Post(s) tagged with "DOMA"

Gingrich Pledges Not To Commit Infidelity A Third Time, Reaffirms Opposition To Marriage Equality
(via ThinkProgress - article title was just too good and too true to not repost)
 
As Iowa’s FAMiLY Leader prepares to endorse a presidential candidate ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich has issued a statement affirming the Leader’s pledge to oppose marriage equality for gays and lesbians, deny women access to abortion, and reduce the debt. Read his full responsehere and the marriage excerpt below:

Defending Marriage. As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military. I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy. I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.

Vander Plaats welcomed Gingrich’s affirmation saying, “We are pleased that Speaker Gingrich has affirmed our pledge and are thankful we have on record his statements regarding DOMA, support of a federal marriage amendment, defending the unborn, pledging fidelity to his spouse, defending religious liberty and freedom, supporting sound pro-family economic issues, and defending the right of the people to rule themselves.”
In August, Gingrich said he wouldn’t sign the pledge unless the group adopted certain tweaks to their document, which had previously argued that African American children were better off during the period of slavery and called for a ban on pornography. Gingrich has long supported Vander Plaats and his efforts, however. Last year, he offered his vocal support for the Iowan’s successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the justices.

Gingrich Pledges Not To Commit Infidelity A Third Time, Reaffirms Opposition To Marriage Equality

(via ThinkProgress - article title was just too good and too true to not repost)

As Iowa’s FAMiLY Leader prepares to endorse a presidential candidate ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich has issued a statement affirming the Leader’s pledge to oppose marriage equality for gays and lesbians, deny women access to abortion, and reduce the debt. Read his full responsehere and the marriage excerpt below:

Defending Marriage. As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military. I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy. I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.

Vander Plaats welcomed Gingrich’s affirmation saying, “We are pleased that Speaker Gingrich has affirmed our pledge and are thankful we have on record his statements regarding DOMA, support of a federal marriage amendment, defending the unborn, pledging fidelity to his spouse, defending religious liberty and freedom, supporting sound pro-family economic issues, and defending the right of the people to rule themselves.”

In August, Gingrich said he wouldn’t sign the pledge unless the group adopted certain tweaks to their document, which had previously argued that African American children were better off during the period of slavery and called for a ban on pornography. Gingrich has long supported Vander Plaats and his efforts, however. Last year, he offered his vocal support for the Iowan’s successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the justices.

