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Equality news round-up: Federal agencies will have new guidance in DOMA, and more

By Scottie Thomaston - The Washington Blade has an interview of the plaintiffs in the Virginia marriage equality lawsuit. - The Department of Labor is issuing new guidance about changes to family and medical leave policies after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision. - The Pentagon may require same-sex couples to get married in order to [...]

San Diego’s County Clerk withdraws petition asking California Supreme Court to clarify Prop 8 validity

By Scottie Thomaston Ernest Dronenburg, San Diego’s County Clerk, has withdrawn his petition to the California state supreme court asking for clarification on enforcement of Prop 8. Dronenberg had filed his petition shortly after ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Prop 8, filed their own similar one. The official proponents’ petition is still pending: San Diego [...]

Four day trial anticipated in challenge to exclusion of same-sex spouses from Arizona’s domestic partnership benefits for state employees

By Scottie Thomaston A four-day trial is anticipated in federal court in Arizona over the state’s law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, that was designed to take away domestic partnership benefits from state employees in same-sex relationships. Arizona bans same-sex marriage, and the law at issue in the case would only allow benefits for spouses, [...]

Federal appeals court takes up case on anti-LGBT discrimination in jury selection

By Scottie Thomaston Following last week’s news that a Senate committee has advanced a bill to ban the practice of discrimination against jurors based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Adam Liptak has a story in the New York Times about a federal legal challenge to a decision by a lawyer to peremptorily strike a [...]

Federal judge: post-Windsor, same-sex spouses entitled to retirement benefits under ERISA plans

By Scottie Thomaston Yesterday, a federal district court issued its final decision in Cozen O’Connor v. Tobits, a long-awaited decision in a challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The judge ruled that after United States v. Windsor, the plaintiffs challenging the law should win. The case involved a married [...]

House Republicans withdraw from more DOMA cases

By Scottie Thomaston Bishop v. United States (formerly Bishop v. Oklahoma): This case challenges Sections 2 and 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as well as Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality. The plaintiffs had previously filed a supplemental brief arguing that United States v. Windsor‘s outcome and reasoning means this case should [...]

Post-DOMA, new advances in LGBT legal equality

By Scottie Thomaston Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, some members of Congress are seeking to make changes to the US Code that would bring it in line with the Court’s decision, and federal agencies are [...]

Equality news round-up: Post-DOMA LGBT progress, and more

By Scottie Thomaston - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the appeal in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, challenging Section 3 of DOMA. Since the Supreme Court struck down the statute in United States v. Windsor, the case is now over. - In the federal challenge to Michigan’s ban on marriage equality, [...]

California Supreme Court declines to halt same-sex marriages in latest challenge by San Diego’s county clerk

By Scottie Thomaston Last week, San Diego’s county clerk filed a petition with the California state supreme court to end the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the state. (This is separate from the one filed the previous week by the proponents of Prop 8 to halt marriages.) As in the petition filed [...]

Federal judge orders Ohio state officials to recognize marriage of a same-sex couple

By Scottie Thomaston Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the state of Ohio to recognize a same-sex marriage for the purpose of acknowledging a man’s marital status on his death certificate. John Arthur and James Obergefell live in Ohio and got married in Maryland, and Arthur was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) which is fatal. [...]

The latest in ongoing court challenges to Section 3 of DOMA

By Scottie Thomaston More challenges to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are still working their way through the courts, and EqualityOnTrial is working to keep up with the latest developments in the ongoing cases. Here is a round-up of some of the most recent updates: - Golinski v. Office of [...]

Equality news round-up: Updates on LGBT judicial nominees, and more

By Scottie Thomaston - A gay judicial nominee for the Federal Circuit has advanced in a Senate committee. - Another judicial nominee who is gay and black is facing a stalled process in the Senate. - An analysis of why it will take a year for same-sex couples in England and Wales to be able [...]

House Republicans won’t defend statutes denying benefits to same-sex spouses of military servicemembers

By Scottie Thomaston When the Justice Department declined to defend Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), House Republicans decided to defend the law, through its Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). After that, more challenges to different aspects of the federal definition of marriage began to be brought, including in the immigration [...]

DOMA cases continue to wind their way through the courts

By Scottie Thomaston Nearly a month after the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, some of the remaining challenges to the law are still working their way through the lower courts. Here is a short round up of some of [...]

England, Wales marriage equality bill is now law, marriages start in 2014

By Scottie Thomaston Yesterday, the House of Lords in the UK gave final approval to the marriage equality bill, sending it back to the House of Commons (where it was voted on and passed previously) and then to Queen Elizabeth II for her royal assent. The bill faced a two hour debate in the House [...]

Report: Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage stalled in Republican-led House of Representatives

By Scottie Thomaston Last month, when the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, a Republican representative in the House introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Amendments have to pass by 2/3 in both houses of Congress and [...]

New rulings issued in anti-transgender employment discrimination cases

By Scottie Thomaston Last year, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) issued a major employment discrimination ruling in favor of a transgender worker. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based on sex, and the ruling held that anti-transgender discrimination is sex discrimination under that statute. The ruling was groundbreaking for [...]

California Supreme Court declines to stay same-sex marriages

By Scottie Thomaston The California Supreme Court has just denied Prop 8 proponents’ request for a stay on performing same-sex marriage in the state. The proponents asked the court on Friday to stay the marriages and to consider mandating enforcement of Prop 8 in all but two counties in the state, state officials responded, and [...]

Response filed in Prop 8 proponents’ latest attempt to halt same-sex marriages in California

By Scottie Thomaston On Friday, the proponents of Prop 8, ProtectMarriage.com, asked the California state supreme court to order the enforcement of Prop 8. The proponents argue that Judge Walker’s injunction against enforcement of Prop 8 doesn’t apply broadly across the entire state and that California law requires enforcement of Prop 8 until an appeals [...]

Equality news round-up: majority support for marriage equality in Virginia, update in Michigan marriage lawsuit

By Scottie Thomaston - A new poll says 55% of Virginians support marriage equality. The poll results are similar to a Washington Post poll conducted in May. - The Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed out of committee this week and onto the Senate floor. Senator Harkin says he believes there are 60 votes for passage. Now, [...]

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