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Federal Judge: DOMA Section Is Unconstitutional and ‘Violates Equality Protection’

Ruling today in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management, the lawsuit brought by GLAD (and the law firms Foley Hoag, Sullivan & Worcester, and Jenner & Block) on behalf of 19 plaintiffs, Federal District Court Judge Joseph Tauro has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s Section 3, declaring it “violates … equal protection principles.”

In concert with a ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. HHS (where the state’s Attorney General Martha Coakley also sued the federal government over DOMA), Judge Tauro has declared the obvious: a law banning recognition of same-sex unions violates the Constitution.

So much for the Department of Justice trying to get out of doing all that paperwork. All along, the government’s lawyers, led by DoJ attorney W. Scott Simpson, arguing that even though Obama “disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy and would like to see it repealed,” that position “does not affect its constitutionality.”

Wrong, says Judge Tauro. DOMA does interfere with a state’s right to set its own marriage laws.

The ruling strikes down the part of DOMA that declares the federal government cannot recognize same-sex marriages even when states in the union have legalized them, and thus may deny federal benefits and even the right to jointly file taxes.

Before the ruling was announced, GLAD’s lead counsel Mary Bonauto noted, “This is not a marriage case. If we win, it wouldn’t result in any new marriages. It’s a case where people are already married and they’re being treated differently by the federal government. It’s about equal protection. When it comes to the U.S. code and how the federal government treats married people, there is no justification for denying equal taxation, equal Social Security benefits and equal federal retiree protections just because it’s a same-sex marriage.”

By:           Arthur Dunlop
On:           Jul 8, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,
  • 75 Comments
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      This should be the biggest story on Queerty yet no comments!?!
      Well I’ll go first then,
      I love being gay!!!!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RW in LGB
      RW in LGB

      This outcome is the ONLY one possible under the US Constitution.

      It’s just what the Religious Right had feared. Once anti-gay legislation is actually put under (semi-)strict scrutiny, it cannot help but FALL as an irrational denial of our basic civil rights. The Fourteenth Amendment takes care of the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the psychotic majority.

      I can’t wait to tell my husband (we’re legally married in CA)!! Who knows? Maybe this time next year we WILL be able to file joint tax returns…!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james_from_the_great_city_of_cambridge
      james_from_the_great_city_of_cambridge

      Thank God for the courts. Well, at least half the time anyway!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @RW in LGB: judge struck it on rational basis. which, of course, is even better.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexander A.
      Alexander A.

      I’m thrilled! However, can this decision be appealed to a higher court? I’m happy either way, because even if it can and does go higher, that just mean’s it’s more exposed and more controversial.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      T@Alexander A.: the supreme court could take the case if it chooses

      Jul 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted
      Ted

      Why is there a picture of Obama on this article? He had nothing to do with it…granted, I’m excited that this happened, but let’s hope he doesn’t try to take the damn credit!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Republican
      Republican

      When any rabid anti-gays complain about activist judges, just remind them that this judge was picked by Nixon.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paschal
      Paschal

      @concernedcitizen: Don;t forget the circuit court. The circuit court can even hear an appeal of a decision it makes itself. The appeal of the appeal (if that sounds right) uses a larger number of judges than the original appeal. Appeals can be annoying or fantastic but one can’t deny that they tackle judges going mad.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Troy Boy
      Troy Boy

      This is great news! Now when will the federal government recognize my marriage that I am about to get?

      Jul 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayGOP
      GayGOP

      While this decision can be appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the Supreme Court, both of whom, I think, will probably take the case, I think that we can win at least 5 votes in the Supreme Court, because this is likely to sway one of the following conservatives: Roberts, Kennedy, and Alito, all of whom seem to be friendlier to gay rights than Thomas, who’s friendly to no rights, and Scalia, who’s openly hostile.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paschal
      Paschal

      I might as well give some more good news. Seanad Éireann (the Irish upper house) has passed the ”Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2009” by a vote of 48-4 today. Three members of the main governing party resigned the party whip so they wouldn’t have to support the bill. There were some great contributions.

      The bill passed Dáil Éireann (the lower house) without a vote on 1 July. The bill now goes to the president. Remember that Ireland only legalised male homosexuality in the summer of 1993. It, however, does not grant the right of marriage equality or recognise the children of gay couples properly. (There is SOME recognition in the bill but not much). People need to keep fighting for fair and equal treatment for gay couples and their families.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      This case will (and should) be appealed. If it isn’t, the judgment is only binding to within the purview of the district court. So let’s not get our knickers in a twist when the DOJ appeals it (unless of course, they compare our relationships to incest again).