Source: thinkprogress.org

Without immigration rights, Utah gay couple seek new home abroad
(via The Salt Lake Tribune)
Benjamin Anderson, 55, and Mattia Lumaca, 41,  traveled from their Salt Lake City home this week to marry in New York  on their four-year anniversary as a couple. On Friday, they left for  Lumaca’s hometown near Parma, Italy, where they will spend Christmas  with Lumaca’s family.
But the honeymoon is bittersweet. They don’t  know if they will ever return together to the United States. After the  holidays, they will settle in Germany or another nation in the European  Union that recognizes same-sex unions (Italy does not).
Lumaca can offer Anderson rights as an  immigrant. But Anderson, a Coast Guard veteran, has no way to help his  husband stay in the United States after his student visa expires next  year.
“It took me a long time to find Mattia, and I  honestly believe God sent him to me. I’m not going to give him up,”  Anderson said in a phone interview from New York. “Of course, I would  stay here, but then I’d have to give up Mattia. Or I stay with Mattia,  but now I have to give up America? What kind of a horrible choice is  that? I love my country. I am a patriot.”
Even though six states and the District of  Columbia now allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, the Defense of  Marriage Act  (DOMA) prohibits the federal government from recognizing  same-sex marriages. Anderson cannot obtain legal residency and expedited  citizenship for his spouse as he could if he were married to a woman.  There are an estimated 28,500 binational same-sex couples in the United  States in a situation similar to Anderson and Lumaca’s, according to the  Williams Institute, a sexual orientation policy center at the  University of California, Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration  decided it would no longer defend DOMA in court challenges. And Sen.  Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is pushing to repeal the law, which she  views as “discriminatory” because it denies legally married same-sex  couples more than 1,100 federal benefits. Another proposed bill, the  Uniting American Families Act, would grant immigration rights to  long-term, same-sex partners without recognizing them as married.
Utah’s congressional delegation opposes same-sex marriage.
“Like most Americans, Senator [Orrin] Hatch  firmly believes that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one  woman,” said Hatch’s spokesman, Mark Eddington, via email. “Without  DOMA, the majority of states that affirm traditional marriage could be  forced by the courts to recognize same-sex marriages and to subsidize  federal same-sex rights and benefits. He also opposes the so-called  Uniting American Families Act, which would extend the same immigration  benefits now reserved for married couples to same-sex relationships.”
Utah’s lone Democrat, Rep. Jim Matheson, said  through a spokeswoman that he also opposes extending immigration  benefits to same-sex partners.
This year, national public opinion polls have  shown that Americans are evenly split or slightly in favor of legalizing  gay marriage. In a Gallup poll conducted in May, 53 percent supported  recognizing same-sex marriages — a jump of nine percentage points from  the previous year.
Fracturing a family
Anderson and Lumaca hope federal policy changes in the future so they can return.
“I want America to bring us home,” Anderson said. “Mattia loves America. I love America. And I think that America needs us.”
It was important to both of them that Lumaca  not remain in the country illegally. They have sought legal counsel from  New York-based Immigration Equality, which advocates for immigration  rights for same-sex couples.
The couple also are leaving a year before  Lumaca’s visa expires because he is not allowed to work and has spent  his life savings. Anderson, meanwhile, cannot afford to pay Lumaca’s  student tuition and their living expenses on his disability and  retirement benefits.
Anderson leaves behind a 33-year-old son and is  risking his health with the move. He retired early from the Coast Guard  following exposure to chemicals and the development of a severe heart  condition, which has led to four heart attacks. He also suffers from  diabetes and glaucoma. He relies on Veterans Affairs health centers for  medical care. In Munich, Germany, where the couple plan to try living  first, he can access some health care at a nearby U.S. military base but  says some of the services and drugs he receives at the VA hospital in  Salt Lake City are not available abroad.
“It’s kind of a scary situation,” Anderson  said. “I’ve been given enough medicine for three months and then after  that, I’m kind of on my own.”
In 2006, Anderson was recovering from surgery  that removed his thyroid — and temporarily left him unable to speak —  when he met Lumaca on an Italian travel website. Anderson was dreaming  of an European vacation. Lumaca, an avid skier, was planning a trip to  Salt Lake City. The two agreed to have dinner when Lumaca visited Utah.  They spent much of Lumaca’s trip together and quickly fell in love even  though Anderson was still in recovery.
“He was going through these horrible medical  issues when I met him. I saw how he was a real fighter. He was gentle,  he was lovable, he made me feel comfortable,” recalled Lumaca. “When I  returned to Italy, I felt I had to go back. I was telling myself, ‘I  left something there. I left a piece of me with Ben.’ ”
Three months later, Lumaca secured a student  visa and moved to Salt Lake City in 2007. The couple hoped they would be  able to find a long-term solution later. Lumaca studied English at a  language institute. He took over as Anderson’s caregiver, sorting the 20  pills he needs each day and driving him to doctors’ appointments.
Jared Anderson worries about how his father  will fare abroad. In recent years, with father and son both living in  the Salt Lake Valley for the first time in a decade,
Jared has relished spending more time with his  father, who divorced his mother when Jared was 13 years old. At age 15,  he says he became a “fervent supporter” of gay rights, penning a high  school play about his father.
Jared Anderson doubts he will be able to afford to visit his father in Europe.
“For me, it’s not really a gay rights issue, it’s a family issue,” Jared Anderson said. “Because of this, I’m losing my family.”

Without immigration rights, Utah gay couple seek new home abroad

(via The Salt Lake Tribune)

Benjamin Anderson, 55, and Mattia Lumaca, 41, traveled from their Salt Lake City home this week to marry in New York on their four-year anniversary as a couple. On Friday, they left for Lumaca’s hometown near Parma, Italy, where they will spend Christmas with Lumaca’s family.

