Defense-of-Marriage-Act

slate.com
Bernie Sanders Claims He’s a Longtime Champion of Marriage Equality. It’s Just Not True.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders likes to describe himself as a longtime supporter of marriage equality—in sharp contrast to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinto

“But Sanders is not quite the gay rights visionary his defenders would like us to believe. Sanders did oppose DOMA—but purely on states’ rights grounds. And as recently as 2006, Sanders opposed marriage equality for his adopted home state of Vermont. The senator may have evolved earlier than his primary opponents. But the fact remains that, in the critical early days of the modern marriage equality movement, Sanders was neutral at best and hostile at worst.”

Hillary Clinton declared in her historic speech on the world stage, “Gay rights are Human rights.” 

In this speech, Hillary outlines what she did for LGBTQ people around the world. Her implementations as Secretary of State has made it safer to be LGBT in a world of so much hate. 

Hillary has also worked with the Human Rights Campaign on a variety of issues as New York Senator and she was the first First Lady to march in a gay pride parade. 

Curious why Hillary was asked to speak at the Human Rights Campaign and not Bernie? Watch her speech:

As New York Senator, Hillary fought for stronger hate crime laws and anti-discrimination laws. As Secretary of State, Hillary enacted lifesaving policies and programs that saved LGBTQ people around the globe.

STOP THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION AGAINST HILLARY. 

huffingtonpost.com
Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON – The Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote. DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, prevents same-sex couples whose marriages are recognized by their home state from receiving the hundreds of benefits available to other married couples under federal law.

A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its unanimous decision, the three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.

The court didn’t rule on the law’s more politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it’s legal. It also wasn’t asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The law was passed at a time when it appeared Hawaii would legalize gay marriage. Since then, many states have instituted their own bans on gay marriage, while eight states have approved it, led by Massachusetts in 2004.

The court, the first federal appeals panel to deem the benefits section of the law unconstitutional, agreed with a lower level judge who ruled in 2010 that the law interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

The 1st Circuit said its ruling wouldn’t be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, meaning that same-sex married couples will not be eligible to receive the economic benefits denied by DOMA until the high court rules.

That’s because the ruling only applies to states within the circuit, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico. Only the Supreme Court has the final say in deciding whether a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional.

Monumental Victories Reveal Two Tiers of Equality in America
In recent years, California’s Proposition 8 and the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act became symbols of anti-LGBT discrimination around the country and around the world. Today, both crumbled.

In a watershed moment in the fight for equality, the United States Supreme Court today ruled to return marriage equality to California and to strike down DOMA. The court ruled in the Prop 8 case on procedural grounds, not reaching a decision on the merits of Prop 8 or the broader question of whether the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to marry the person you love.

Marriages in California are expected to begin again soon. While a joyous milestone, these victories nonetheless throw into sharp relief the uneven progress for LGBT people around the country—a landscape where states like California are rapidly advancing toward equality, but progress in many other places remains stagnant.

“Today’s historic decisions put two giant cracks in the dark wall of discrimination that separates committed gay and lesbian couples from full equality,” said HRC president Chad Griffin, who brought together the bipartisan legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies that brought the Proposition 8 case to the Supreme Court. “While we celebrate the victory for Californians today, tomorrow we turn our attention to the millions of LGBT people who don’t feel the reach of these decisions. From the Rocky Mountains to the heart of the South, it’s time to push equality forward until every American can marry the person they love and all LGBT people are guaranteed equal protection under the law.”

HRC is committed to accelerating the progress of marriage equality through ongoing financial and strategic assistance to efforts in states around the country, including New Jersey, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada and others. And with the Defense of Marriage Act gone, the organization is pushing hard to ensure that the Obama administration cuts through regulatory clutter and delivers the greatest number of benefits to the greatest amount of people.

“These decisions underscore the emergence of two Americas. In one, LGBT citizens are nearing full equality. In the other, our community lacks even the most basic protections,” said Griffin. “Everywhere that injustice still prevails, we will fight for justice. And our message to those who cement their feet on the wrong side of history is that we will win.”

Hollingsworth v. Perry, previously known as Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Perry v. Brown, was filed on behalf of two same-sex couples in federal district court in California in May 2009. Under the sponsorship of the American Foundation for Equality Rights – co-founded by HRC President Chad Griffin – and represented by conservative attorney Ted Olson and liberal attorney David Boies, the plaintiffs achieved victories in both district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, both of which ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

In Windsor v. U.S., Edie Windsor, represented by the ACLU and the law firm Paul Weiss, challenged section 3 of DOMA which required her to pay $363,000 in estate taxes after her partner and spouse of more than 40 years passed away. If Edie had been married to a man, instead of a woman, it is undisputed that her estate tax bill would have been zero.

Lawfully-married couples living in marriage equality states will soon have equal access to all the federal rights and benefits based on marital status. For married couples living in states without marriage equality, there is less clarity. Even with DOMA out of the way, different federal programs have different rules that determine where an agency looks to decide if a marriage is valid – either place of celebration or place of residence. Most of these rules are policies, regulations or simply practices that the Obama Administration can change through existing processes to ensure that married same-sex couples, wherever they may live, have access to the federal rights and benefits they deserve. Under the current rules and practices, a lawfully-married same-sex couple living in a state that does not recognize their marriage will have access to some federal rights and benefits, but may not have access to many others, depending on how the court rules. Working with a coalition of groups, HRC has raised these issues with the Administration and will be working tirelessly to see the necessary changes made so that the largest number of married same-sex couples have access to the largest number of rights and benefits under federal law.

It’s very likely that the Supreme Court will rule on a gay marriage case this term, through a number of Defense of Marriage Act cases that could make it onto the court’s docket.

Last year, Mitt Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage pledge promising, if elected president, to:

nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the constitution… and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution… [and to] defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.