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USA: The Top 15 Benefits Married Gay and Lesbian Couples Can Now Receive

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Taxes and LGBT CouplesNow that DOMA section 3 has been struck down, legally married gays and lesbians are eligible for 1,138 federal benefits they didn;t have access to before. LGBT Weekly runs down a list of some of the biggest:

Everyone knows that the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That means married same-sex couples now qualify for the 1,100+ federal benefits that were previously denied to them. We can’t go through them all, so here are my top 15 benefits for married same-sex couples:

IRA and Roth IRA contributions can be made for a non-working spouse.

A deceased spouse’s retirement accounts such as 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s and IRA’s will now automatically transfer to the surviving spouse.

See the rest of the tips at the link above.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: After DOMA

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

DOMA OverIn the Wake f Section 3 of DOMA being struck down by the US Supreme Court in late May, we have a couple follow-up stories for you.

First off, there are still some DOMA Cases out there that are slowly being wrapped up. Scottie Thompson at Equality on Trial reports:

Now that the Supreme Court has decided United States v. Windsor, the challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), some cases in the lower courts are beginning to wrap up; in situations where the end of Section 3 of DOMA doesn’t resolve all the issues presented – such as other immigration statutes or Section 2 of DOMA, soem cases are beginning their next stages. First, in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the case in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional, the First Circuit has issued its mandate, ending its involvement in the case. Since the judgment of the First Circuit and the Supreme Court are the same, the plaintiffs win. Issuance of the mandate in this case also means that another challenge to Section 3 of DOMA, McLaughlin v. Panetta, may continue. This is a military-related DOMA challenge in the district court, and it was on hold pending the First Circuit’s mandate.

Read the whole article for more cases and details at the link above.

Also, over at Gay City News, Duncan Osborne reports on hurdles implementing the DOMA Decision. Gay City News reports:

Some Social Security benefits and rights under copyright law operate under statutes defining marriage according to the law of the state of domicile — that is, the state that the person seeking the benefit or right lives in. Changing those could require legislation. Currently, 35 states have explicit legal bans on allowing or recognizing same-sex marriages.

Some agencies and laws, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Family and Medical Leave Act, use state of domicile to define marriage, but by regulation, not statute, so changes there could come from issuing new regulations. Some agencies have a mix of regulations and law defining marriage.

Still others, such as the Internal Revenue Service, have a longstanding practice of using state of domicile to define marriage, but no regulations or statutes requiring that so they may have to merely issue a new guidance to employees and perhaps retrain them.

It’s gonna be a rocky road for awhile while this all gets sorted out in the federal government and in the courts.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Are Same Sex Marriage Bans Now Illegal?

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Gay Wedding - RingsWhile gay-rights advocates indisputably won decisive victories in each of the two blockbuster cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, one on the merits and the other via a backdoor, procedural ruling, one key question still remains. That’s the big enchilada: Can a state constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, as 37 currently do?

While the Court could have resolved that question in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, which challenged the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, it didn’t. Instead, it found, 5-4, that the particular parties challenging the initiative at the appellate stage lacked “standing” to do so. (The nonruling left in place a lower court opinion that had invalidated Prop 8, handing California gay-rights advocates a statewide victory.)

Needless to say, there has been much speculation about what might have been, if the Court had reached the merits.

Authored By Roger Parloff – See the Full Story at CNN Money

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USA, Michigan: Ruling Cites DOMA Repeal in Protecting Domestic Partnership Benefits

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

DOMA OverThe repeal of DOMA is already being applied in a court in Michigan. Zack Ford at Think Progress reports:

The landmark case United States v. Windsor overturning the Defense of Marriage Act may only have been decided Wednesday, but it has already been applied in another case. Five same-sex couples sued the state of Michigan challenging Public Act 297, a law banning the same-sex partners of state employees from receiving medical benefits. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson issued an injunction against the law preventing it from taking effect because it violated the couples’ equal protection under the law. Lawson cited Windsor to explain that the intent behind Public Act 297 was discrimination against gays and lesbians.

I think we’re going to see this scene repeated over and over across the USA until we have full marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

USA: Office of Personnel Management Lays Out New Guidelines for Federal Benefits for Gay Employees

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Office of Personnel Management - USAThings they are a changin’ – and fast. The OPM just released new guidelines for married gay employees, detailing some of the benefits they are now eligible for. The Washington Blade reports:

Gay federal employees in legal same-sex marriages will be eligible immediately for health and pension benefits in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, according to a new memo from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The memorandum, dated June 28 and signed by OPM acting director Elaine Kaplan, identifies five new areas of benefits that will be available after the court decision for the legal spouses as well as newly qualified children and stepchildren of gay federal employees.

