Posts tagged ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

Obama Administration Would Not Defend The Constitutionality Of Denying Militery Benifits To Same-Sex Couples

The DOJ under Obama Administration announced on the 17th of February that it will not defend laws that would prevent married same=sex couples from getting military benefits.

Attorney General Eric Holder mentioned in a letter to the Congress, “the legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans … Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”

The Defence of Married Act prevents the federal government from recognising same-sex relationships even if the couple is legally married in their state.

The lawsuit was filed last October on behalf of Maj. Shannon McLaughlin of Massachusetts which talks about the benefits that all heterosexual couples enjoy, were denied to McLaughlin and her partner Casey such as, medical and dental benefits, basic housing allowances, travel and transportation allowances, family separation benefits, military ID cards, visitation rights in military hospitals, survivor benefit plans, and the right to be buried together in military cemeteries.

The Department of Justice had already announced on February 23, 2011 that it would not defend the Constitutionality of DOMA.

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BREAKING: No deportation of bi-national couples unless they are a security threat

On Auguest 18th, the Obama administration has announced, all deportation cases of foreign nationals would be stalled unless the individual is a security threat to the country, or repeat immigration law violaters. This includes bi-national same-sex couples too.

The policy was introduced by Janet Nepolitano, Homeland Security Secretary to the Senate leader Harry Reid. The full letter can be viewed here.

As a result of this new policy, hopefully the danger of deportation that was looming on Anthony John Makk who is of Australian nationality and married to Bradford Wells, might just disappear. The couples predicament was covered by CNN and a detail of the interview can be found here.

A more detailed analysis of the proposed policy has been covered by Gay City News. Here is the link to their blog post.

Same-sex bi-national legally married couples, previously were not recognized by the administration on the basis of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This is going to change as per this new policy, which is a huge relief.

DOMA’s wrath is likely to destroy another family

Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk have been legally married for 7 years. Although the state of Massachusetts acknowledges the marriage, the federal government does not. As a result, in spite of being married and having been together for 19 years, Anthony faces deportation to his native country Australia in a couple of weeks.

Apart from the obvious repercussions that they will have to face if Anthony is deported, there is  another very crucial aspect they will have to deal with… and that is Bradford’s advanced AIDS condition. Anthony is the sole caregiver and if he is deported, Brad is going to lose his caregiver and he has no idea how he would go about with his daily life without help.

President Obama has already declared Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and stated, his administration will not defend its constitutionality in court cases.   But till DOMA is repealed, it stays in effect and on the basis of the law, none of the same-sex marriages across the country are recognized by the federal government.

So Bradford’s love, affection, commitment to his partner has no value in the eyes of his country’s government just because the partner happens to be a man.

Breaking: New York Attorney General Challenges DOMA

New York State attorney general Mr. Eric Schneiderman filed a legal brief today (Tuesday) where he challenged the constitutionality of DOMA.

This action comes promptly after New York signed Marriage Equality into law and hundreds of same-sex couples rode the first wave of exhilaration from the victory and tied the knot on Sunday.

Although this was a huge step forward towards equality for LGBT people, it was still not total equality. Even if same-sex couples can marry and the state would honour the nuptial, federal government still doesn’t and wouldn’t recognize it. A same-sex couple married in New York would not be recognized in New Jersey. As a result many benefits available to heterosexual couples from the federal government are still beyond reach of same-sex couple. We are close but not close enough.

President Obama has already declared DOMA unconstitutional and instructed the justice department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act and has called for the law’s repeal.

Senate approves defense bill sans anti-gay amendments

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/06/senate-panel-approves-defense-spending-bill-without-anti-gay-amendments/

Of late, I have been kind of losing hope and getting disheartened and depressed from all the force with which the anti-gay organisations, politicians, personalities have been trying to kill all our dreams.

But tonight, just before retiring for the night, this piece of news, brought my faith back on right over wrong. Not only the anti-gay amendments weren’t included, Article 125 has been repealed too, which criminalized sodomy even among consensual adults, gay or straight.

If only these angry, hate filled people knew, that it doesn’t take much to make us happy. All we want is what every living human being wants. Its very basic, very simple, to a point where it  almost seems trivial and unimportant. To be respected, accepted, included in the big picture, to be able to be a part of the human family, with the same rights and responsibilities.

I really felt hopeless, when even after repealing DADT, few politicians still tried everything in their power to delay it and if they could get their way, over turn it, and throw us back in the abyss  where we thought we had finally crawled out of.

But today, it looks like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is finally going to rest in peace in the pages of history. I really wish, the next generation would never ask and we don’t have to tell them about this shameful law.

But I guess, DADT is gone so they will ask and we will tell.

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