But the honeymoon is bittersweet. They don’t know if they will ever return together to the United States. After the holidays, they will settle in Germany or another nation in the European Union that recognizes same-sex unions (Italy does not).

Lumaca can offer Anderson rights as an immigrant. But Anderson, a Coast Guard veteran, has no way to help his husband stay in the United States after his student visa expires next year.

“It took me a long time to find Mattia, and I honestly believe God sent him to me. I’m not going to give him up,” Anderson said in a phone interview from New York. “Of course, I would stay here, but then I’d have to give up Mattia. Or I stay with Mattia, but now I have to give up America? What kind of a horrible choice is that? I love my country. I am a patriot.”

Even though six states and the District of Columbia now allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Anderson cannot obtain legal residency and expedited citizenship for his spouse as he could if he were married to a woman. There are an estimated 28,500 binational same-sex couples in the United States in a situation similar to Anderson and Lumaca’s, according to the Williams Institute, a sexual orientation policy center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration decided it would no longer defend DOMA in court challenges. And Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is pushing to repeal the law, which she views as “discriminatory” because it denies legally married same-sex couples more than 1,100 federal benefits. Another proposed bill, the Uniting American Families Act, would grant immigration rights to long-term, same-sex partners without recognizing them as married.

Utah’s congressional delegation opposes same-sex marriage.

“Like most Americans, Senator [Orrin] Hatch firmly believes that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman,” said Hatch’s spokesman, Mark Eddington, via email. “Without DOMA, the majority of states that affirm traditional marriage could be forced by the courts to recognize same-sex marriages and to subsidize federal same-sex rights and benefits. He also opposes the so-called Uniting American Families Act, which would extend the same immigration benefits now reserved for married couples to same-sex relationships.”

Utah’s lone Democrat, Rep. Jim Matheson, said through a spokeswoman that he also opposes extending immigration benefits to same-sex partners.

This year, national public opinion polls have shown that Americans are evenly split or slightly in favor of legalizing gay marriage. In a Gallup poll conducted in May, 53 percent supported recognizing same-sex marriages — a jump of nine percentage points from the previous year.

Fracturing a family

Anderson and Lumaca hope federal policy changes in the future so they can return.

“I want America to bring us home,” Anderson said. “Mattia loves America. I love America. And I think that America needs us.”

It was important to both of them that Lumaca not remain in the country illegally. They have sought legal counsel from New York-based Immigration Equality, which advocates for immigration rights for same-sex couples.

The couple also are leaving a year before Lumaca’s visa expires because he is not allowed to work and has spent his life savings. Anderson, meanwhile, cannot afford to pay Lumaca’s student tuition and their living expenses on his disability and retirement benefits.

Anderson leaves behind a 33-year-old son and is risking his health with the move. He retired early from the Coast Guard following exposure to chemicals and the development of a severe heart condition, which has led to four heart attacks. He also suffers from diabetes and glaucoma. He relies on Veterans Affairs health centers for medical care. In Munich, Germany, where the couple plan to try living first, he can access some health care at a nearby U.S. military base but says some of the services and drugs he receives at the VA hospital in Salt Lake City are not available abroad.

“It’s kind of a scary situation,” Anderson said. “I’ve been given enough medicine for three months and then after that, I’m kind of on my own.”

In 2006, Anderson was recovering from surgery that removed his thyroid — and temporarily left him unable to speak — when he met Lumaca on an Italian travel website. Anderson was dreaming of an European vacation. Lumaca, an avid skier, was planning a trip to Salt Lake City. The two agreed to have dinner when Lumaca visited Utah. They spent much of Lumaca’s trip together and quickly fell in love even though Anderson was still in recovery.

“He was going through these horrible medical issues when I met him. I saw how he was a real fighter. He was gentle, he was lovable, he made me feel comfortable,” recalled Lumaca. “When I returned to Italy, I felt I had to go back. I was telling myself, ‘I left something there. I left a piece of me with Ben.’ ”

Three months later, Lumaca secured a student visa and moved to Salt Lake City in 2007. The couple hoped they would be able to find a long-term solution later. Lumaca studied English at a language institute. He took over as Anderson’s caregiver, sorting the 20 pills he needs each day and driving him to doctors’ appointments.