      I also believe that of all the cases regarding same-sex marriage, this one has the best chance of winning. I can’t see Kennedy voting against this, and TBH I wouldn’t be totally shocked if a few of the conservatives recognized what a brazen violation of the 10th Amendment section 3 of DOMA is.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dfrw
      dfrw

      I am sure the Republicans and some of the Democrats are going to howl, but it looks like a favorable states’ rights decision to me. You would think the Republicans would be thrilled, but somehow, I doubt they will be.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamison
      jamison

      Found this out through a friend’s facebook status. so happy YAY!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Ted: Ted, there’s a picture of Obama on here not because he’s going to try to “take credit” for this judicial ruling (although he’d be wise to come around and say that the DOJ gave it a fair shot but the end result is right), but because Queerty is taking delight in the fact that DOJ was defending DOMA in this suit, and as DOJ is part of the executive branch, Obama is technically in charge of it. It’s more of their “Obama hates gays” crap.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      It’s good news, of course, but QUEERTY’s statement about one point isn’t quite right (which probably reflects trying to get an item out quickly).

      QUEERTY wrote, “All along, the government’s lawyers, led by DoJ attorney W. Scott Simpson, arguing that even though Obama ‘disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy and would like to see it repealed,’ that position ‘does not affect its constitutionality.’ Wrong, says Judge Tauro.”

      Except, Judge Tauro did not say that and that particular statement by Scott Simpson is 100% correct: the president’s opinion on a law, whether in favor of it or opposed to it, does not affect the law’s constitutionality.

      The DoJ’s arguments in favor of DOMA may be wrong, but not that specific statement.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Black Pegasus
      Black Pegasus

      On September 21, 1996 BILL CLINTON signed DOMA into Law!
      Why the hell is President Obama’s Picture on this story??!

      Oh I forgot; this is Queerty.. A place where hate mongering for the President is common place. Truths and Logic Be Damned! Any excuse to demonize Obama will suffice.

      Damn Shame!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jorge
      Jorge

      Mary is amazing. She does great work. Her family should be so proud.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CJ
      CJ

      I always knew that the courts would be deciding these things.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      ost americans really have absolutely no idea what the job of the DOJ is to do…

      All DOJ under any administration whether they agree with the laws or not have to advocate with very little exception, the position of the federal government AT THE TIME IT WAS ENACTED, there is wiggle room yes, but this is how the DOJ and how our government has operated for quite a while, take a look back through some cases the DOJ undertook under Bush or Clinton, you’ll notice that they too advocated in cases that the president didn’t necessarily agreed with!!!!

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier
      Lanjier

      Fucking Obama, Rahm and Messina. They just could not ride this train to success and secure every gay vote for the Democratic Party for a generation. No! Not them. They have to scatter like frightened alley cat kittens scared off by a drunken John Boehner and an addled old McCain.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier
      Lanjier

      Just read the opinion, in which the Administration was the party AGAINST THE GAY PLAINTIFFS. It is a must-read.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james_from_the_great_city_of_cambridge
      james_from_the_great_city_of_cambridge

      @Republican: In many ways, Nixon was to the left of Karl Marx. He wanted a national health care plan, one that was much more government run than the one just passed, he created the environmental protection agency, he imposed wage and price controls…he could probably get elected as a Liberal Democrat in Massachusetts today but his economic policies would make him a a pariah in today’s fascist Republican Party.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      Um, maybe they chose that picture because it features Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose case against the government was folded into this one, as described in the story? Just perhaps?

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brown Gay Al
      Brown Gay Al

      Contrary to the expectations of most people here I believe Scalia will vote in favor of ruling if it comes to the SC. Alito, Roberts will vote no. Look at Doe v Reed.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concernedcitizen
      concernedcitizen

      @Brown Gay Al: Have you read his dissent in Texas v Lawrence it’s worth the read… Although I’m not sure of his stance on state’s rights which would be more relevant than this case…

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tricky
      Tricky

      I think that when this gets to the Supremes, Kennedy will be our best shot. And to all of you people that continue to diss the President consider this, If this case had been “defended” by the Bush administration versus Obama’s, there would have been a more vigorous defense of this discriminatory law. As it stands, Obama’s Justice Department had to defend the law, because they are required to. However they are not required to defend it by pulling out all the stops. Now we will see if Obama’s Justice Department decides to appeal.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Markie-Mark
      Markie-Mark

      Just for the record: When someone tells you that the President MUST defend all laws, they are LYING. It is not true. Any president can decline to defend any law in court.

