Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Profiling the attorneys in the April 4 DOMA case
by Chuck Colbert, Keen News Service
2012-04-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When a panel of three judges on a federal appeals court hears arguments against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), three openly gay lawyers will argue the law is unconstitutional. Opposing them will be one straight attorney.

Legal gay icon Mary Bonauto will once again make a case for equal marriage, arguing on behalf of seven gay couples and three widowers, all married in Massachusetts after the 2003 Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision.

While the state affords them all the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of legal wedlock, the federal government, under DOMA, denies them more than 1,000 federal programs, benefits and legal protections afforded to opposite-sex couples.

Perhaps best known for winning the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Goodridge, Bonauto is the civil-rights project director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

Goodridge was the first state Supreme Court victory for advocates of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Before Goodridge, Bonauto and two other attorneys won an important 1999 decision in Baker v. State of Vermont, a ruling that prompted lawmakers there to adopt what was then the ground-breaking option of civil unions. Civil unions afforded same-sex couples all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage, but not the word marriage. In 2009, Vermont lawmakers made same-sex marriage legal.

A May 2004 New York Times Magazine profile on Bonauto likened her to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who, before becoming a judge, argued before the high court in the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended racial segregation in public education.

A native of Newburgh, N.Y., Bonauto is a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and holds a law degree from Northeastern University, located in Boston.

Bonauto and her wife, Jennifer Wriggins, reside in Portland, Maine, where they are raising twin daughters.

Just as GLAD won a favorable same-sex marriage ruling in the federal district court in Boston in July 2010, so did and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In a suit brought by the state's attorney general, Maura T. Healey, chief of the Massachusetts attorney general's civil-rights division, argued that DOMA infringed on Massachusetts sovereignty, trespassing on the state's ability to determine eligibility for issuing marriage licenses.

During oral arguments, attorney Healey led a full-court press. In strong words, she told the U.S. District Court judge that DOMA "forces Massachusetts to engage in a kind of invidious discrimination."

How? By denying same-sex married couples of the same benefits received by opposite-sex couples—or risk losing federal aid.

Even worse, DOMA is "animus-based national marriage law," said Healey. She contended that the law infringes on Massachusetts sovereign authority and "forces the state to discriminate against its own citizens."

Like Bonauto, Healey is no stranger to high profile gay litigation. Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Healey was an attorney at the Boston office of WilmerHale, a prestigious law firm. There, she provided counsel to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) in a 2006 case, Cook v. Rumsfeld, that challenged the constitutionality of the armed forces' ban on openly gay service, a federal law and military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Before law school, Healey, a New Hampshire native, played women's basketball for Harvard College. There, as point guard, she captained the school to an Ivy League championship. Afterwards, Healey went on to play professional ball in Europe. She is a 2006 inductee into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. She holds a law degree from Northeastern.

For the April 4 arguments, GLAD's and the attorney general's lawsuits have been consolidated. They are referred to as Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.

When the cases were first heard in U.S. District Court, the Obama Department of Justice (DoJ) was still defending DOMA. But last year, DoJ said it would no longer argue the law is unconstitutional.

This time, the DoJ will be arguing against DOMA. And it will do so in the person of openly gay attorney Stuart Delery, promoted recently to serve as DoJ's Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.

Like Bonauto and Healey, Delery has experience with high-profile gay litigation. While a partner at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., he was pro bono counsel of record for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's unsuccessful lawsuit in the First Circuit that challenged the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Delery earned a law degree at Yale. He clerked for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Byron R. White.

Delery and his longtime partner, Richard Gervase, are fathers of two sons, according to the gay newspaper Metro Weekly of Washington, D.C.. Both parents are active in Rainbow Families DC, a non-profit organization for LGBT parents and prospective parents in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

DoJ is no longer defending DOMA, but the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the U.S. House hired attorney Paul Clement, former Solicitor General for President George W. Bush, to do so.

At that time, Clement was a partner at the law firm of King & Spaulding. When the law firm withdrew from the DOMA case, Clement resigned and joined another smaller firm, saying, "Representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal positioning is extremely unpopular in certain quarters."

"Defending unpopular positions is what lawyers do," said Clement, to Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart. "The adversary system of justice depends on it, especially in cases where passions run high. Efforts to delegitimize any representation for one side of a legal controversy are a profound threat to the rule of law."

A Wisconsin native, Clement, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds a law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.

When Clement arrives in Boston to defend DOMA, he will be fresh off an appearance this past week before the U.S. Supreme Court in landmark litigation seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Clement will also be defending DOMA in other cases.

2012 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

OUTAging summit ends with Movement Advancement Project report, call for visibility 2017-05-28 - The two-day OUTAging summit hosted by Pride Action Tank ( PAT ) and sponsored by Lambda Legal, AARP Chicago, SAGE and Affinity Community ...


Gay News

OUTAging summit pinpoints challenges faced by LGBT seniors 2017-05-28 - According to Cecilia Hardacker, director of education at Howard Brown Health, the largest stumbling block impeding the social-, economic- and political-progress of LGBT ...


Gay News

Johnston appointed to Berwyn Township Trustees 2017-05-28 - Joey Johnston, a gay man who in February lost a bid for a post on the Berwyn Township Trustees board, has been appointed ...


Gay News

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton speaks about her daughter, Wear Orange Day 2017-05-28 - On June 2, a 20-year-old girl and her family celebrates her birthday with her friends. Outgoing, selfless and gentle-hearted, she has so very ...


Gay News

HRW issues report on Chechen anti-gay abuses 2017-05-26 - A 42-page report by the international rights-advocacy organization Human Rights Watch ( HRW ), released May 26, details the brutal treatment that gay ...


Gay News

Illinois House Passes Bill to Modernize State's Birth Certificate Law 2017-05-26 - SPRINGFIELD — A measure to modernize Illinois law allowing people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, House Bill 1785, passed ...


Gay News

'March on McDonald's' ahead of Company's Shareholder Meeting 2017-05-24 - CHICAGO —Thousands of workers fighting for $15 an hour and union rights, joined by members of more than a dozen groups at the ...


Gay News

Taiwan first Asian country to OK marriage 2017-05-24 - On May 24, Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry—making it the first Asian country to approve ...


Gay News

'Freedom to Marry' shows Evan Wolfson as marriage architect 2017-05-24 - Widely considered the "architect of same-sex marriage," Evan Wolfson and his colleagues led a decades-long battle to win equal rights for LGBT people, ...


Gay News

141 Men Arrested in Gay Sauna in Indonesia 2017-05-22 - On May 21, Indonesian authorities arrested 141 men, claiming they were engaging in a "gay sex party" at Atlantis Gym & Sauna in ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.