Connect with us

LGBT Orgs React To Supreme Court Decision To Hear Two Gay Marriage Cases

Published

on

var addthis_config = {“data_track_addressbar”:true};

NOTE — FOR MORE, READ: Breaking: Supreme Court To Hear Prop 8 And One DOMA Case

Just minutes ago, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two iconic same-sex marriage cases that have been in the public eye for several years, California’s Prop 8 law and the case of Edie Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

LGBT organizations have released statements, which we are publishing for you in full, below. Stay tuned and refresh the page as we will update as soon as each weighs in.

New statements will be added to the bottom of the page.

HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

MILESTONE FOR LGBT EQUALITY:

Prop. 8, DOMA Will Have their Day in Court

Supreme Court to hear constitutional challenges to discriminatory marriage laws

 

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today heralded the news that the Supreme Court would hear the Hollingsworth v. Perry case challenging California’s Prop. 8 and the Windsor challenge to the discriminatory ban on federal recognition of married same-sex couples known as the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

 

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin – who also co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is the sole sponsor of the Perry lawsuit – released the following statement:

 

“Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage.  The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term.  As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past.

 

“Proposition 8 has been already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else.  I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.

 

“We are also thrilled that the pernicious and ridiculously named Defense of Marriage Act will have its day in court.  I am confident that the Justices will find this law patently unconstitutional and the federal government will get out of the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it doesn’t.

 

“The real heroes today are the brave plaintiff couples who willingly put their lives on trial in order to secure protections for their families and others like them.  Our country owes a debt of gratitude to Kris Perry and Sandy Stier along with Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, Edie Windsor and the rest of the couples, individuals and organizations that stood up to discrimination.  ThePerry case also showed that the old partisan divides are crumbling with the legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies coming together in arguing the case.

 

“With our wins at the ballot box last month and the fight for marriage equality reaching our nation’s highest court, we have reached a turning point in this noble struggle.  We will continue the fight until the promise of our Constitution is realized for every single person in every single corner of this vast country.”

 

FREEDOM TO MARRY

Supreme Court Will Hear CA Prop. 8
And DOMA Discrimination Cases in 2013

 

Washington, DC – Today the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the the case against California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, and one of several cases against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. United States.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released this statement:

“By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.”

“Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.

“Wth the clock now ticking on Supreme Court rulings in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. By winning more states and winning over more hearts and minds, we maximize our chances of victory in court, showing the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.”

 

TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER

SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center celebrates the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States today to accept review of two cases that have challenged the constitutionality of laws barring access to marriage for same-sex couples. The cases include Perry v. Brown, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in that state, is unconstitutional, and Windsor v. United States, in which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.

“We are pleased that the court has agreed to decide once and for all whether these blatantly discriminatory marriage bans are permitted under our Constitution,” said Ilona Turner, Legal Director of Transgender Law Center. “These laws that unconstitutionally restrict access to marriage based solely on gender must be struck down. We are confident that the Court will stand with the slew of recent federal court decisions holding that both DOMA and Prop 8 are unconstitutional.”

“Marriage equality is an issue that affects many members of the transgender community,” added Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director. “It helps all of us when the government gets out of the business of policing people’s gender and using gender to define who gets access to important benefits. Marriage equality is an important issue for the entire LGBT community.”

Frequently, whether a transgender person’s marriage is recognized as valid or not by the government depends on what state they live in, what medical procedures they’ve undergone, and whether or not an employer or insurer or family member challenges their marriage’s validity.

Continued Davis, “We know that marriage equality alone won’t solve all of the serious challenges that the transgender community faces. But the increasing recognition of marriage equality throughout the land will, by definition, lessen government scrutiny into what a person’s legal gender is, making it increasingly possible for all of us to live our authentic lives free from discrimination.”

Transgender Law Center joined other civil rights organizations in submitting friend-of-the-court briefs in both Perry and Windsor, arguing that gender-based marriage bans violate the Constitution.

 

OUTSERVE-SLDN

(WASHINGTON, DC) Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson released the following statement in response today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to grant cert. in Windsor v. United States.

“The Supreme Court has rightly decided to address the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and we are confident that at the end of this process, this law – just like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – will be relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

In October 2011, OutServe-SLDN (then known as Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) filed landmark litigation on behalf of eight plaintiff couples challenging DOMA and other federal statutes that prevent the military from providing the same recognition, support, and benefits to all service members, veterans and their families. The case is currently stayed.