Jared Anderson worries about how his father will fare abroad. In recent years, with father and son both living in the Salt Lake Valley for the first time in a decade,

Jared has relished spending more time with his father, who divorced his mother when Jared was 13 years old. At age 15, he says he became a “fervent supporter” of gay rights, penning a high school play about his father.

Jared Anderson doubts he will be able to afford to visit his father in Europe.

“For me, it’s not really a gay rights issue, it’s a family issue,” Jared Anderson said. “Because of this, I’m losing my family.”

Source: sltrib.com

Rick Perry never says anything bad about gays. He points out that the country is now open with peoples sexualities. They are able to be ‘out’ and serve in the military. He uses this giant step forward in thinking as a comparison to how people view Christians. Kids are judged when they openly pray in school. But all religions have been taken out of the equation(for fear of offending someone).I feel like there was a lot of focus on this mans usage of the word ‘gay’. and not on his campaign.

Nothing in Perry’s statements during this campaign or in the past would indicate that he is anything but anti-gay.

I’m very disturbed by the huge number of apologists that are saying this ad is being misinterpreted or that he was somehow lauding the end of DADT as progress. Perry’s rhetorical trick of linking the end of DADT to false statements about kids not being about to celebrate Christmas or pray in school is disingenuous at best and inviting a surge of anti-gay sentiment in this election (like those in the past) to distract voters from real issues.

A few of his anti-gay highlights below.

2003: Perry advocates for and signs into law a Texas DOMA claiming it to be part of his “ongoing efforts to prevent aggressive attempts to redefine marriage”

From Office of Governor websiteGov. Perry believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, regarding it as the linchpin of the family unit and, thus, society as a whole. In 2003, as part of his ongoing effort to prevent aggressive attempts to redefine marriage, Gov. Perry signed Senate Bill 6, the Defense of Marriage Act, specifying that Texas does not legally recognize a same-sex marriage or civil union. Two years later, Gov. Perry supported strengthening the law with a constitutional amendment, the Texas Marriage Amendment, defining marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” (source)

July 2011: States outright that marriage equality is not ok.  He does seem to say that if a state passes a law that is their call, but then reverses that a few months later when advocating for other states to repeal equality laws.

"It’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed." (source)

August 2011: Signs the National Organization for Marriage pledge that states that, if elected, Perry will send a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification, and appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who will “reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.” (source)

October 2011: Perry advocated for the repeal of New Hampshire’s marriage equality, praising those in the state that were working towards repeal.

"As conservatives we believe in the sanctity of life. We believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage," Perry said at the annual banquet for Cornerstone Action, a conservative advocacy group. “And I applaud those legislators in New Hampshire who are working to defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman, realizing that children need to be raised in a loving home by a mother and a father.”  (source)

Additional items at Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda

And if that is not enough from his own 2012 campaign website

"Perry strongly supports traditional marriage. He signed the state Defense of Marriage Act and supported a marriage amendment to the state constitution, and he would do the same as president."

so how is it that he has said nothing against gays again?




Small side note: I received 30+ messages from people expressing the same sentiments as tommygun13.  I’m actually shocked by that number and the 100s of similar messages that I have seen on reblogs. Instead of responding to all of them I have chosen to respond to this one message.  Why? Because tommygun13 did not write anonymously, something I really respect.  Any other apologists that want to write me feel free, but please read this in advance because I will likely just send you the permalink to this post with the understanding that if you do not agree with me we can be happy in the knowledge that we just regard this issue differently.
70 Corporations Come Out Against Defense of Marriage Act | ThinkProgress
Seventy U.S. businesses are part of an amicus brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act in Gill v. OPM.  The companies point out that DOMA forces them to treat their employees  differently based on their sexual orientation, and as a result, the  businesses assume an administrative financial burden to correct the  inequity. Several health insurance providers, as well as well-known  nationwide companies such as CBS, Microsoft, Google, Levi Strauss, Nike,  and Time Warner Cable have joined the brief. Here is the complete list:

