USA: Prop 8 / Defense of Marriage Act Updates 4/3/13

Written by scott on April 3rd, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActMore Prop 8 / Defense of Marriage Act news and analysis.

First off, at the Washington Blade, Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal, draws three lessons from the Supreme Court hearings:

First: We’ve come a very long way in a very short period of time. The Prop 8 argument took place exactly 10 years after arguments were heard in Lambda Legal’s Lawrence v. Texas case, which held the country’s remaining state sodomy laws unconstitutional. In 10 short years, we have moved from having 13 states that criminalized our sexual intimacy and none that provided our relationships any form of legal recognition to now having nine states and the District Columbia that allow same-sex couples to marry and nine more that provide same-sex couples virtually all the state law rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Second: This particular fight is not yet over. Notwithstanding Time magazine’s recent cover proclaiming “Gay Marriage Already Won,” at least with respect to these lawsuits, the arguments made clear that some justices whose votes are likely to be critical have not fully made up their minds.

Finally: Even a sweeping victory in these cases will not end our work. While ending bans on same-sex couples marrying has been an important goal for the movement, we need to continue fighting for the full civil rights of all people, married or not, as well as for the rights of transgender people, people living with HIV, LGBT parents and workers, those who are incarcerated or poor and our youth and elders.

Click the link above for the details.

Next, The Washington Blade reports on the flap HRC finds itself in after reportedly telling someone holding a transgender flag to put it down at the Supreme Court Rally:

LGBT rights advocates have criticized the Human Rights Campaign after a staffer reportedly asked a man not to waive a transgender flag during a pro-gay marriage rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27. Former National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jerame Davis wrote on Bilerico that he witnessed an HRC staffer and another person “having a less-than-friendly discussion.” Jerssay Arredondo of United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project also claimed the organization removed references to his immigration status from the speech he gave at the same rally.

HRC has since apologized. At the vigil we attended in San Francisco, the transgender community was openly welcomed and praised for everything they’ve done for the movement, from Stonewall to today.

The Blade also talks about a forum on the hearings to be held in DC this month:

Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Walter Dellinger and nationally recognized LGBT rights attorney Paul M. Smith are scheduled to speak at a forum in D.C. on April 15 titled, “After the Arguments: DOMA and Prop 8.” The D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the Human Rights Campaign are hosting the event, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the HRC building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W. Commentator Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post, who’s gay, will serve as moderator.

And finally, also at the Blade, Chris Johnson speculates on how each of the Justices might rule individually:

In addition to examining their comments during the arguments, the Blade has looked at how they ruled in other high-profile gay rights cases. One is the 1996 case of Romer v. Evans in which the Supreme Court struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, which would have prohibited municipalities from passing non-discrimination ordinances protecting LGBT people. Another is the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas in which the Supreme Court struck down state sodomy laws. The Blade also looked at the court ruling in the 2010 case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. In that case, the court upheld the Hastings College of Law’s non-discrimination policy against a challenge from Hastings Christian Fellowship, which sought to overturn the policy to maintain its status as an official school group while prohibiting LGBT people from holding positions as officers.

Two or three more months…


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