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03/03/2009

GLAD to see it go: MASSively awesome legal group gunning for flawed law

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 6-179GLAD (the one with one 'a') will this morning hold a press conference wherein the Massachusetts-based LGBT legal eagles will lay out plans to challenge a portion of that dumb-a federal law known as DOMA. Here's more from the organization itself:

Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al. targets the denial of certain federal rights and protections to married same-sex couples in Massachusetts. This suit, filed today in federal District Court in Boston, addresses the use of DOMA Section 3 to deny spousal protections in Social Security, federal income tax, federal employees’ and retirees’ benefits, and in the issuance of passports.

“It’s time for the federal government to end its blatant double standard of providing rights and protections to all married couples except gay and lesbian married couples,” says Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto. “Same-sex married couples have taken on the commitment of marriage, play by the rules, and pay into the system. But they are denied critical federal legal protections that form a safety net to support other married couples and their children.”

The plaintiffs are eight married couples and three widowers, each of whom is currently eligible for a federal program.
GLAD Challenges DOMA Section 3 [GLAD]

The timing does feel right for this. But then again, is it ever the wrong time to cut discriminatory disease off of the body politic?

No word on when we can expect this to actually take the next step up the judicial ladder. But if the court system is smart and fair, they will schedule a hearing for 30-90 days before we win the case.

**UPDATE: We don't see this as a provincial turf war, but rather a reasoned step towards justice that will ultimately benefit us all. After all, the far-right will use the threat of DOMA's repeal against us no matter what we do. So why should we wait to move the principled ball forward when there are indicators that a smart, strategic legal challenge might correct this wrong (or at least a portion of it)?

Others see it differently:

So, kudos to an east coast state that already has marriage. I'll bend over now; coastal states seem to all be tops.
GLADly bending over or All coastal states are tops [Bilerico]

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Your thoughts

I'm with you on this one, Jeremy.

The time is right and I'll not wait for equality until less forward states catch up.

Posted by: Timothy | Mar 3, 2009 3:11:23 PM

We should be fighting this on the federal level and not state by state anyways. Repealing DOMA and DODT and passing an inclusing ENDA in one fatal swoop will take care of so many rights and issues people in some states would never get otherwise.

Its about time someone takes this fight where it belongs.

Posted by: Pomo | Mar 3, 2009 7:21:47 PM

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