      Also, the only way that this ruling will be appealed is if Obama’s Dept. of Justice appeals it.

      Finally, if someone doesn’t like Queerty’s editorial policy on Obama they are FREE to not visit this site. There are plenty of sites that adulate Him. Go to one of those sites and bask in it.

      Thank you.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 27 · Tricky wrote, “As it stands, Obama’s Justice Department had to defend the law, because they are required to. However they are not required to defend it by pulling out all the stops.”

      Exactly – I hope they do more or less what Jerry Brown did regarding Proposition Eight – he acted as the state’s attorney and simply fulfilled the responsibilities of his office.

      Jerry Brown made no anti-gay statements and simply “defended” Proposition Eight by arguing that it was in fact legally an amendment to the constitution and not a revision (which is what the plaintiffs claimed). However, when the California Supreme Court asked Brown for an opinion, he provided what his attorneys thought was a sound legal argument against Proposition Eight (Brown opposed Proposition Eight, but on different grounds than the ones the plaintiffs used).

      His responsibilities include defending the laws of the state of California in court but also include defending the state constitution. He did that appropriately, arguing about legal issues and not demonizing a minority.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      The only reason the plaintiffs succeeded was because the defense did not vigorously defend the law (they themselves do not believe in its constitutionality).
      Had it been a George W Bush DoJ, with all the rabid, religious, right-wing lawyers on board this may have well been a different story.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Markie-Mark
      Markie-Mark

      @B: Jerry Brown refused to defend Proposition 8 in the trial. And the Gov. refused to defend it in the trial also.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 30 · tjr101 wrote, “The only reason the plaintiffs succeeded was because the defense did not vigorously defend the law (they themselves do not believe in its constitutionality).”

      LOL – the “defense”, the DoJ, has an obligation to defend U.S. laws but they do not have to offer disingenuous arguments or demonize minorities. Given a responsibility to defend the laws of the U.S., which includes the U.S Constitution, the DoJ’s responsibility is to offer the most sound legal argument in favor of a U.S. law but to also point out any possible conflict with the U.S. constitution that a court may have to resolve (unless the defense does that for them).

      The DoJ’s responsibility is not to win at all costs, but to see that constitutional laws are upheld and that unconstitutional ones are removed – that is what is in their client’s interests (their client is the U.S. government, which is supposed to represent all of us).

      Jul 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Markie-Mark
      Markie-Mark

      The US Constitution says the Presidend must defend the Constitution and uphold the law (which is interpreted to mean enforce). Nowhere does it say the President must defend a law, especially when the law is unconstitutional.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wannabegay2
      wannabegay2

      i’m so happy for this decision… my question would be: would this affect everything? i’m assuming the answer is yes, because once DOMA is unconstitutional (federally), it affects california, iowa, mass, and all the other states that have gay marriage. the problem is that this will create a bit of chaos, given the fact that the decision will influence immigration issues, the census, and every other area where gays are discriminated against.

      Jul 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roger Rabbit
      Roger Rabbit

      It should revolutionize the Gay issues in regards to Immigration. This might actually he.p the Federal Gov not have to push that issue in the immigration reform because it can be rolled into this, thus taking some of the pressure off of it.

      Keeping my fingers crossed!

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Huzzah! A big win for decency and rationality and a poke in the eye for bigots like Obama and Clinton.

      At one point in this career as a ‘paid for by the highest bidder’ political hustler Obama supported same sex marriage, He soon changed his position to pander to christian bigots. In 2008 his campaign was centered on stealing the bigot vote from the Republicans and he succeeded to a large extent.

      His director of bigot outreach, Josh Dubois, utilized tent meetings featuring bigoted christer scum like MaryMary and Donnie McClurkin and the bigotfest at the California megachurch of megabigot Rick Warren. There, and on MTV Obama deliberately and consciously did everything he could to sabotage same sex marriage by repeatedly trumpeting this opposition to it because ‘gawd’s in the mix.’

      The question of the day is will Obama, true to his bigoted opposition to same sex marriage continue, as he did in this case, to defend Bill Clintons bigoted DOMA as it works its way through the courts. My guess is that he will and that his DoJ will continue to use vile bigoted language to defend it, because really there are no defenses for bigotry except more bigotry which is all we’ve seen from Obama.