70 Corporations Come Out Against Defense of Marriage Act | ThinkProgress

Seventy U.S. businesses are part of an amicus brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act in Gill v. OPM. The companies point out that DOMA forces them to treat their employees differently based on their sexual orientation, and as a result, the businesses assume an administrative financial burden to correct the inequity. Several health insurance providers, as well as well-known nationwide companies such as CBS, Microsoft, Google, Levi Strauss, Nike, and Time Warner Cable have joined the brief. Here is the complete list:

Source: thinkprogress.org

Gay Soldiers Sue Government for Equal Protection for Spouses
Gay people just got the right to serve openly in the military and  they’re already causing drama. At least it’s good drama this time. A  bunch of married gay soldiers have sued the government claiming the Defense of Marriage Act violates the constitution because it blocks the military from acknowledging their unions.
The couples, who are legally married in some states, argue their  spouses deserve the same rights and benefits as other military spouses.  Sounds fair to me! The suit was filed by the Servicemembers Legal  Defense Network, which used to fight “don’t ask, don’t tell,” cases.

Gay Soldiers Sue Government for Equal Protection for Spouses

Gay people just got the right to serve openly in the military and they’re already causing drama. At least it’s good drama this time. A bunch of married gay soldiers have sued the government claiming the Defense of Marriage Act violates the constitution because it blocks the military from acknowledging their unions.

The couples, who are legally married in some states, argue their spouses deserve the same rights and benefits as other military spouses. Sounds fair to me! The suit was filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which used to fight “don’t ask, don’t tell,” cases.

Gawker

Immigration Judge Closes Deportation Case Against Married Gay Man 
Attorney Lavi Soloway writes, “San  Francisco Immigration Judge  Marilyn Teeter has granted [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] Motion  to  Administratively Close Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex  Benshimol,  ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his American husband,  Doug  Gentry.”
Soloway  — the co-founder of Stop the Deportations and lawyer representing  Benshimol — notes that the decision was dated August 11 and received  today.
In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60 days to  decide whether it was going to continue with Benshimol’s deportation.
Soloway writes, “According to the documents received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the court by the beginning of August requesting that the case be   dropped. A few days later, the Judge granted the government’s motion and   closed proceedings.”
This is at least the second time ICE has taken such an action in a  case. Earlier this year, in a case involving another Venezuelan, Henry  Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the ICE office in Newark,  N.J., took a similar action, noting that Velandia’s case “is not an enforcement priority at this time.”
The move appears to be in line with the plan laid out earlier this week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet  Napolitano for focusing on the “highest priority” deportation cases.

Immigration Judge Closes Deportation Case Against Married Gay Man

Attorney Lavi Soloway writes, “San Francisco Immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter has granted [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] Motion to Administratively Close Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex Benshimol, ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his American husband, Doug Gentry.”

Soloway — the co-founder of Stop the Deportations and lawyer representing Benshimol — notes that the decision was dated August 11 and received today.

In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60 days to decide whether it was going to continue with Benshimol’s deportation.

Soloway writes, “According to the documents received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the court by the beginning of August requesting that the case be dropped. A few days later, the Judge granted the government’s motion and closed proceedings.”

This is at least the second time ICE has taken such an action in a case. Earlier this year, in a case involving another Venezuelan, Henry Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the ICE office in Newark, N.J., took a similar action, noting that Velandia’s case “is not an enforcement priority at this time.”

The move appears to be in line with the plan laid out earlier this week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for focusing on the “highest priority” deportation cases.

Source: metroweekly.com

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) getting Focus on the Family’s Thomas Minnery to admit, at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that children of same-sex couples are at a disadvantage because their parents don’t have the same financial benefits as children of married couples. (Thanks to Think Progress and Mombian for posting.)