“The harm done to our brave service members and their families, and to our national security, by the Defense of Marriage Act is unconscionable. These are American patriots making the same sacrifices, providing the same service, and taking the same risks as their straight counterparts. They should not be treated as second class citizens,” said Robinson.

Robinson also congratulated the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, commonly known as the Prop 8 case, as well as the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The Court announced its decision to hear arguments in that case as well.

“The bravery of these plaintiffs and the tenacity of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and its founder Chad Griffin have been key catalysts in the movement we have seen across this nation on marriage equality. Today, we honor their work, applaud their leadership, and vow to keep up the fight until every American enjoys the freedom to marry under the law,” said Robinson.

 

FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL

FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION TO REVIEW PERRY V. BROWN AND WINDSOR V. U.S.

 

Washington, DC  - (Dec. 7, 2012) – Family Equality Council today issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the lower court ruling in Perry v. Brown – thefederal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8 and Windsor V. United States which is a challenge to section III of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to review this case represents an historic and significant step forward in the fight for marriage equality for all American families, but especially the more than one million loving and committed parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in this country who are raising more than two million children,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.

“While our families are already bound together by love, there is no denying that the freedom to marry will strengthen them,” said Chrisler.  “Denying some American families marriage also denies their children some of the basic protections they need in life as well as a sense of enduring security and stability.”

Chrisler added, “We know that according to the 2010 U.S. Census, one-quarter of all lesbian and gay couples throughout the United States are raising children.  We look forward to the Supreme Court’s decision and the day when parents in all states will be able to give their families the strong legal and economic foundation that only marriage can provide.”

 

GLAAD

SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW DOMA, PROP. 8

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to the Supreme Court’s historic decision to hear the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, as well as Edie Windsor v. United States, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 3 of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act.’

 

GLAAD today also released profiles of couples, who plan to marry or have already married in California. Those profiles are available at http://glaad.org/marriage

 

“Today is a historic moment for our nation, equality and countless gay and lesbian couples, who simply want an opportunity to marry the person they love,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Our momentum is great and our resolve is strong, with the Supreme Court now poised to affirm our Constitution’s core principals of liberty, dignity and equality for all.”

 

AFER:

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Proposition 8 Case
 High Court to Consider Marriage Equality for Gay and Lesbian Americans
Washington, DC – Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an order granting review in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerlyPerry v. Brown), the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry.  With today’s order, the Supreme Court will consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Perry case was filed on May 22, 2009, in Federal District Court on behalf of two California couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.  On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court also granted review in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law.
“This case is about the fundamental constitutional right of allAmericans to marry the person they love.  The plaintiffs we represent are two loving couples who, like millions of other gay and lesbian Americans, are being denied the right to marry and the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect under the law,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson.  “The Supreme Court’s decision to grant review in this case illustrates the national significance of marriage equality, and brings us closer to the day when every American will be able to equally enjoy the fundamental freedom to marry.”
“Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that the freedom to marry is one of the most fundamental rights—if not the mostfundamental right—of all Americans,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies.  “As we have said from the very beginning of this case, the denial of that fundamental right seriously harms gay and lesbian Americans and the children they are raising.  It serves no legitimate state interest.  We are ready to defend our victories before the Supreme Court, where we will urge the Justices to reaffirm our Constitution’s central promises of liberty, equality, and human dignity.”
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of the Perry case.
“Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage,” said AFER co-founder Chad Griffin.  “Proposition 8 has already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else.  I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the Court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.”
“Gay and lesbian couples across the nation are one step closer to achieving the full and equal right to marry denied to them by discriminatory laws like Proposition 8,” said Bruce Cohen, president of AFER’s Board of Directors.  “Today marks the final chapter of a journey that we started four years ago, and I am thrilled to see that marriage equality is finally within our grasp.”
“This is the moment we have been fighting for since we first filed this case,” said AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer.  “In just the last few years, America has witnessed extraordinary momentum toward marriage equality for all.  Multiple federal court decisions and a majority of Americans recognize that it is past time that the nation redeem our Constitution’s promise of liberty and equality for all by ensuring that every American has the right to marry the person they love.  Make no mistake, with two lower court victories and the Constitution on our side, we will prevail.”
On July 30, 2012, the proponents of Proposition 8 asked the Supreme Court to review the February 2012 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the historic August 2010 judgment of the Federal District Court that struck down Proposition 8.  The Ninth Circuit held:
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”
On June 5, 2012, the full Ninth Circuit denied Proponents’ request for an eleven-judge panel to rehear the case, known as rehearingen banc.
Having granted Proponents’ request for review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Supreme Court will now receive written briefs from the parties and hear oral argument by April 2013.  A decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 is expected by the end of June 2013.
Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Trump Jr. Winds Up in Felony Poaching Scandal in Utah After Killing a Bear Baited With Pastries: Report

Published

on

Second-generation New York real estate heir Donald Trump, Jr. is caught up in yet another hunting scandal.