      1996, Clinton signs DOMA…
      [img]http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341bfae553ef011570c298be970b-800wi[/img]

      2008, Obama and another bigot destroy our chances to keep same sex marriage…
      [img]http://cinie.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/0145130750085obama-warren.jpg[/img]

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I called the Democratic National Committee and told them they should send a message to Obama loud and clear: if his Department of Justice further appeals this decision, I will *not* make any financial contributions to the DNC or to Democratic candidates during the (very tight) upcoming November elections. Obama has fulfilled his constitutional obligations by defending the existing statute once; he does not need to further drag the matter through the judicial system. Contact the DNC and let your feelings about this matter be known. It is absurd that Obama should, on the one hand, ask us for our money but, on the other hand, fight against our rights under the ridiculous pretense that he is fulfilling some sort of obligation. It’s insulting and demeaning. His fundamental responsibility, as our president is *to do the right thing*.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John (CA)
      John (CA)

      Governments don’t have to defend unconstitutional laws vigorously at all. Their function is to protect the integrity of the system. Typically, they will come down on the side of current law – at least initially – because it was legitimately enacted. But they do, on occasion, side with the challenger or change their mind during the process of litigation. It not written in stone that the government must always defend the status quo no matter how absurdly stupid it is.

      Just a few examples of self-correction:

      – In the summer of 2003, Canada’s federal government loss a bunch (3) of same-sex marriage cases at the appellate court level and decided to quit. Instead of appealing to the Canadian Supreme Court or waiting for courts in the other seven provinces to weigh in, the Prime Minister simply adopted the appellate court rulings as “government policy” and asked the judiciary to give him sufficient time to amend the marriage statute. They agreed and two years later the Civil Marriage Act was amended to include gay and lesbian couples.

      – When a South African appeals court declared the country’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in 2004, President Mbeki’s government immediately appealed to the Constitutional Court. But his solicitor general basically surrendered during oral arguments. The government conceded that the lack of recognition was “probably unconstitutional” and offered a weak promise to introduce civil unions. This defense – or lack thereof – outraged conservative Christians to such an extent that they hired their own lawyers to argue for the ban themselves at a separate hearing before the court.

      – Germany’s ban on homosexuals serving in leadership positions within the military was challenged by a soldier who was demoted when his commanding officer found out he was gay. He filed a lawsuit against the government. It caused the center-left government of Gerhard Schroder a whole lot of embarrassment. And before the case even went to trial, the Defense Ministry had reversed itself and reinstated him.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 38 · John (CA) wrote, “Governments don’t have to defend unconstitutional laws vigorously at all.” … please describe the decision procedure by which the DoJ can determine a priori if a law is constitutional or not (if they can, there would be no need for the courts to make a decision as we could do it by computer).

      Some cases are pretty clear cut, but others are not.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 36 · Bill Perdue wrote, “His director of bigot outreach, Josh Dubois, utilized tent meetings featuring bigoted christer scum like MaryMary and Donnie McClurkin and the bigotfest at the California megachurch of megabigot Rick Warren. There, and on MTV Obama deliberately and consciously did everything he could to sabotage same sex marriage by repeatedly trumpeting this opposition to it because ‘gawd’s in the mix.'”

      Really? Explain http://www.jewsonfirst.org/08a/obama_religion_attacked.html (“Christian Right Attacks Senator Barack Obama’s Christian Faith”).

      Or http://www.queerty.com/obama-prop-8-unnecessary-but-doesnt-believe-in-gay-marriage-20081103/ which quotes Obama (while running for office) as saying, “I’ve stated my opposition to this. I think [Prop 8 is] unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”

      Or try http://www.towleroad.com/2009/03/letter-from-barack-obama-went-unused-by-no-on-prop-8-campaign.html which points out that a letter from Barak Obama opposing Proposition Eight was not used by the no-on-eight campaign. Here’s a copy of the letter (copied from the URL cited above):

      Dear Friends,

      Thank you for the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club’s Pridc Breakfast and to congratulate you on continuing a legacy of success, stretching back thirty-six years. As one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the country, you have continually rallied to support Democratic candidates and causes, and have fought tirelessly to secure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT Americans in California and throughout the country.

      As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.

      For too long. issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.

      Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks. My thanks again to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club for allowing me to be a part of today’s celebration. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years, and I wish you all continued success.