Benefits included in the memo are health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision insurance, retirement benefits, and access to flexible spending accounts for health-related costs.

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USA: How Will DOMA Ruling Affect Obamacare?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

DOMA OverIn one of the unintended side effects of the repeal of DOMA, some same sex couples could pay more for health care. WonkBlog reports:

This brings us back to DOMA: With the United States recognizing same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple can be counted by the federal government as one family unit. Instead of two separate individuals applying for health benefits, each judged by the federal poverty line for one person, they’re now a team. Their federal poverty line is $15,510. What does this mean for same-sex couples? A preliminary analysis from tax firm Jackson Hewitt suggest it largely depends on what each person earns. A couple where both have similar earnings could stand to lose out, as combining their incomes would put them above the 400 percent federal poverty level threshold for receiving benefits.

But the benefits of equality still far outweigh the few downsides.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Binational Same Sex Couples Can Now Get Green Cards

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

DOMA OverNow that the US Supreme Court has struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, American citizens can sponsor their same-sex partners from other countries for a green card and eventually for citizenship. Joe.My.God reports:

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling striking down a core provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), lesbian and gay Americans will now be eligible to apply for green cards on behalf of their foreign national spouses, the organization Immigration Equality announced today. The court ruled today, in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from conferring benefits to married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. That provision of the law made it impossible for lesbian and gay couples to receive immigration benefits, including green cards.

While this is certain to be a relief for many couples, it doesn’t undo the damage the policy has done in the past to so many binational couples.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Day of Decision Events Today!!!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

San Francisco Marriage Equality RallyToday is the day to celebrate!!! Marriage Equality USA has put together a great set of events in 35 states far. Here’s our list of events – you can also see the current list at the United for Marriage: Decision Day site.

Note: Most of the events are today.

 

  • USA, AK, Anchorage: Jun 27, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 7th & C Sts, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, AK, Fairbanks: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Court House, 5:30-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, AK, Juneau: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Court House, 5:30-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Birmingham: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Al’s on 7th, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Florence: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Sweet Magnolia Cafe, 8 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Huntsville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Big Spring Park, 6-7 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Huntsville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Partners Bar & Grill, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Mobile: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, B-Bob’s, 8 PM. Details

  • USA, AL, Tuscaloosa: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Icon, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, AR, Fayetteville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner Dickson St/N. College Ave, 4-7 PM. Details

  • USA, AZ, Phoenix: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 24th St/Camelback Rd, 6:30-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, AZ, Phoenix: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, Bakersfield: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, 5-8 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Chico: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Contra Costa: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Rainbow Comm Ctr, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Eureka: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Arcata Plaza & Eureka Courthouse, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Fairfield: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Solano County Government Center, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Fremont: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Mission Peak Unitarian Univ Church, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Fresno: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6-8 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Guerneville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Flag pole in downtown, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Hanford: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Civic Park, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Healdsburg: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Healdsburg Bar & Grill, 7:30-10:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Lancaster/Palmdale: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 15th Street West and Avenue K, 6-8 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Long Beach: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, The Grand, Long Beach Event Center, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Merced: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Bob Hart Square, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Modesto: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, College Ave Cong Unitarian Chutch, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Mountain View: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Mountain View CalTrain station, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Napa: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Historical Society, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Newbury Park: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, CVUUF Community Forum, 7-10 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Oakland: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Uptown Art Park, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Palm Springs: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Tahquitz and Palm Canyon , 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Porterville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, Rancho Cucamonga: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Foothill And Day Creek, 8:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Redwood City: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, San Mateo County Clerk’s Office, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Riverside: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 7th (Mission Inn Avenue) and Lemon, TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, Sacramento: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, West Steps of the Capitol, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, San Diego: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Hillcrest Pride Flagpole, 5-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, San Francisco: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Casto & Market, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, San Luis Obispo: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 1060 Palm St., TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, Santa Ana: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Santa Barbara: Jun 26, Day of Decision Community Gathering, County Courthouse, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Santa Clarita: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Santa Cruz: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Santa Cruz County Courthouse Steps, 5:30-7 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Santa Cruz: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, CA, Vallejo: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, Vallejo: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details

  • USA, CA, West Hollywood: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, San Vicente and Santa Monica Blvd, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, CO, Denver: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol, 8 AM-9 PM. Details

  • USA, DC, Washington DC: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Supreme Court, 10 AM. Details

  • USA, DC, Washington DC: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Freedom Plaza, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, DC, Washington DC: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Nellie’s Sports Bar, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, DC, Washington DC: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Lunch, 201 Bar, 11:30 AM. Details

