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The Courant: The Connecticut Insurance Department is directing all health insurance companies operating in the state to provide coverage of mental health counseling, hormone therapy, surgery and other treatments related to a patient’s gender transition.
USA Today: Virginia gay, lesbian couples begin same-sex marriage fight that may lead to Supreme Court.
PBS: Obama: States Should All Recognize Marriage
PBS (video and transcript): What are the legal implications of the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8? Jeffrey Brown gets two views on the impact of the court’s rulings from Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defending Freedom and Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
Yahoo News (AP) (includes video): Jim Campbell, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, said the court should not short-circuit a vigorous national debate. “The vast majority of the states have decided to retain the traditional view of marriage that has existed throughout Western civilization. This decision belongs to the people and should be decided by the people,” Campbell said.
Mark Sherman at FDL Reporter (AP): Jim Campbell, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, said the court should not short-circuit a vigorous national debate. “The vast majority of the states have decided to retain the traditional view of marriage that has existed throughout Western civilization. This decision belongs to the people and should be decided by the people,” Campbell said.
Maine Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics Joins Other Child Welfare Organizations on Brief Sup
GLAD: Today, the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other child welfare organizations filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in support of a transgender girl who experienced discrimination …
ACLU: Several national LGBT groups filed an administrative challenge last week to Medicare’s ban on medically necessary healthcare for transgender patients. Medicare currently prohibits all forms of gender reassignment surgeries regardless of the individual patient’s diagnosis or serious medical needs.
GLAD: GLAD initially filed the lawsuit, known as Doe v. Clenchy, after officials at an Orono elementary school denied our client the use of the girls’ restroom and other facilities and restricted her participation in school activities. The school had previously allowed Doe to use the girls’ restroom without incident until one of her male classmates began making it an issue with coaching from his grandfather. Doe also suffered a campaign of harassment and bullying for over two school years at the hands of this classmate, whom the school failed to discipline
GLAD: The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity recognized Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender’s Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto with the newly created Stonewall Award for her significant achievements in advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
ABA Journal: The American Bar Association has chosen Matt Nosanchuk, associate general counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as one of three lawyers to receive its inaugural Stonewall Award, recognizing LGBT advancement in the legal profession.
ABA Journal: Gay marriage may move from the political agenda to the U.S. Supreme Court docket this fall when the justices are expected to consider whether to accept two major cases on how the law treats same-sex couples. But unlike the boisterous debates among candidates, the court’s examination promises to be a relatively understated affair because neither case answers the root question of whether the federal Constitution grants a right to gay marriage.
The ruling in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, No. 3:10-cv-1750 (VLB) (D. Conn. July 31, 2012)
Wall Street Journal: Massachusetts’ top court ruled on Thursday that a Vermont civil union will be recognized as the “equivalent of marriage” in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous opinion . . . | The opinion in Elia-Warnken v. Elia, SJC-11023. July 26, 2012 is accessible here.
The New American: The ADF’s Dale Schowengerdt argued that Wilken’s reasoning was outrageous. “To say that a law that was passed overwhelmingly by Congress is the product of animus is — I don’t know how to say it — it’s unbelievable,” Schowengerdt was quoted by the Christian Science Monitor as saying. “It’s just unbelievable that a judge would be making that sort of value judgment against the entire government, the Congress, and President Bill Clinton.” Brian Camenker of the Massachusetts-based pro-family group Mass Resistance reacted to the most recent court rulings, saying that “federal judges just seem so … out of touch with reality [and] completely disjointed from the Constitution and the rule of law.” Bill Duncan of the Marriage Law Foundation added that “the best way to say it is: These judges are substituting their judgment about what’s good public policy, because they want to see same-sex marriage mandated on the country.”
LifeSiteNews: Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt said the “federal government had the authority to step in against polygamy at one time in our nation’s history, and it has the authority to step in against this attempt at marriage redefinition, as well.”