      Sincerely,

      Barack Obama

      Jul 9, 2010 at 2:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      “B”, Queertys Fox News talking head, denies Obama torpodoed same sex marriage.

      Yes, “B”, really.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @Bill Perdue: Just go ahead & say it: You want Sàrah Pâlïn to be president! Time 4 u 2 come clean, dude!

      Jul 9, 2010 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @jeffree: Jeffree, it matters little which bigot wins – the Demobost bigot or the Republicans bigot.

      Both are bigots, and those who support them, like you. support bigotry.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 2:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’ acts as if that letter to the AB Toklas Club is somehow important. It’s not. It was a sop read at a breakfast meeting. It wasn’t used in an ad campaign by us or by the Demobots because they feared it would cost Obama votes. On the other hand Obama’s blatant bigotry about SSM was trumpeted on MTV by Obama and used by the religious right, scum like Rekers, in a huge media blitz near the end of the campaign.

      HRC, EQCA and No on 8, because they’re Demobots, never challenged Obama and never took the fight into ‘minority’ communities, who comprise the majority in California. They agandoned the field and what most people heard was that McCain adn Obama were opposed to same sex marriage. The polls reversed -we had been ahead until ‘gawd’s in the mix’ – and we lost. It was a close vote and one we should have won.

      Obama’s opposition to Prop 8 was tactical, his opposition to same sex marriage has always be strategy to get elected. In that regard he’s a clone of Clinton and Bush.

      ‘B’ wonders if Josh Dubois organized the bigot vote for Obama. He did. (1) Dubois’s payoff was the directorship of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships where he duplicates Karl Roves job of trading votes for bribes.

      According to Pew “President-elect Barack Obama made a concerted effort to reach out to people of faith… this outreach may have paid off on Election Day. Among nearly every religious group, the Democratic candidate received equal or higher levels of support compared with the 2004 Democratic nominee… Catholics, too, moved noticeably in a Democratic direction in 2008; overall, Catholics supported Obama over McCain by a nine-point margin (54% vs. 45%). By contrast, four years ago, Catholics favored Republican incumbent George W. Bush over Kerry by a five-point margin (52% to 47%).” http://pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/How-the-Faithful-Voted.aspx

      (1) Dubois’s payoff was the directorship of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships where he duplicates Karl Roves job of trading votes for bribes.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 3:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zzx
      zzx

      This is a thing of beauty, it is the paradise of the woman, man
      http://www.gucciusaoutlet.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=72&zenid=aa7cf3c1c03ba16b9ac00c8cd2a23ef2

      Jul 9, 2010 at 3:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joedee1969
      joedee1969

      This should be more prominent on this site. This is great news. Hawaii just took a step back the other day, so we needed it. BTW, our favorite bear is at it again but this time he made me cry. I thought it was so brave of him:

      http://americaspeaksink.com/2010/07/bp-oil-spill-revolutionary-war-lost-over-two-hundred-years-later/

      Jul 9, 2010 at 6:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @wannabegay2: This decision only affects Massachusetts, but if it’s appealed to the First Circuit and we win, it would affect the other states in that Circuit (Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island). It has to be appealed to (and won at) SCOTUS for it to apply nationwide.

      Also, it’s important to note what GLAD said in the article. This ruling DOESN’T require any new states to allow same-sex marriage. It only forces the feds to recognize same-sex marriages from those states that have chosen to make it available.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 7:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      I’m not going to defend the Obama administration’s sad record on supporting gay rights, but all you have to do is read the decision to see that the DOJ didn’t defend this 100%. The judge himself notes that the reasons Congress gave for passing DOMA – because children need a mom and a dad, to preserve morality, etc. – were NOT defended by the DOJ. As Queerty points out, the DOJ argued that DOMA was necessary based on administrative burden and the possibility of confusion from conflicting state laws, NOT because same-sex marriage is bad or wrong.

      Yes, it would have been nicer if they’d just refused to defend it at all. But given that he doesn’t have the guts to do that (it’s actually a pretty controversial thing to do – I can’t think of a President who has done it more than once), them only giving a half-assed defense and refusing to denigrate our relationships is the next best thing. I hope they DO appeal – and keep losing with half-assed arguments all the way to the Supreme Court!