  • USA, DE, Rehoboth Beach: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Camp Rehoboth Comm Ctr, All Day. Details

  • USA, DE, Wilmington: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Timothy’s Riverfront Grill, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Ft. Lauderdale: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 2040 N. Dixie Highway, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Jacksonville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Hemming Plaza, 7-9:30 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Key West: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, La Te Da, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Miami: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, LGBT Visitors Center, 6-8 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Orlando: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Lake Eola Bandshell, 6:30-8:30 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Pensacola: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, US District Court, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, St. Petersburg: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, North Straub Park, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Tallahassee: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Old State Capitol Building, 4:30-6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, Tampa: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Federal Courthouse, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, FL, West Palm Beach: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall/Library, 4 PM. Details

  • USA, GA, Atlanta: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner 10th/Piedmont, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, GA, Savannah: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Wright Square, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, HI, Honolulu: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details

  • USA, IA, Ames: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Tom Evans Plaza, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, IA, Cedar Falls: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner Main/University, 5:30-6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, IA, Cedar Rapids: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Linn County Courthouse, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, IA, Davenport: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Unitarian Church, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, IA, Des Moines: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, IA, Mason City: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Central Park, 7-10 PM. Details

  • USA, ID, Boise: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Community Ctr, 5:30-8:30 PM. Details

  • USA, IL, Chicago: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 3403 N. Halstead St., 7 PM. Details

  • USA, IL, Urbana: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Corner Green St/Wright St, 7-8 PM. Details

  • USA, IN, Bloomington: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Monroe County Courthouse, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, IN, Indianapolis: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State House, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, IN, Lafayette: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, TBD, TBD. Details

  • USA, IN, Lafayette: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, John T. Myers ped Bridge, 6-6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, KS, Hutchinson: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Avenue A Park, 5:30-9 PM. Details

  • USA, KY, Frankfort: Jun 26, United for Marriage Rally, State Capitol Building, 11 AM.

  • USA, MA, Boston: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Lir, 903 Boylston St., 6-8:30 PM. Details

  • USA, MA, Cambridge: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Cambridge City Hall, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, MI, Ann Arbor: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Jim Toy Comm Ctr, 4 PM. Details

  • USA, MI, Detroit: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Geary Park, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, MI, Ferndale: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Forum, LGBTQ Comm Ctr, 3 PM. Details

  • USA, MI, Grad Rapids: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Meeting, Fountain Street Church, 6-8 PM. Details

  • USA, MI, Lansing: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, P Squared, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, MO, Kansas City: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, 9th & Oak, 5:30-6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, MO, Springfirld: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, GLO Center, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, MO, St. Louis: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, LGBT Center, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Asheville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, First Cong. UCC, 6:30-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Charlotte: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Independence Square, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Greenville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Pitt County Court House, 6 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Raleigh: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Pullen Mem Baptist Church, 8-9 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Wilson: Jun 27, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Video Presentation, Golden Corral, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, NC, Winston-Salem: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Winston Square Park Amphitheater, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NV, Las Vegas: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Gay & Lesbian Comm Ctr, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, Albany: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol, TBD. Details

  • USA, NY, Buffalo: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, El Museo Gallery, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, Ithaca: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, TBD, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, New York: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Stonewall Inn, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, Rochester: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Washington Square Park, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, Syracuse: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Meeting, First English Lutheran, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, Watermill: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Incarnation Lutehran Church, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, NY, White Plains: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, The LOFT, 5:30 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Akron: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Akron at Square, 7-10 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Athens: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Casa Nueva Restaurant, 5 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Cincinnati: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Below Zero Lounge, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Cleveland: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Twist, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Cleveland: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, TBD. Details

  • USA, OH, Colombus: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Union cafe, 4-8 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Columbus: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Level Dining Lounge, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Dayton: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, MJ’s Cafe, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Toledo: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Tony Packos, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OH, Youngstown: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Lemon Grove, 7-10 PM. Details

  • USA, OR, Ashland: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Ashland Plaza, 12 PM. Details

  • USA, OR, Eugene: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, OR, Portland: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Waterfront Park or Terry Schrunk Plaza, 5-7 PM. Details

  • USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 2-4 PM. Details

  • USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, State Capitol Bldg, 10 AM. Details

  • USA, PA, Harrisburg: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, LGBT Center, 8 PM. Details

  • USA, PA, Philadelphia: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Independence Hall, 6-9 PM. Details

  • USA, PA, Pittsburgh: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Sixth Presbyterian Church, 7 PM. Details

