White House Affirms Support for DOMA Repeal

Washington Blade
May 21, 2009
The White House on Wednesday issued a statement reiterating President Obama's support for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. "DOMA is a federal law passed by Congress that precludes uniform federal recognition of same-sex relationships, even those recognized as valid under the law of the state," the statement says. "Because the President believes that this is an issue that should be left to the states, he continues to support the legislative repeal of DOMA." [link]

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Two Anti-marriage Bills Introduced in Congress

HRC Back Story
May 22, 2009
Two bills aimed at thwarting marriage rights for same-sex couples were introduced in the U.S. House yesterday. One, H.J.Res.54 is a resolution that formally “disapproves” of the elected DC council and Mayor’s decision to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions. Introduced by Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, the resolution is the first step if Congress tries to use its formal role in overruling the District’s local affairs. [link]

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Equal Benefits Bill for Federal Employees Introduced in House and Senate

HRC Back Story
May 21, 2009
Yesterday, we saw the bipartisan reintroduction of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO) by Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House and Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate. This legislation would extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits. [link]

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Conyers says he has votes to repeal Defense of Marriage Act

Michigan Messenger
May 19, 2009

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, said Saturday in an interview with Michigan Messenger that the votes are in place in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Gay rights advocates have been working to get the law repealed as more states pass laws allowing same-sex couples to get married. (Link)

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White House Press Sec Gibbs punts at the podium on DOMA question by Advocate reporter

Pam's House Blend
May 18, 2009

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate finally got a crack at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at the daily press briefing and asked if the President was working to ensure federal recognition for gay couples who marry. Gibbs response: "I...I will have to go check on that. I honestly don't know the answer to that." (Link)

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Faking Left

New York Times
May 11, 2009

Op-ed columnist Ross Douthat writes about Obama's hesitancy to push forward on gay rights legislation despite advances achieved: "Gay marriage is marching through liberal states (last week, Maine; soon, New York), and public opinion, steadily tilting in its direction, seems to be tilting faster in the last six months." (Link)

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The District Takes a Stand for Equality

Washington Post
May 10, 2009
Op-Ed From DC Concilman David Catania
"Recognizing lawful same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions is a step toward marriage equality, but it is not the last step. This year, I intend to introduce legislation that will permit same-sex marriages to be performed in the District. It is my hope that this matter can be decided by D.C. residents through the local political process." [link]

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OP-ED: Where’s Our ‘Fierce Advocate’?

Washington Post
May 2, 2009

Richard Socarides on what he sees as the Obama administration's lack of action on LGBT issues so far: "What makes this especially disappointing is that it comes during a crisis-driven 'change moment' in our country's history that not only cries out for leadership but presents a particularly good climate for making substantial progress on gay equality." [Link]

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Marriage in Vermont: Three Progressive Lessons

Huffington Post
April 20, 2009

The Yale Law Journal's Aaron Zelinsky discusses the Vermont Legislature voting to extend marriage to gay couples in the context of federalism, saying, "Federalism should play a critical role in progressive strategy." [Link]

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A strange dual citizenship for gay couples

The Boston Globe
April 17, 2009

The so-called Defense of Marriage Act passed in the panic of 1996 when it looked as if Hawaii would become the first state with gay marriage. The purpose was as obvious and discriminatory as Representative Henry Hyde's declaration that DOMA was to express "disapprobation" for homosexuality.... Much has changed since 1996. Even former representative Bob Barr, who wrote DOMA, now disavows it. So what do you say about an out-of-date law that enforces an identity crisis? What do you say about a law that "defends" marriage by denying it? The winds are blowing, but in a very different direction. [Link]

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