Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DOMA ruled unconstitutional . . . as I knew it would be

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) just got a swift kick in the ass:

Moments ago, Judge Jeffery White of the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitution’s equal protections clause in a case brought by Karen Golinski. Golinski, represented by Lambda Legal, “was denied spousal health benefits by her employer, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.” White was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2002. Read the full opinion here. (HT: GinnyLaRoe)

What happens next is anyone's guess. One thing is clear though. Ever since the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer defend DOMA in the courts and Speaker of the House John Boehner (at the behest of several religious right groups) announced that Congress would defend the law, a blind man unconscious from toxic fumes could have predicted this outcome.

And while I'm not a blind man (Thank God) who inhaled toxic fumes (double Thank God), I broke stories on the fact that the defense of DOMA was shoddy.

Boehner's team is defending DOMA against Edie Windsor, an 81-year-old woman suing the federal government for not recognizing her union with her late partner.  Back in August of last year, I broke the story that the lawyer hired to defend DOMA, Paul Clement, was relying on junk science, including studies from discredited researchers Paul Cameron, George Rekers, and Walter Schumm

If that wasn't bad enough, one of the researchers cited by Clement for his defense of DOMA, Lisa Diamond, complained that her work was being distorted.

 And to think that for all of this, we the taxpayers paid over $1 million.

I am happy that DOMA has been declared unconstitutional, but I want to know where in the hell do I go to get my money back.

There will be more details forthcoming.

For more background on the case, see Lambda Legal.

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'NOM having problems with campaign finance laws AGAIN!' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

AFA Tries to Link JC Penney Credit Rating Drop to Ellen DeGeneres - After all, lying is what the American Family Association does best.

NOM EXPOSED: Minnesota has become the Wild, Wild West of campaign disclosure this cycle - For a "Christian" group, the National Organization for Marriage seems to have lots of trouble with following laws on campaign finance disclosure.

How To Bully Gay Kids - Nasty bit of business coming from Focus on the Family.

Tennessee Activists Hold Anti-Gay Lawmaker Accountable - I LOVE it when they realize that lgbtqs vote. It scares the heck out of some folks.

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Gays compared to pedophilies, necrophiliacs (again?)

It's a two-post morning again. Mercy! After retching over this one, pan down to read  Catholic Charities exploiting children in fight against marriage equality

From an online buddy of mine comes this monstrosity of yet another member of that awful religious right group Concerned Women for America maligning our community again:

Testimony on Feb. 21, in the subcommittee of the Georgia House Judiciary Committee on House Bill 630 (State Fair Employment Practices Act) included comments from Tanya Ditty, state director for the anti-gay Concerned Women of America. Ditty asked committee members to oppose the bill because she believes the bill, among other things, would allow such things as necrophilia, zoophilia and pedophilia:

Ditty is no different than another member of Concerned Women for America, Janice Crouse who last year created a video making all sorts of ugly accusations about the lgbt community.

No doubt folks like Ditty and Crouse will swear that they say these things because they love us.

I can do very fine without love like that. In fact, we all can.

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Catholic Charities exploiting children in fight against marriage equality

Think Progress has pointed out something very interest when it comes to the Catholic Church's very pronounced opposition to marriage equality.

An argument of those who oppose marriage equality is that it would force religious entities to violate their personal beliefs. One of these entities is the Catholic Charities, which works to place children in adoptivehomes. According to the National Organization for Marriage and others who oppose marriage equality, allowing same-sex couples to wed would force Catholic Charities to choose between abandoning children who need to be adopted or going against the Catholic Church's beliefs against homosexuality.

However, as  Zack Ford from Think Progress points out, the situation in Colorado involving the possibility of civil unions reveals that this argument may not be true and Catholic Charities could be using children as pawns to stop marriage equality:

During last week’s hearing before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee, a spokesperson from Catholic Charities testified that if the state legally recognized same-sex civil unions, the organization would halt all adoption and foster care services in the state, as they have in states like Illinois. Senators Pat Steadman (D) and Ellen Roberts (R) pointed out that — unlike in other states’ laws — the proposed bill clearly says that adoption agencies will not be required to place children with gay and lesbian couples, but Catholic Charities threatened to end its services nontheless:
CATHOLIC CHARITIES: We would not be able to adopt to same-sex couples.

STEADMAN: And the bill doesn’t ask you to.

ROBERTS: I just have one clarification as to whether you think the bill would prohibit those services or if you think, under a state of law, you would choose not to provide those services?

CATHOLIC CHARITIES: Under the state of law, Catholic Charities would have to discontinue our service in adoption and foster care. We would discontinue our service.

You see that? Even when informed that they are excluded from the Colorado civil union law, the Catholic Charities are volunteering to place children in jeopardy of not being placed in adoptive homes.

It's a sad thing to think that stopping marriage equality is a zero sum game to the Catholic Church and if children are to be used as pawns then so be it.

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