Reaction to the Boston appeals court’s decision to toss out the federal Defense of Marriage Act | Boston Globe
Boston Globe: “Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it. The federal Defense of Marriage Act provides that type of protection, and we trust the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the 1st Circuit’s erroneous decision.” “In allowing one state to hold the federal government, and potentially other states, hostage to redefine marriage, the 1st Circuit attempts a bridge too far. Under this rationale, if just one state decided to accept polygamy, the federal government and perhaps other states would be forced to accept it, too. The federal government had the right to step in against polygamy at one time in our nation’s history, and it has the right to step in against this attempt at marriage redefinition as well.” — Dale Schowengerdt, legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, an alliance of Christian attorneys
GLAD: In a case involving a man who married in Massachusetts without dissolving his Vermont civil union to a different man, GLAD will argue before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) that the marriage should be considered void.
Eric Russell at Bangor Daily News: The bill took a circuitous route to passage. It was held over from the first session last spring when some groups, including the Maine Family Policy Council, formerly the Maine Christian Civic League, and another group called the Alliance Defense Fund, objected at the last minute . . . The Alliance Defense Fund is a national group headed by Alan Sears, author of a book titled “The Homosexual Agenda,” that has opposed same-sex marriage and equal rights for gays and lesbians.
GLAD: Lawyers should pledge to help homosexual partners undermine child custody rights of natural parents
New guidelines for same-sex parenting and custody | Keen News Service: In several of these cases, notably Miller v. Jenkins, attorneys from conservative legal organizations such as Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund have represented the biological mothers. “They are making an industry of it,” Bonauto noted of the groups. | GLAD: Standards for LGBT Families
GLAD: The Department of Justice followed Wednesday’s withdrawal from two DOMA cases in the Second Circuit, including GLAD’s Pedersen v. OPM by notifying the clerk of the First Circuit that they will also “cease to defend” the two consolidated DOMA cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. HHS. The DOJ has not sent a letter to the Congress declining to defend DOMA in toto in the Gill case, so its determination may only apply to the extent the court determines that heightened scrutiny is the proper standard of review for DOMA’s constitutionality.
LA Times: “Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD, is arguing that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against gay couples who are already legally married. It hopes its incremental approach will lead to a broader ruling by the Supreme Court.”
Lisa Keen writes at theWindy City Times: It is possible—just as happened in California—that some other entity might attempt to mount its own defense of DOMA in the pending cases. Last October, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, filed a motion in the two First Circuit cases, seeking to be named intervenor-defendant. Smith, aided by the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, said at the time that the Justice Department was providing “no defense at all” for DOMA. He withdrew his motion a few weeks later, without comment. [this report contains a lengthy list of responses from homosexual groups]
Marcia Coyle at the Blog of the Legal Times: “A spokeswoman for Smith said his lawyers would need to review the cases pending in the 2nd Circuit before making any decision to try to intervene. Representing Smith in the 1st Circuit were three lawyers from the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, including senior counsel Brian Raum, and a solo practitioner from Salem, Mass., Philip Moran. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), to whom Holder addressed a letter explaining the administration’s decision, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
TPM: The Alliance Defense Fund, which asked a federal court for permission for Rep. Smith to serve as an intervenor-defendant in the DOMA cases in the past, issued a statement Wednesday that said it “will not waver in its ongoing defense of marriage nationwide.” “Either the House of Representatives or the Senate have the legal authority to intervene in pending lawsuits to defend the federal DOMA statute,” Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks said in a statement.
Concord Monitor: “The Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., has vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’ to repeal gay marriage in New Hampshire. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston is promising to do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop them.”
Edge Boston: “The Defense of Marriage Act faced a two-pronged attack on Nov. 9 as two separate organizations and sets of lawyers, representing different plaintiffs, filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the federal definition of marriage.”
Christian Post: “The American Civil Liberties Union and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders both filed lawsuits Tuesday on behalf of same-sex couples trying to receive federal benefits from their partners. In GLAD’s case, the advocate group filed a lawsuit on behalf of five same-sex couples and widowed partner across three states – Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire . . . ADF Legal Council [Dale Schowengerdt] explained that GLAD put multiple plaintiffs on the lawsuit because ‘their legal arguments are a little bit thin and they focus a lot on the stories of these couples and basically make an emotional appeal.’”
