by Michael F. Haverluck
A judge in New York has taken advocacy for normalization of same-sex “marriage” to the next level, ruling this week that a major component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it doesn’t provide the same financial benefits for homosexuals and lesbians.
District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that a federal law defining marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.
DOMA “intrude[s] upon the states’ business of regulating domestic relations,” Jones stated in her decision this week. “That incursion skirts important principles of federalism and therefore cannot be legitimate, in this court’s view.”
A number of judges have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage since the Obama administration said it would refuse to defend DOMA. After explaining his views on the issue were “evolving,” President Obama recently announced be personally supports same-sex marriage.
“President Obama has been actively promoting an agenda to undermine the nation’s marriage laws,” said Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “When you weaken the family, as President Obama is doing by his policies, you weaken society.”
The White House’s increased support of same-sex marriage apparently has emboldened more people to challenge laws under the federal DOMA in court.
In 2010, Edith Windsor filed the New York suit against the government to get back $363,053 that she was required to pay in federal tax on her deceased partner’s estate. The two were “married” as a same-sex couple in Canada two years before Windsor’s partner died in 2009. Windsor sued because she was ineligible to claim the unlimited marital deduction.
Striking down federal law, Jones included in her ruling that the government must reimburse Windsor the entire amount she was legally obligated to pay in estate tax.
Supporters of the homosexual agenda are hoping that the Empire State’s ruling against DOMA is more than a fad.
“[The decision is] another example of the trend of the judiciary continuing to see that treating same-sex couples differently than their heterosexual counterparts is not only wrong but goes against the laws of equality and justice here in the United States,” said Marriage Equality USA Executive Director Brian Silva.
The American Civil Liberties Union has endorsed the normalization of homosexual behavior.
“[This] adds to what has become an avalanche of decisions that DOMA can’t survive even the lowest level of scrutiny by the courts,” commented the ACLU director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, James Esseks.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman applauded Wednesday’s ruling, calling it “a major step forward in the fight of equality.”
The decision came less than a week after a similar First Circuit ruling was issued in Boston that declared as unconstitutional a section of DOMA that reserved federal benefits only for couples in marriages that are between one man and one woman. On May 31, the federal court of appeals judge in Massachusetts – which in 2004 became the first state to allow same-sex marriage – affirmed a 2010 decision made by a federal judge.
But Staver says that this battle over DOMA is far from over, as the U.S. Court of Appeals indicates that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say in the Bay State’s matter.
“We have done our best to discern the direction of these precedents, but only the Supreme Court can finally decide this unique case,” Staver explained regarding the final outcome of the Massachusetts case, which he believes has been poorly judged.
“This ruling makes no sense. A state cannot dictate the kind of benefits the federal government must provide,” contested Staver. “If a state recognizes polygamy, does that mean that the federal government must also recognize multiple spouses? Absolutely not! This decision is the proverbial tail wagging the dog.”
Yet these types of decisions aren’t only seen on the East Coast. The tide of judicial activism to abolish marriage protections began earlier this year when a couple of federal judges in California ruled that DOMA works to violate “married” same-sex couples’ due-process rights. With the push over the years to legalize same-sex marriage much legislation has taken place across the United States.
Since 1996, more than 30 states have approved and instituted amendments to protect marriage as between one man and one woman, while eight states allow – or are in the final stages of allowing – same-sex marriage, including Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Iowa, Maryland and Washington state, as well as Washington, D.C. Legislation allowing same-sex marriage is not yet in effect in the latter two states, where referendums could determine their final fate.
Despite all of the political and judicial maneuverings over same-sex marriage that are taking place just months from this year’s presidential election, pro-family advocates want America to remember the most important thing at stake.
“Children fare best when raised with a mom and a dad,” Staver said. “Redefining marriage to something it was not intended to be weakens the family and is not in the best interest of children or society.”
