GLAD is bringing a suit against the US for denial of federal benefits under DOMA. They have 8 same sex couples that are either currently married or widowed that have applied for federal benefits and have been denied. They are challenging Section 3 of the DOMA. It will be an interesting approach if it does actually get to the US Supreme Court for hearings.
GLAD CHALLENGES DOMA § 3
On March 3, 2009, GLAD filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Boston on behalf of eight married couples and three surviving spouses from Massachusetts who have been denied federal legal protections available to spouses. Two of these couples will be filing suit after receiving rejections of their amended tax returns from the IRS. Each plaintiff is currently eligible for a particular program or benefit, applied for it, and was denied that legal protection because of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). You can view the Complaint here.
DOMA was enacted in 1996 before any state began issuing marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples. It has two substantive parts. Section 2 authorizes states to establish policies with respect to marriages of same-sex couples. Section 3 deals with federal discrimination and is the only portion of DOMA challenged in GLAD’s lawsuit. (Section 1 merely names the act.)
Section 3 of DOMA applies to the federal government only. It overrides a state’s determination that a same-sex couple is married and says that they are not married for purposes of all federal laws and programs, even though the federal government has always deferred to state determinations of marital status. Under this law, “the word ‘marriage’ means only the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” This law requires all federal departments and agencies to disrespect the valid state-licensed marriages of same-sex couples but not other married couples. As a result, only married same-sex couples are denied all rights, protections and responsibilities associated with marriage at the federal level.
Here are the links for articles, PDF of the complaint application to the court and such.
GLAD DOMA page
PDF of complaint
, Attorney General for Mass agrees with suit
It will be an interesting few years on this one. I at least hope the USSC takes up the case and hears arguments. Even if it is another loss it will show that we are still here fighting for every inch that we can get and we will not give up. I just wish that Obama would repeal the DOMA. I cannot see it being done in the next four years. WAYYYYY to much crap for him to deal with, thanks Bush!?!
Hopefully, he will show the LGBT community that he is doing what he said he would do for us. Then we can give him the second four years to get ride of DOMA.