USA: Prop 8/DOMA Marriage Equality Case Update #2 3/9/13

Written by scott on March 9th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActA little more trickling in on the Prop 8 / Defense of Marriage Act cases before the US Supreme Court this month.

The Washington Post looks at one of the couples behind the Prop 8 challenge:

Jeff Zarrillo, 39, manages the big multiplex movie theater in downtown Burbank, and Paul Katami, 40, is a fitness instructor. They have lived for nine years in a small but handsome house just past the second speed bump on a quiet, suburban street. It is a neighborhood where American flags are plentiful and interest in the school board election appears high… “They are a real couple,” said Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group organized to challenge Prop 8. “They live in a house in the suburbs, with kids going by on skateboards and playing catch in the front yard, and they’ve got their two dogs and they go to work. It’s so remarkably normal in a way, and I think that’s what’s so powerful about it.”

GayUSA reports that DOMA blocks gay couples from receiving survivor benefits from Social Security:

On average, the surviving spouse in a same-sex union is denied an average of $1,184 in monthly survivor benefits, according to a new report released last week from Human Rights Campaign and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare.

LGBTQ Nation reports that the FRC is lying about the recent Obama brief on Prop 8:

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the Family Research Council was repeating a lie that the Obama Administration declared war on mothers in its Supreme Court brief against the California anti-marriage equality law, Prop 8. This week, FRC took that lie further via an employee, Kenneth Blackwell, in a recent piece he wrote, Obama Drops His Family Friendly Mask.

And the Huffington Post reports that a Supreme Court victory could have tangible financial dividends for gay and lesbian couples:

Part of the urgency for couples to act stems from deadlines established under the U.S. tax code, which gives taxpayers three years to file protective claims for income and estate tax refunds. Same-sex couples or surviving spouses who were legally married before or during 2009 would therefore have until April 15 of this year to submit amended returns claiming overpayments on income for that tax year, said Vickie Henry, a senior staff attorney at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. At the time, gay unions were legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont, and briefly had been in California. New York and the District of Columbia, which have since legalized same-sex unions, also recognized marriages performed in other states or countries.

Individual cases vary, but for some couples the savings could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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