Milestone For LGBT Equality: Prop. 8, DOMA Will Have Their Day In Court

Supreme Court To Hear Constitutional Challenges To Discriminatory Marriage Laws

BTL Staff Report

Washington - The Supreme Court announced on Friday, Dec. 7 that it will hear the Hollingsworth v. Perry case challenging California's Prop. 8 and the Windsor challenge to the discriminatory ban on federal recognition of married same-sex couples known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

"Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a released statemnt. "The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today's announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term. As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past.

"By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA's 'gay exception' to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, in a released statement. "When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage - access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities - couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married."

The Supreme Court could address same-sex marriage narrowly or broadly with its upcoming decision. Should the court choose to address the broader question of same-sex marriage by overturning DOMA, the federal government would recognize all legal marriages regardless of state law.

Polls indicate that public opinion is increasingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Currently nine states have legalized same-sex marriage.

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Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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