In spite of being legally married in the U.S. State of Iowa, Inger Knudson-Judd and Philippa Knudson-Judd don’t get to spend much time together or with their 12 year old daughter. In fact, prior to this most recent 5 week visit, the couple hadn’t seen each other in 6 months.
Today, five activists from GetEQUAL Ohio, a direct action LGBT rights group associated with the national organization, GetEQUAL, were arrested while attempting to deliver a petition to Speaker of the House John Boehner at his office in Columbus.
The petition, which urged the Speaker to focus on job creation rather than using tax payer money to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), contained over 33,000 signatures.
Lamar Smith (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives – and my district’s representative – has asked the court to let him, and not the Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DoJ), appeal the ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al., striking down key provisions of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Shortly after the passage of Proposition 8 in California, the rights and privileges of opposite-sex couples were enumerated and totalled, at the Federal level, 1138 rights of marriage that are not enjoyed by same-sex couples. Since that time, that list has shrunken slightly, to 1136 rights.
I love my driver’s license. It gives me the ability to get in a car and go just about anywhere in the United States. It’s gotten me on board aircrafts to virtually every state in this great country. I’ve seen the big sky of Montana and the roaring waters of Niagara, in large part, thanks to my driver’s license.
My driver’s license has a state seal on it, bearing the markings of the State of Texas and it has a 10 year old picture of me on it (shh, don’t tell the DMV!).
Last month, a U.S. District Judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer seeking to find the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional. That dismissal was a logistics issue, not a dismissal because the allegations against DOMA were unfounded. In the Smelt case, the Judge found that the suit “should have” been filed in federal court, not state court.
The Wisconsin Attorney General, J. B. Van Hollen, has stated that he will not defend the legislatures domestic partnership law in filings seeking to overturn it. The republican Attorney General feels the legislation, which provides hospital visitation and inheritance protections to same-sex couples, is a violation of the Wisconsin Constitution which holds that no relationship between same-sex couples can be recognized in Wisconsin which is “similar to” marriage.
Utah Newspaper Rejects Gay Wedding Announcement – Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones live in San Francisco and were married June 17, 2008. Mr. Jones is originally from Utah and wanted the announcement printed in his hometown paper – prior to a family party there. The clerk at The Spectrum initially accepted the announcement information along with the payment – then later the announcement was decined. The Spectrum had been on GLAAD’s list of inclusive newspapers – and GLAAD did try to help but without success. The announcement has since been published in The Salt Lake Tribune – another local paper.
Tennessee Schools Agree to Remove Anti-LGBT Filter – In April 2009 the ACLU sent a letter to the Nashville school district. The district had set up filters on school computers – blocking access to LGBT friendly websites. Students were having to out themselves to their teachers to try to gain access.
It’s easy to see why so much attention is being given to the lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, is getting so much attention. Massachusetts was the first of the now six states to provide marriage equality to its citizens. It now seems Massachusetts will lead the way as the State challenges the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”).
But before the wahoos in Texas and other jurisdictions get their Bibles all up in people’s faces, the challenge presented by Massachusetts doesn’t challenge Section 2 of DOMA which allows states not to recognize unions performed in other jurisdictions, but instead challenges Section 3 which defines marriage on the Federal level as being between one man and one woman.
Do you remember the pre-President Obama? He would stand before a crowd of say, 20 people at a community center talking about the American Dream and living it. At that time, and currently, he had a “wife” that he loved, someone he could turn to while speaking and say, “Thank you to my beautiful ‘wife’ for helping me live this dream.”
Well Mr. President, I have a dream too. I dream that someday I can stand before a crowd of people and say, “Thank you to my beautiful ‘husband’ for helping me live this dream.”