      Jul 9, 2010 at 7:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thad
      thad

      If this case reaches SCOTUS will Kagan have to recuse herself from hearing it? She filed the brief defending DOMA as Solicitor General.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      I have a suggestion: How about we support the Progressive Dem’s whom actively fight for our rights, — like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whom I’m proud to call my Senator or Ron Wyden of Oregon, while making it clear to the DNC that any Democrats whom insist on putting civil rights on the back burner will not receive our support, or our 2 trillion dollar purchasing power.

      http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Gay_buying_power_to_hit_1_0626.html

      Jul 9, 2010 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      [img]http://canofwhupass.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ccc3253ef011570bf3c51970b-300wi[/img]

      Maggot is not amused! I hope she chokes on her bran muffin this morning………..

      Jul 9, 2010 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      PS: If you listen to lunatic rightwing radio (be advised keep it to a 30 minute maxium or your brain will rot), the rightwing strhaters are blowing circuits inside their empty heads non stop over this ruling. Its sooooo very interesting. They scream quite loudly about “prohibiting big government” and how “the feds need to stay the hell out of our lives”

      But yet when a ruling goes against their vile hatefull agenda suddenly they do a 180 turnaround and want “big government” to suddenly supercede the states rights………

      Jul 9, 2010 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Lanjier: The Administration was the party in favor of upholding governmental power.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Markie-Mark: “if someone doesn’t like Queerty’s editorial policy on Obama they are FREE to not visit this site. There are plenty of sites that adulate Him. Go to one of those sites and bask in it.”

      i’m also free to criticize that policy here in the comments. few other sites aggregate gay news the way Queerty does; there’s really no substitute.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Markie-Mark: “The US Constitution says the Presidend must defend the Constitution and uphold the law (which is interpreted to mean enforce). Nowhere does it say the President must defend a law, especially when the law is unconstitutional.”

      The law, once enacted, isn’t unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says it is, and it’s in everyone’s interest that the best arguments be made for — and against — a law’s validity.

      Imagine Al Gore had taken the Presidency and Congress had passed some great environmental or financial reform laws. If George W. Bush had come into office after Al Gore, and some conservative groups challenged the constitutionality of those laws, would you really be ok with George W. Bush telling DOJ, “Hey, let’s just not defend that law?”

      I know you have a particularly strong feeling about DOMA — so do I — but that doesn’t necessarily make us right. That’s what court is for.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • declanto
      declanto

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: If I could only “fan” you, darling! Are you married?

      Jul 9, 2010 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      If the DoJ doesn’t appeal this, is there any way it can still go to the 1st circuit or SCOTUS?

      Jul 9, 2010 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Andrew: It’s possible another group could intervene. I honestly don’t know what the rules are about that.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      This is great news. I love the way the ruling was worded. It establishes ath DOMA is prejudice pure and simple. It will help invalulably as the fight continues.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John (CA)
      John (CA)

      @B: As I noted above, the government typically sides with current law at the outset. As the defendant, they have to at least put up some sort of an argument for the law’s retention. However, it is not “a priori” for a government to say that they have thoughtfully and studiously reviewed a trial or appellate court’s decision. And that as a result of such a review, their views have evolved.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merlyn
      Merlyn

      This is good news indeed! I find it interesting that a Nixon-appointed judge has ruled in our favour. Of course, if I remember correctly, it was a Republican-majority SCOTUS that struck down the the Texas sodomy law. If this gets appealed and knowing the DOJ it probably will be, I think that if it gets to the SCOTUS, there is a fair chance that it will uphold the lower court decision.

      As for the poster who said that Queerty Obama bashes, he did promise quite a few things during his campaign–so far he has dragged his feet.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Merlyn: Walker is Bush Senior appointed.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 44 · Bill Perdue wrote, “‘B’ acts as if that letter to the AB Toklas Club is somehow important. It’s not. It was a sop read at a breakfast meeting. It wasn’t used in an ad campaign by us or by the Demobots because they feared it would cost Obama votes.”

      LOL – I pointed it out because it contradicts Bill Perdue’s hypothesis! Even funnier, the Alice B Toklas Democratic Club is about as “left wing” as you can find. It has been around since shortly after Stonewall. Read http://www.alicebtoklas.org/history-of-alice/ for its (self-described) history. After reading that, you’ll realize that it is absurd to claim that this group of activists would avoid using that letter if at all possible (the group doesn’t have a major budget and can’t widely advertise on its own, so it was the “No on Eight” campaign that most likely dropped the ball). The idea that it would “cost Obama votes” is ludicrous – Obama had publicly stated on national TV that he opposed Proposition Eight, stating the reason, although he was not (personally) in favor of same-sex marriage (I guess that his opposition to same-sex marriage was for public consumption, but the actual message is that one’s personal discomfort with something is not a reason to target a minority for adverse treatment).