Statesman.com: “Tauro has yet to rule on Smith’s motions, filed Oct. 5 by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization of Christian lawyers active in religious liberty, family and marriage issues.”
American Constitution Society Convention panel: “On June 18, at the 2010 ACS National Convention, a panel of experts discussed ‘Marriage Equality: An Update and Preview.’ The panel featured: Christopher Hayes, Washington, D.C. Editor, The Nation, Moderator; Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Brian W. Raum, Senior Counsel, Marriage Litigation Center, Alliance Defense Fund; Therese M. Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney, City of San Francisco; Camilla B. Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal.”
Leonard Link: “One question that immediately began buzzing around the blogosphere was whether the Obama Administration’s Justice Department will appeal these rulings. Others are when will the rulings take effect, and do they have any application outside of Massachusetts? Within the past few days, some answers have begun emerging.”
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: “An amended judgment was entered on Aug. 18 in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Simultaneously, a stay was issued pending any appeal by the government to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. It supersedes a judgment entered by the federal district court on Aug. 12, 2010.”
The Federalist Society’s Barwatch Bulletin for Sunday, August 8, 2010: “David Boies, who served as lead counsel for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election challenge, delivered the keynote address at the Opening Assembly on Saturday. Boies is currently serving on the legal team challenging Proposition 8 in California. He discussed the case in his remarks, which addressed challenges to the rule of law . . . ‘[T]here is only one area in our society in which there continues to be not merely social discrimination, but state-sponsored, state-enforced discrimination against a group of our citizens. And last Wednesday, the federal district court here in the northern district of California took an important step in eliminating that last official discrimination against our gay and lesbian citizens.’”
Leonard Link: “On June 24, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, ruling on the appeal in In re A.M.B., 2010 ME 54, 2010 WL 2521726, vacated and remanded to the Cumberland County Probate Court a petition by a transsexual man for a name change. Probate Judge Joseph R. Mazziotti had denied the name change petition without a written opinion or any communication of reasons, other than ‘judicial discretion.’ . . . ”
Yahoo! News: “‘The case in Massachusetts is much more incremental and strategic,’ said [Jordan Lorence], a senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal firm helping to defend Prop. 8. ‘It’s like a rifle shot. The California case is much more massive in its magnitude. More than a rifle shot, it’s like a big bomb.’”
GLAD: “A U.S. district court judge in Massachusetts has denied the government’s request to dismiss the case of Vanessa Adams, a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmate with gender identity disorder (GID). For years, the BOP denied Ms. Adams treatment for her serious medical condition. As a result, Ms. Adams attempted suicide multiple times when prison doctors failed to provide any treatment. She eventually removed her own genitals. | Complaint | Court Order”
GLAD: “GLAD filed an amended complaint this week in our lawsuit challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Gill v. OPM. The complaint updates the tax overpayments of three of the plaintiff couples due to their inability to file their federal income tax returns under the status ‘married filing jointly.’ Each couple must instead file as either a single individual or head of household when they have dependent children.”
Boston Globe: “‘I think the Obama administration, if they believe the statute is unconstitutional — which it clearly is — does not have a duty to defend it. In fact, they have a duty not to defend it,’’ Shannon P. Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who took a flight from San Francisco to attend the arguments, said afterward.”
Pew Forum (RNS): “The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, pits a campus chapter of a Christian legal group against the Hastings College of the Law and its 20-year-old nondiscrimination policy. ‘Our main argument is that Christian student groups shouldn’t be forced to deny their faith in order to receive equal treatment on campus,’ said [Gregory Baylor], senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is helping represent the CLS chapter before the high court.”