Obama Supports Repeal of Gay-Marriage Ban ⇢

President Obama is throwing his support behind the Respect For Marriage Act - the bill to repeal the 1996 Defense Of Marriage Act, which banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even for couples married under state law.

The president has “long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on families,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing. He said the president “is proud” to support the Respect For Marriage Act, “which would take the Defense of Marriage Act off the books for once and for all.”

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

In February, the Obama administration announced that the Department of Justice will no longer defend DOMA in court.

On Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the new bill, which would repeal all three sections of DOMA — which federally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman — including section 1, which is the name; section 2, which instructs states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states; and section 3, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing legally performed same-sex marriages.

Representatives from both pro- and anti-gay marriage groups will testify before the panel.

Shame on you Republican Rep. Foxx (NC) & shame on the House for unnecessarily taking a vote to reaffirm DOMA!

Moments ago, the U.S. House voted 248-175 for an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that reaffirms the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA already states that “in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies,” marriage is limited to the union of a man and a woman.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released the following statement: “This amendment is completely unnecessary and only serves to cloud the debate over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal by pointlessly injecting the issue of marriage equality into the conversation. Since Pentagon officials have made it clear that they are bound by DOMA like every other federal agency, it’s puzzling why Rep. Foxx would question whether our military leaders understand this point.

“House Republican leaders seem to have no end to their desire to play politics with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people instead of tackling real problems. It will be up to the Senate to reject the House’s return to using LGBT Americans as a wedge issue.”

Source: hrcbackstory.org

No Deportation for Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage ⇢

In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday.

The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.

Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages.

“This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation,” said the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway.

Stanford Hospital Error Creates Tax Issue for Gay Couple ⇢

I have personally encountered this burden and its killed my bank account at tax time.  It is also one of the issues that can help those who don’t really understand how not having marriage equality can directly harm gay & lesbian couples. 

Send this out to those you know don’t understand the real impact of DOMA.  A lot is at stake for lesbian and gay couples, including hell of a lot of additional money paid out. (ps civil unions do not fix this because the law specifically refers to married couples…  separate is still not equal)

Most of us pay income taxes because we know we have to. But what happens when you fail to pay an obscure tax that you never heard of — and that your employer should have told you about?

That’s the predicament that Thomas Satterwhite, a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and his partner, Harald Frohlich, a kindergarten teacher at the San Francisco School, have found themselves in.

Since Stanford generously offers health insurance to its employees and their families for free, Mr. Frohlich said he decided to use its health coverage, which the hospital also extends to domestic partners. Unlike married couples, those who use domestic partner coverage must pay taxes on the value of that coverage unless the partner is considered a dependent. If same-sex couples were allowed to marry, they could avoid the tax like their heterosexual counterparts.

Employers who offer domestic partner insurance usually take care of the tax issue by including the “imputed income” on their employees’ paychecks, and the appropriate taxes are withheld. Or, as an increasing number of employers have chosen to do, they reimburse employees for those extra costs.

But Stanford never properly accounted for the income. Nor is it the first employer to run into this issue. Yale University made a similar error earlier this year that affected 61 employees. 

Dr. Satterwhite received a letter in April from the hospital’s human resources department, which said it had discovered the error during a system audit. “We were not aware there was a tax when you are a domestic partner,” Mr. Frohlich said. “And then we got that letter, which was a big surprise.”

By his estimation, the hospital didn’t include the taxes, of about $270 a month, for nearly three years. As a result, he said his partner would have to amend his tax returns for those years, and will probably owe $7,000 to $8,000 in back taxes, plus any penalties or interest. If the couple had known about the extra taxes, Mr. Frohlich said, he would have used the insurance provided by his own employer.

The couple wrote a letter to the hospital’s benefits manager saying they believe that Stanford should cover the costs because it didn’t properly inform them from the start. At the very least, the letter said, they would like Stanford to pay for the costs associated with amending Dr. Satterwhite’s tax returns for the past three years, plus any potential penalties or interest.