      The Perdue claims, “HRC, EQCA and No on 8, because they’re Demobots, never challenged Obama and never took the fight into ‘minority’ communities, who comprise the majority in California,” which is another factually challenged statement – in late September or early October, I went to a fundraiser and what the “experts” said was that their focus group studies showed that people could be easily swayed to vote in favor of Proposition Eight given the sorts of arguments they expected from the “Yes on Eight” campaign, and that the “No on Eight” side was short on money. More flowed in, but by the time the extra funding was available, it was late. When you are strapped for resources, you don’t get to do everything you’d like to do. Even funnier, when I pointed out (on a different discussion) that statistical data showed how the “No on Eight” side had failed to reach minorities, Bill Perdue screamed “racism”. Let’s see if he applies his own criteria to himself.

      Next Perdue claims “Obama’s opposition to Prop 8 was tactical, his opposition to same sex marriage has always be strategy to get elected. In that regard he’s a clone of Clinton and Bush.” This is simply an unsubstantiated assertion on Perdue’s part – something he has no evidence of – you’d have to have been in high-level campaign discussions to know what was tactical versus what was strategic. If he has some evidence, he needs a citation, and not one to something he himself wrote or to some other random person’s opinion.

      Then Perdue says, “‘B’ wonders if Josh Dubois organized the bigot vote for Obama,” which is just another example of him putting words in people’s mouths. I never said anything about Josh Dubois at all (I merely quoted Bill Perdue’s statement that mentioned him) but talked about whether Obama was trying to “sabotage same sex marriage by repeatedly trumpeting this opposition to it” as Perdue falsely claimed. In fact, Obama hardly mentioned same-sex marriage at all. Why would he when we were in the middle of an economic meltdown, not to mention the health-care issue, something of far more concern to the vast majority of voters?

      Jul 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      The next step will be critical. While many people are asking Obama not to appeal, an appeal really is necessary. If the two judgments are not appealed, then they apply only to the specific cases, and have no “precedent” value. But, if either or both is appealed, and the appeals court upholds the trial judge, then they will have “precedent” value. The scope of the precedent depends on how high up the appeals process it goes.

      If the Supreme Court upholds the judgment, then the precedent will apply nationwide. That’s really what we want. Probably the best thing that could happen would be for the government to appeal, but then to lose the appeal, twice. Once at the circuit level, and a second time at the Supreme Court level.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronbo
      Ronbo

      How long untill the Religious Bigot, Obama, declairs that this was a mistake. Fuck Obama and the whore (democrats) he rode in on. Again, I hope the bitch (Obama) cries when he takes it up his arse (history). Obama is a religious bigot deserving pain and excommnication.

      Fuck the Democrats.
      Fuck the Republicans.

      I’d rather go with the Greens (and lose) than win with sonmeone who will fuck me at each and every opportunity.

      Jul 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @B: No Democrats with any influence are ‘left wing’. The Democrat Party is run by homohaters like the Clintons and Obama. Groups like the Toklas and other Stonewall Democrats are as impotent and irrelevant in their party as the GOProud and Log Cabin are the theirs

      Jul 10, 2010 at 1:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’, our resident Fox News talking head’s interpretation of the vote on Prop 8 claimed that African American votes were a substantial reason for our loss there. That’s a racist lie.

      Pointing our that Obama’s ‘gawd’s in the mix’ bidotry was a key factor is not racist, it’s just the truth.

      Jul 10, 2010 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Bill Perdue,

      In fact, as a class, African-Americans did vote against our rights in California. They may not be the only class of people who are responsible for oppresssing us, but they are an important component of the homophobic and anti-gay voting bloc.

      I’m not saying that all individual blacks are homphobic and anti-gay. However, it can’t be denied that many of them are and that, as a class of people, their homophobic and anti-gay attitudes are greater than other classes based on skin color.

      Jul 10, 2010 at 1:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @jason: The eligible African American eligible vote in California was around 6% in 2004. Of those an unknown percentage voted, probably high because Obama was on the ballot. I don’t know what the eligible vs. actual vote was in 2008. Of that smaller group the vote was 59% for and 41% against Prop 8. The support of Euroamericans, particularly rabid bigoted religious types like mormons, catholics and southern baptists galvanized by Yes on 8’s campaign to quote Obama’s “gawd’s in the mix” is the key factor in why we lost.

