Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DoJ comes out swinging against DOMA
News update posted Sunday, July 2, 2011
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2011-07-06

This article shared 7171 times since Wed Jul 6, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The Department of Justice ( DoJ ) , on July 1, recommended a federal appeals court in California dismiss a motion promoted by the House of Representatives to dismiss a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ) .

The argument came during Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management ( OPM ) , a case filed by Lambda Legal Defense in which the DoJ initially tried to dismiss the case itself.

Williams Institute Legal Director Jenny Pizer, a former Lambda attorney, noted that, "while this step is fully consistent with the position taken back in February, it was not at all assumed that the Administration would participate actively in the pending DOMA cases."

Attorney General Eric Holder, on Feb. 23, sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, alerting him that the administration considers Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional. Section 3 states that the federal government will not, for any federal purposes, recognize any same-sex marriage. Holder's letter said the administration would not defend it beyond the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. ( The First Circuit, noted Holder, has said that laws treating people differently on the basis of sexual orientation should be examined using the lowest level of judicial scrutiny—rational basis—under which almost any reason can pass muster. )

Holder's letter said the administration believes laws disfavoring persons based on sexual orientation should have to pass the most stringent judicial review: heightened scrutiny. Also, it said the administration would argue so in two cases challenging DOMA in the 2nd Circuit.

Golinski is in the Ninth Circuit. Although the DoJ acknowledges that the Ninth Circuit, like the First, has previously held that rational-basis review is appropriate for sexual orientation, "we respectfully submit that this decision no longer withstands scrutiny."

To justify its argument, the DoJ noted that, in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting private consensual sex between same-sex partners. Also, it said "gay and lesbian individuals" fit the bill as a long-oppressed minority—or suspect class. It has been frequently targeted by discrimination, it is a class with limited political power and it is a class defined by an immutable trait that bears no relationship to the individuals' ability to contribute to and participate in society—criteria for a suspect class.

The brief argues that there is no justification for DOMA's treating same-sex couples differently and that the record surrounding the law "evidences the kind of animus and stereotype-based type thinking that the Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.

"The Obama Administration is putting very welcome additional flesh on the important bones of Attorney General Holder's February letter to John Boehner explaining why the Administration won't defend DOMA any longer."

Signing the July 1 DoJ brief were Michael Hertz, a deputy assistant attorney general; Melinda Haag, a U.S. attorney; and Arthur Goldberg, assistant branch director.

Pizer said the Hertz brief "gives a detailed and immensely persuasive examination of why antigay laws should be subjected to rigorous constitutional review, including with a very substantial documenting of the systematic mistreatment of gay people by government, the religious and other legally improper reasons for that mistreatment, and further reinforcement of the point that the needs of children are served by equal treatment of all married parents, rather than federal discrimination against some of them."

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the brief "represents real leadership from the Obama administration and further hastens the day in which we will leave this odious law in the dustbin of history."

The brief—which typically takes weeks, if not months, to complete—was filed as President Obama was coming under increasing pressure from the LGBT community and the media to speak out in favor of same-sex marriages and marriage equality laws.

In Golinski, an employee of the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court, is suing to obtain health coverage for her spouse. The federal court provides such benefits to the spouses of straight employees and was prepared to offer them to Golinski. However, the OPM, headed by openly gay appointee John Berry, instructed the court's insurance company, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, to deny the claim, citing DOMA.

DOMA, enacted in 1996, prohibits any federal entity from recognizing a marriage license granted to a same-sex couple.

In March, a federal district court judge granted the DoJ's initial request that Golinski's lawsuit be dismissed, agreeing that OPM had a duty to enforce DOMA that trumped the Ninth Circuit's agreement to provide benefits to Golinski.

Lambda has filed an amended complaint and the DoJ brief was submitted to that pending litigation in the U.S. District Court for Northern California. The House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group has filed a motion to intervene in Golinski to defend DOMA.

�2011 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


This article shared 7171 times since Wed Jul 6, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Book censorship focus of public comments at Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting 2022-11-30
- During the closed door portion of the regularly scheduled Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 28 at Lincolnwood Village Hall, Library Defense members hosted a Freadom Book Swap outside of the building. Library Defense ...


Gay News

Record 120 U.S. cities excel in protecting LGBTQ+ rights per HRC LGBTQ+ Equality Index 2022-11-30
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...


Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act 2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...


Gay News

WORLD Church of England, World Cup news, court rulings, Justin Trudeau 2022-11-27
- The Church of England is defending the scrutinized guidance for its 4,700 primary schools on LGBTQ+ issues, claiming that it doesn't allow students as young as 5 to self-identify as the opposite sex, The Christian Post ...


Gay News

NATIONAL $1M donation, church departures, Harvey Milk, abortions, Grindr 2022-11-27
- In Ohio, Dayton-based insurance company CareSource is donating $1 million to United Church Homes to support the development of a senior living facility at the site of the former Longfellow School that will also aim at ...


Gay News

Gay candidates Lopez, Lawson file papers for 2023 aldermanic race 2022-11-21
- Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), an openly gay City Council member who has been an ardent foe of Mayor Lightfoot, announced Nov. 21 that he was dropping his bid for Lightfoot's mayoral seat, and would instead ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner 2022-11-18
- WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...


Gay News

Senate marriage equality bill advances with 62-37 bipartisan vote 2022-11-16
- A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators voted 62-37 for cloture—the end of debate—for the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), signaling passage in the near future for the measure that enshrines marriage equality into federal law. The ...


Gay News

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16 2022-11-15
- The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports. Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal ...


Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance 2022-11-15
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Political results, communicable-disease law, Urvashi Vaid 2022-11-13
- Sharice Davids won the election for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. In 2018, she made history when she became the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Kansas and one of the first two Native American women ever ...


Gay News

WORLD Indian judge, marriage items, LGBTQ+-friendly countries 2022-11-13
- A judge who could pave the way to legalizing marriage equality in India took charge as chief justice, Bloomberg reported. As a judge on the top court, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was a member of the five-member ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy 2022-11-13
- Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner sent to Russian penal colony 2022-11-09
- U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been moved from a detention center outside of Moscow to a Russian penal colony to begin serving out her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, NPR reported. A statement from ...


Gay News

ABA names recipients of 2023 Stonewall Award honoring LGBT advancements in legal profession 2022-11-07
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, Nov. 7, 2022 — Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its 10th annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.