Bay Windows (“GLBT Newspaper”): “In Christian Legal v. Martinez, a Christian law students’ group contests a decision by the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, headed currently by acting chancellor Leo Martinez. The case also includes a gay student group, Outlaw, at the same school as a party to the defense . . . ‘Like every other student group on Hastings’ campus, it too has a choice,’ say GLAD and Lambda. ‘It can adhere to Hastings’ general nondiscrimination policy or forego school funding.’ The federal district court in San Francisco and the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with that logic and ruled for the university and Outlaw. Christian Legal, with the aid of the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And in agreeing to hear that appeal, at least four justices had to indicate a willingness to consider their arguments.”
“A lawyer for the Maine Human Rights Commission told members of the state board today that requiring all students to use ‘biology-based’ restrooms and locker rooms in the state’s schools is illegal and cannot be allowed to continue.”
The National Law Journal: While the high-profile, Ted Olson- and David Boies-managed legal fight against California’s Proposition 8 captures headlines, a carefully planned case quietly underway in Massachusetts federal court could be the gay marriage test with the greatest national impact . . . Although he called the Massachusetts challenges ‘well-planned and coordinated,’ Brian Raum, senior counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports the 1996 law, said, ‘I think all four suits are serious challenges. We are confident they ultimately will not prevail. The federal law is clearly constitutional.’ . . . Outrage then shifted to the law’s supporters who felt the procreation argument was a major leg in the law’s defense. ‘The government has an interest in creating unions that lend themselves to responsible procreation such that kids are raised with their married biological mother and father,’ said Raum, whose Alliance Defense Fund is an amicus party in Smelt.”
Gill v. Office of Personnel Management
Law.com: “The challenge, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, is one of four lawsuits in different parts of the country that ask federal courts to strike down all or parts of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) . . . Although he called the Massachusetts challenges ‘well-planned and coordinated,’ Brian Raum, senior counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports the 1996 law, said, ‘I think all four suits are serious challenges. We are confident they ultimately will not prevail. The federal law is clearly constitutional.’”
ACLU: “We are very surprised and deeply disappointed in the manner in which the Obama administration has defended the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in a brief filed today in Smelt v. United States, a lawsuit brought in federal court in California by a married same-sex couple asking the federal government to treat them equally with respect to federal protections and benefits.”
Public policy should be decided by the public, not by one judge and a very small number of radical activists,” said . . . Brian Raum. “America continues to overwhelmingly reaffirm that marriage is one man and one woman. Does the democratic process mean anything anymore?”
“. . . the federal Defense of Marriage Act makes them ineligible to file joint tax returns. Now Ritchie, Bush and more than a dozen others are suing the federal government, claiming the act discriminates against . . . and is unconstitutional . . . ”
Womensnews.org: Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Boston-based legal team known as GLAD, has two marriage-equality victories behind it in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Now it is pursuing a “6 by 12″ strategy, meaning it hopes to win equal marriage …
OneNewsNow.com reports: New England activist groups are developing a strategy to claim their region for homosexual “marriage” in the next three years. Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council notes Connecticut and Massachusetts have already legalized same-sex marriage, leaving four states for …
A marriage amendment is needed more than ever in the state of Maine, according to attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, as legislators added to their agenda Tuesday a bill that would redefine marriage as a union between two “people.”
State Sen. Dennis Damon is introducing a bill to end the prohibition on gay marriage in Maine. House Republican Josh Tardy, meanwhile, is proposing to bolster the state law restricting marriage to one man and one woman by making it a constitutional amendment . . .
The Washington Times reports: Two New England states have already legalized same-sex marriage, and a Boston-based advocacy group wants to see the other four join them. Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, known as GLAD, has launched a first-of-its-kind regional …
365Gay.com reports: “The Boston-based group that won equal marriage rights in Massachusetts and Connecticut said Tuesday it intends to fight for gay marriage rights in the other four New England states and predicted success by 2012. Gay & Lesbian Advocates …
ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum: “This decision demonstrates–as did the recent decision from the California Supreme Court–the dire need for states to enact constitutional amendments to protect marriage from ongoing judicial attack.”