      I am not saying that AA’s didn’t vote against us. They did, but in numbers too small to have hand a major effect. That’s true even if you cook the statistics like ‘B’ does, claiming that we should look at their impact not as part of the 52% overall yes vote, but as part of 2% of the vote. That racist nonsense is obviously meant to exaggerate the vote of Blacks and appeal to racism.

      Much of that vote is the fault of HRC, EQCA and No on 8, who abandoned the field in minority communities to religious bigots and ran a Eurocentric campaign. That was fatal in a state where minorities are the majority, as I said both before and after the vote in threads at Queerty and other LGBT sites.

      Jul 10, 2010 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac
      Isaac

      @jason: Why do you keep focusing on African Americans in that election? Blacks were 10% at most of the electorate in the California vote. Married people voted in large percentages for Prop 8, people with children, evangelical christians voted in HUGE majorities for Prop 8, conservatives, people over 55, people with less than a high school education, and people whose incomes were under $40k voted in majorities for Prop 8. These are just some of the “classes” of “classes” of people who voted in majorities for Prop 8, and any number of them, if you counted their shear numbers, would have outnumbered the number of African Americans who voted for Prop 8. If African Americans had voted the same percentages as whites, Prop 8 would still have passed. It’s like complaining of a mosquito bite when a dog has just mauled your hand off!

      So again, why are you singling out African Americans on this issue, but not other “classes” that could have had more of an effect on the outcome of that vote? I think it shows more of a fixation on your part than anything else.

      Jul 10, 2010 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @Isaac: Jason is mentally ill. Ignore him.

      Jul 10, 2010 at 3:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 66 · Bill Perdue wrote, “@B: No Democrats with any influence are ‘left wing’. The Democrat Party is run by homohaters like the Clintons and Obama. Groups like the Toklas and other Stonewall Democrats are as impotent and irrelevant in their party as the GOProud and Log Cabin are the theirs.”

      Perdue is once again trying to change the subject to cover up how factually challenged his statements are – he seems incapable of holding an honest discussion. The discussion was about a letter that the Alice B. Toklas Democratic club received. In No. 44, Perdue said, “It wasn’t used in an ad campaign by us or by the Demobots because they feared it would cost Obama votes.” But the group that received the letter is definitely left wing (left leaning by San Francisco standards) and is not the sort of group to “play ball” with a party establishment.

      I wrote in No. 63 that “the Alice B Toklas Democratic Club is about as ‘left wing’ as you can find. It has been around since shortly after Stonewall. Read http://www.alicebtoklas.org/history-of-alice/ for its (self-described) history. After reading that, you’ll realize that it is absurd to claim that this group of activists would avoid using that letter if at all possible (the group doesn’t have a major budget and can’t widely advertise on its own, so it was the ‘No on Eight’ campaign that most likely dropped the ball).”

      Perdue continually misrepresents what others have said. Why is that?

      Jul 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 67, cyberstalker Bill Perdue continues his bald-faced lies as part of his personal vendetta.

      The facts can be found in http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Prop%208%20Report.pdf . 58% of Blacks voted in favor of Proposition Eight, with a multivariate analysis showing that the main factor for the excess Black vote in favor of Proposition Eight was attendance at religious services rather that race or ethnicity. The 8% margin, scaled by the 7% Black population of California, makes up 28% of the 2% margin by which Proposition Eight passed. Since the goal is get rid of that 2% margin, noticing that a specific demographic group made up 28% of it for a specific reason is very useful information to have.

      Bill Perdue does not want that fact mentioned. Sensible people, however, do pay attention to it – it is probably part of the motivation for Mark Leno’s bill that explicitly excludes religious bodies from having to perform same-sex marriages (the court ruled that this was the case when Proposition 22 was overturned, but religious people were being fooled by the propaganda, so politically it is worth having a law to point to rather than a sentence in a several-hundred-page court ruling).

      Pointing out statistical data is not “racist” – that Bill Perdue is reduced to making such claims shows as part of a continual, on-going series of personal attacks just how emotionally damaged Bill Perdue is – he obviously needs professional help for his issues.

      Jul 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Just like clockwork, when ‘B’ loses another argument he start whining about vendettas. This time I proved he was cooking the statistics to excite racist sentiment.

      Too bad if he’s miffed and vexed. That’s what he gets for pimping for everything that’s right wing.

      Jul 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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