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Posted by girl2grl at 10:14 AM
SALT LAKE CITY - More than 300 Mormon church members who are not gay drew shouts of approval and tears from spectators while marching in the Utah Gay Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake City.
The Mormons say they sought to send a message of love to Utah's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by joining the annual parade Sunday. Their participation marked the first time such a large group of Mormons took part in the parade, organizers said.
The Mormons, dressed in their Sunday best, included fathers carrying their children on their shoulders and mothers pushing strollers, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Nevin Munson, 13, carried a sign that said: "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
"I'm very saddened by the amount of hate in the world," he said, adding discrimination against gays and lesbians exists around the world. "I don't believe in that — they're humans."
Emily Vandyke, 50, carried a sign with the words from a Mormon children's song: "I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you. That's how I'll show my love for you."
Along the parade route, she embraced a weeping woman who said, "Thank you."
"I haven't recognized them as equals," Vandyke told the Tribune. "They have been invisible to me."
Parade grand marshal Dustin Lance Black, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, tweeted: "In tears. Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people."
Holly Nelson, a 38-year-old lesbian from Murray, also had tears in her eyes, as the Mormons walked past.
"I think it's amazing," she said. "It's been so hard to live in Utah knowing the Mormon church is against the gay community."
While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not consider same-sex attraction a sin, it only regards sexual relations within the marriage of a man and a woman as acceptable.
Some spectators said their homosexuality caused them to leave the church, and they might have remained members had the faith been more tolerant.
"I lost everything I loved because I came out," said Carolyn Ball, a 48-year-old lesbian from West Jordan.
The participation of the church members was organized by a newly formed group calling itself Mormons Building Bridges.
Erika Munson, the group's founder and a mother of five from Sandy, said the success of the event reflected the "deep wounds" in the community. Organizers hope it marks the beginning of a grassroots movement, she added.
"We want to inspire other Mormons at the local level to do things for their LGBT brothers and sisters," Munson said.
Posted by girl2grl at 10:06 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
In a proclamation that was distributed earlier this month President Barack Obama has declared June 2012 as Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month for the third year in a row. This
year also marks the President’s open support of marriage equality for
You can read his full proclamation below:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2012
By The President Of The United States Of America
From generation to generation, ordinary Americans have led a proud and inexorable march toward freedom, fairness, and full equality under the law ‑‑ not just for some, but for all. Ours is a heritage forged by those who organized, agitated, and advocated for change; who wielded love stronger than hate and hope more powerful than insult or injury; who fought to build for themselves and their families a Nation where no one is a second-class citizen, no one is denied basic rights, and all of us are free to live and love as we see fit.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally American story. From brave men and women who came out and spoke out, to union and faith leaders who rallied for equality, to activists and advocates who challenged unjust laws and marched on Washington, LGBT Americans and allies have achieved what once seemed inconceivable. This month, we reflect on their enduring legacy, celebrate the movement that has made progress possible, and recommit to securing the fullest blessings of freedom for all Americans.
Since I took office, my Administration has worked to broaden opportunity, advance equality, and level the playing field for LGBT people and communities. We have fought to secure justice for all under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and we have taken action to end housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We expanded hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients and their loved ones, and under the Affordable Care Act, we ensured that insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to someone just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Because we understand that LGBT rights are human rights, we continue to engage with the international community in promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT persons around the world. Because we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve their country openly, honestly, and without fear of losing their jobs because of whom they love. And because we must treat others the way we want to be treated, I personally believe in marriage equality for same-sex couples.
More remains to be done to ensure every single American is treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Moving forward, my Administration will continue its work to advance the rights of LGBT Americans. This month, as we reflect on how far we have come and how far we have yet to go, let us recall that the progress we have made is built on the words and deeds of ordinary Americans. Let us pay tribute to those who came before us, and those who continue their work today; and let us rededicate ourselves to a task that is unending ‑‑ the pursuit of a Nation where all are equal, and all have the full and unfettered opportunity to pursue happiness and live openly and freely.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2012 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.