Stanford declined to say whether this issue was isolated to the one couple, or if the problem was more widespread. “Our benefit program here for domestic partners provides the same level of coverage as it does for spouses,” said Gary Migdol, a spokesman for Stanford Hospital & Clinics. “Due to confidentiality issues, we cannot comment on a specific employee. However, if an employee raises concerns about an issue related to his/her benefit package, it is investigated thoroughly and appropriate action is taken.”

Do you know of any other employees at Stanford Hospital employees or elsewhere who have encountered this problem? And what do you think Stanford should do?

Senator and Granddaughter Hold Rival Gay Marriage Rallies 
Erica Diaz, 22, a gay woman who is the senator’s granddaughter, wanted  her grandfather’s supporters to know whom they were opposing.
“I am a Diaz; my family is very political,” said Ms. Diaz, whose pastel  pink shirt stood in contrast to her grandfather’s bright white cowboy  suit. “It is in my blood to stand up for what I believe in — regardless  of who I am up against.”
Ms. Diaz’s supporters, far smaller than the raucous rally on the  courthouse steps, numbered a couple of dozen, including her mother,  sister and girlfriend.
They spun rainbow umbrellas in the rain and shouted through a bullhorn  until a police officer said they did not have the proper permit.
It was years ago that Ms. Diaz told her grandfather that she was gay.  The experience, she said, was a positive one. “He told me that  regardless of my decision, he is my grandfather, and he loves me, and he  respects me,” she recalled. “I respect the fact he believes what he  believes.”
But she also spoke of the hurt that came with watching him fight against  what mattered most to her: her right to marry whom she pleased and to  serve in the Navy, where she enlisted as a young woman hoping to make a  career. Instead, she admitted she was a lesbian and was discharged  shortly before President Obama signed legislation repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy
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Senator and Granddaughter Hold Rival Gay Marriage Rallies

Erica Diaz, 22, a gay woman who is the senator’s granddaughter, wanted her grandfather’s supporters to know whom they were opposing.

“I am a Diaz; my family is very political,” said Ms. Diaz, whose pastel pink shirt stood in contrast to her grandfather’s bright white cowboy suit. “It is in my blood to stand up for what I believe in — regardless of who I am up against.”

Ms. Diaz’s supporters, far smaller than the raucous rally on the courthouse steps, numbered a couple of dozen, including her mother, sister and girlfriend.

They spun rainbow umbrellas in the rain and shouted through a bullhorn until a police officer said they did not have the proper permit.

It was years ago that Ms. Diaz told her grandfather that she was gay. The experience, she said, was a positive one. “He told me that regardless of my decision, he is my grandfather, and he loves me, and he respects me,” she recalled. “I respect the fact he believes what he believes.”

But she also spoke of the hurt that came with watching him fight against what mattered most to her: her right to marry whom she pleased and to serve in the Navy, where she enlisted as a young woman hoping to make a career. Instead, she admitted she was a lesbian and was discharged shortly before President Obama signed legislation repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy

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The New York Times

Mr. Holder should erase any confusion by declaring a moratorium on removal of foreign nationals in state-recognized same-sex unions until federal courts determine DOMA’s constitutionality. He should ensure that the government is not focusing on breaking up otherwise law-abiding families.

- Don’t penalize undocumented gay immigrants in civil unions with U.S. citizens - The Washington Post

Washington Post

Minnesota Poll: Support falls for ban on gay marriage | StarTribune.com ⇢

A majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose adding such an amendment while 39 percent favor a constitutional ban — views that appear to be a sharp reversal of poll results seven years ago. Opposition to the ban generally cuts across all ages, though support rises gradually with age. Sixty percent of Minnesotans aged 18 to 34 oppose the idea. A slim majority, 51 percent, of Minnesotans older than 65 oppose the constitutional ban. “We should have our own choices and abilities to chose what we want and not have someone categorize or label people because of their sexual orientation,” said Adam Leistiko, a 22-year-old Democrat from Edina who opposes the marriage amendment. “I have a very open mind.”

Fighting For The Right To Marry, A Family Tradition : NPR
This is a wonderful story!

Fighting For The Right To Marry, A Family Tradition : NPR

This is a wonderful story!

NPR

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