
The ABA policy-making House of Delegates passed by an overwhelming voice vote a resolution calling on Congress to repeal a section of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal marital benefits and protections to lawfully married same-sex couples. Despite the sometimes controversial nature of the freedom to marry, no one spoke in opposition to the measure itself. [Link]

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OP-ED: Obama Said ‘I Don’t.’ He May Just Mean It.

The Washington Post
August 2, 2009
James Kirchick writes about how some people seem to not accept that President Obama does not support full marriage equality: "People cannot conceive that such a cosmopolitan and eloquent man as Obama would disagree with them on an issue that they consider a no-brainer." [Link]

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Census 2010 to Include Data on Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

The Washington Post
August 3, 2009
The Census Bureau will for the first time publicly release the number of marriages of same-sex couples reported in a decennial census, as it plans to release raw data about same-sex relationships in the 2010 headcount. The decision reverses a Bush-era policy that prohibited the release of the data. [Link]

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Representative Nadler: “The Time for Dumping DOMA is Long Overdue.”

July 27, 2009
Joe Sudbay discusses Rep. Jerry Nadler's (D-N.Y.) introduction of legislation to repeal DOMA. Nadler: "For my part, I have long objected to DOMA as unfair and unconstitutional, and I am working toward a legislative solution that will ensure security and equality for all American families." [Link]

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Why Bill Clinton Told Me He Supported Marriage Equality (AUDIO)

The Huffington Post
July 21, 2009
Two weeks ago, I had a conversation with Bill Clinton about marriage equality, and by a combination of assertiveness and dumb luck, I may have pushed the national dialogue a bit farther along. Evan Wolfson, executive director of the Freedom to Marry coalition, suggests we should start asking elected officials,
Will you join the voices who have spoken up even in the past few weeks, ranging from Dick Cheney, to Bill Clinton, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Education Association, and the Episcopal Church?
It's now time to start thinking of marriage equality as an issue that is not only politically tenable, but commonplace. [Link]

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