A state judge just ruled the Louisiana same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Only weeks after a district judge upheld Louisiana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a Louisiana state judge just ruled the law is unconstitutional.

Judge Edward Rubin ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and in violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the full faith and credit clause.

Since the Supreme Court struck down DOMA in 2013, we witnessed 21 sequential rulings against same-marriage bans that was abruptly, and erroneously, broken by District Judge Martin Feldman.

This latest ruling is good news, my friends…although I would wager it will be appealed.


Boehner and House Vote to Spend Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Defending DOMA

In a 3-2 vote last week that fell along party lines, a House panel decided to defend DOMA in court. The House will take over this responsibility after the White House and Department of Justice determined the law to be unconstitutional and therefore indefensible in court.

Boehner claims it is President Obama’s responsibility to defend the discriminatory law and that he is merely stepping up to do what the president will not. Nancy Pelosi, who voted against the measure to defend DOMA, point out that the House defense of the law will cost millions in taxpayer dollars.

Obama Declares DOMA Unconstitutional

Today, on the recommendation of the Attorney General, Preside Obama declared that discrimination based on sexual orientation should be presumed unconstitutional.

In response, the Department of Justice has concluded that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and indefensible.

This means the Department of Justice will no longer defend DOMA in court, and may have greater implications for the marriage equality trials already in the courts.

HRC Urging President Obama to Support Marriage Equality

The Human Rights Campaign is urging President Obama to support marriage equality for all Americans. This comes after the President’s comment in December that his views were “evolving.”

It is time for the President to stand against bigotry and discrimination in our laws and to repeal DOMA. Please take a moment of your time and tell President Obama that you support full marriage equality for all Americans.

Federal healthcare bill ‘will actually harm gays and lesbians’

From PinkNews:

A bill which proposes expanded federal healthcare discriminates against gay couples, the leader of a Republican gay group has said.

Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director of GOProud, a conservative Republican group, argues that due to the Defence of Marriage Act, families headed by a same-sex couple will actually be left worse off.

The Defence of Marriage Act bans federal recognition of gay relationships and bars such couples from accessing federal benefits.

Writing in The Hill, LaSalvia argued: “The left’s demand for government-run healthcare, the so-called ‘public option,’ will leave gay and lesbian families completely and totally out.

“Gays, who currently are able to secure health insurance that provides for domestic partner benefits for their families, will find no such options when it comes to government-run healthcare. Worst, low-income gay and lesbian families, who can’t afford private insurance and will be forced by federal mandate into government-run healthcare, will be hit the hardest.”

He added: “The last place gay and lesbian Americans should look for equitable treatment is the federal government. Whether its relationship recognition, military service, tax fairness, or any of dozens of other issues, the federal government discriminates against gay and lesbian Americans. Why would it be any different when it comes to healthcare?”

A Concerted Effort to Sue the US Government Over DOMA

Repeal DOMA NowFrom Change.org:

A few weeks ago, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her state would be filing a lawsuit in federal courts, challenging the U.S. government over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.  Coakley said the reason for the lawsuit was simple:

DOMA affects residents of Massachusetts in very real and very negative ways by depriving access to important economic safety nets and other protections that couples count on when they marry and that help them to take care of one another and their families.  DOMA also directly and fundamentally interferes with Massachusetts’s right as a state sovereign to determine the marital status of its residents.

Now, activists are hoping to jump on the momentum started by Coakley and urge other state Attorney Generals to follow a similar path.  That’s the motivation at least behind the Web site Defend the Law (defendthelaw.org), which announced a concentrated action alert this week to urge Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, to challenge the U.S. government over DOMA.  Last year, Connecticut became the second state to recognize same-sex marriage.

The site plans on hitting other states, too (which would now include Vermont, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire) but is starting out with a focus on Blumenthal in Connecticut.  Here’s their action plea:

Marriage Equality has also been the law of the land in Connecticut since November 12, 2008.  The Attorney General of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, states prominently on his website, “As the public’s lawyer, I am here to defend state laws.”   Since marriage equality is indeed the law in Connecticut, we strongly urge Attorney General Blumenthal to follow Massachusetts’ lead and stand up for the citizens and laws of his state by filing a lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The week of action will happen between August 10-14.  More information can be found on Defend the Law’s web site.

This campaign again spotlights the important role that state Attorneys General (Attorney Generals?  Bah, pluralizing this one always troubles me…) can play in the fight for equal rights.  Here at change.org, we’ve had a petition going for more than a month now, urging Maryland’s Attorney General to allow his state to recognize same-sex marraiges that are performed in states where marriage equality is the law. MD’s Attorney General is slated to rule on this in the coming days, which could move equal rights one step closer to reality in Maryland.

And here’s hoping Defend the Law’s campaign with Connecticut’s Attorney General moves marriage equality one step closer on the federal level.

(Photo courtesy of Michael_Lehet’s photostream on Flickr.)

Massachusetts Sues Feds Over DOMA

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and is maintaining its position as a progressive, forward-thinking status among the states by suing the U.S. government over the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley claims DOMA interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit.   The suit argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.”

Coretta Scott King

Thank you Massachusetts for fighting for equality and truly upholding the ideals of this country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

All men, all women, everyone…not just whites, not just men, not just heterosexuals…everyone.

Since Massachusetts began performing same-sex marriages in 2004, the 16,000 same-sex couples who have married are being unfairly denied federal benefits that are granted to heterosexual couples.  That is an injustice, it is an inequality.  We are in 2009…it’s time we get with the times and start being true to our ideals of equality and justice for ALL!