  • USA, SC, Columbia: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, SC Equality offices, 9 AM-12 PM. Details

  • USA, TN, Maryville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Maryville College Center for Campus Ministry , 6-7 PM. Details

  • USA, TN, Memphis: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Gay and Lsbian Comm Ctr, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, TN, Nashville: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, OutCentral, 6:30-7:30 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, Austin: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, Dallas: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Frank H. Caven Memorial garden, 7-10 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, Denton: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Denton County Courthouse, 6-8 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, El Paso: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 7-8:30 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, Houston: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, City Hall, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, TX, San Antonio: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Court House, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, UT, Salt Lake City: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Club Sound, 4 PM. Details

  • USA, VA, Norfolk/Hampton Roads: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthouse, 6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, VA, Richmond: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Jhn Marshall Courthouse, 10 AM-12 PM. Details

  • USA, VA, Richmond: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Party, Portrait House, 7 PM-2 AM. Details

  • USA, VT, Burlington: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Gathering, RU12? Comm Ctr, 9:30-11 AM. Details

  • USA, WA, Seattle: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Federal Courthosue, 5-6:30 PM. Details

  • USA, WI, Madison: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Shamrock Bar, 5-9 PM. Details

  • USA, WV, Charleston: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Lee Street Lounge, TBD. Details

  • USA, WV, Morgantown: Jun 26, US Supreme Court Day of Decision Rally, Morgantown Brewing Co, 5 PM. Details

If you can make it to one of the rallies, please go – if it’s good news, we’ll celebrate together. if it’s not, we’ll push on ahead without the Supremes.

USA: Supreme Court Rules on Defense of Marriage Act: Struck Down

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActThe US Supreme Court just ruled on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the congressional ban on recognition of marriage equality.

The decision is 5-4, Scalia dissents, Roberts dissents.

Almost 1,000 gay friendly wedding vendors.

USA: More Speculation and Analysis of Pending US Supreme Court Rulings on Marriage Equality

Monday, June 24th, 2013

US Supreme CourtWith the US Supreme Court declining to release the marriage equality rulings this morning, all eyes turn to Tuesday. Meanwhile, the speculation (and the frustration) continues to mount.

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog expresses the latter:

Unlike the religious right and their Republican overlords (or vice versa), I can handle the notion of the court deciding such things. It’s the way it works in our democracy – courts decide constitutional matters. What I can’t handle is the manner in which the cases are announced, almost as if the court is playing a game with us. Teasing us. Taunting us. Edging us along like some cat toying with its prey, undecided if it’s going to kill it, free it, or just get bored all together and walk away, looking for the next potential ball of yarn. There has got to be a better way.

Why not schedule the release dates for each of the rulings? The rest of us have to work on deadlines – why not the Court?

SDGLN reports on how much has changed in California since Prop 8 was passed in 2008:

Proponents now say they have little doubt that even with the worst outcome from the court — upholding the ban — California voters would legalize gay marriage if the measure made it on the ballot again. That level of confidence is evidence of how the cultural and political landscape has shifted here, but also of the lessons learned from the unexpected defeat of five years ago. Even opponents of same-sex marriage, looking at many of the same polls, say they would have a far more difficult battle if California voters were given another chance to vote on the issue.

Over at Towleroad.com, Ari Ezra Waldman looks at today’s ruling on affirmative action for clues to how the court will rule on the marriage equality cases:

Conservatives have little sympathy for this law partly because they see it as a gross violation of local and state rights in the name of punishing today’s citizens for the sins of their fathers. And yet a history of discrimination is a key factor in determining if any group — including the LGBT community — will get heightened scrutiny applied to instances of official discrimination. In Fisher, the Court is hinting that it is tossing aside the past and remaining blind to the very real lingering effects of decades of institutional discrimination. We should be concerned that this willful blindness will be one weapon the Court’s conservatives use to deny us heightened scrutiny for anti-gay discrimination.

Advocates rallying outside the Court are optimistic:

Same-sex marriage supporters who gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said they remain hopeful the justices will strike down California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. “We’re hopeful and optimistic that even out of a conservative court is going to come a strong opinion for equality,” Jonathan Lewis of Brookline, Mass., told the Washington Blade as he stood outside the court with his husband of nearly six years, Jonathan Adlar, and their 10-week-old son.

Think Progress looks at the possibilities – including this one:

A Stealth Attack: Several prominent conservatives are pushing a dangerous legal theory that would strike down DOMA on states’ rights grounds, and potentially endanger Social Security, veterans benefits and progressive taxation in the process.

Again tomorrow morning we wait for the rulings.