Utah hunting guide Wade Lemon is facing five years in prison for baiting a bear that was killed by Trump, Jr. on May 18, 2018, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.

But the New York developer may not have been familiar enough with western hunting to know about the felony poaching.

“Trump Jr. is not named in a recent filing against Lemon, but the DNR confirmed his identity as the person named in the felony complaint as Lemon’s “client” on the hunt. Prosecutors have indicated there was no evidence showing Trump Jr. would have known about the alleged baiting that went on during the hunt,” the newspaper reported. “Without naming Trump Jr., Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said the hunter in the case ‘was actually a victim and a now a possible witness in a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation.'”

Trump, Jr. posted pictures of his hunting trip to Instagram.

“On Sept. 3, 2020, The Utah Investigative Journalism Project requested files on closed investigations against Wade Lemon Hunting. The DNR provided files on cases dating back to 2009 except for the case on the 2018 Trump Jr. hunt. DNR had decided to reopen that case and denied the records request, stating the release would interfere with the now ‘open’ investigation,” the newspaper reported. “DNR turned the case over to the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Utah Attorney General Reyes has close ties to Trump, having campaigned for him and even flying to Nevada to investigate the election results after Trump’s defeat at the polls and signed on to a lawsuit claiming ‘unlawful election results.’ The Attorney General’s Office reinvestigated the case for months, then handed it off to the Davis County Attorney’s Office to screen for filing of charges.”

Trump, Jr.’s guided hunting trip resulted in kills of a black bear and mountain lion.

“Charging documents allege Lemon’s outfitters illegally used bait on the bear shot by Trump Jr. According to the document, a witness identified Lemon and his employees during the hunt in May 2018 and was able to identify Lemon over radio traffic, giving instructions to his employees,” the newspaper reported. “The illegal bait, ‘a pile of grain, oil and pastries’ was discovered with a trail camera pointed right on it with ‘WLH’ (for Wade Lemon Hunting) written on the side and with Lemon’s own telephone number, according to court documents. The charging documents also include evidence from a subordinate confirming Lemon had him place the bait in the location several weeks before the hunt.”

The guide Trump, Jr. hired for his hunt has been investigated before.

“Hunting guides who cater to the wealthy elite have a lot at stake in ensuring successful hunts. These companies employ hunters to scout woods, deserts, mountains and plains for the biggest game, to ensure these high-profile clients have the highest chance for a successful hunt. According to DNR, Wade Lemon Hunting has been investigated eight times for allegedly breaking the law to ensure a successful hunt, though he was not charged with a felony until Tuesday,” the newspaper explained.

The vast majority of game taken in America is from hunters who do not require a hired guide.

The former president’s eldest son has previously had scandals over killing an elephant in Africa, killing an endangered sheep in Mongolia, and killing pregnant prairie dogs in Montana.

 

Continue Reading

News

Adam Schiff Prosecutes the Case Against Ginni Thomas on MSNBC After ‘Stunning’ Revelations

Published

on

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee offered a brutal analysis after a bombshell new report on efforts by Ginni Thomas seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post. The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud,” the newspaper reported.

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for analysis.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor who was the impeachment manager during Trump’s first trial and is a member of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, was asked by Wallace if the select committee would interview Ginni Thomas.

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP finds new scapegoat for baby formula outrage

“There are several stunning things to me about what is publicly known and has been revealed about Ginni Thomas. Here, she is weighing in with state legislators in Arizona, seeking to get them to essentially send a bogus slate of electors, that didn’t represent who won the popular election in Arizona,” Schiff said.

He referenced legal proceedings over the subpoena of “coup memo” author John Eastman.

“And you know, the judge in California, Judge Carter and the case involving Eastman, this lawyer, describes what the former president was involved in as a criminal conspiracy.”

“That was a conspiracy to interfere with the joint session, to defraud people, and here you have the wife of a Supreme Court justice engaged in a parallel effort to get Arizona to improperly cast aside the votes of millions,” he charged. “And also to add to it, her husband, on the Supreme Court, writing a dissent in a case, arguing providing records to Congress that might have revealed those same emails.”

READ MORE: The Buffalo shooter had a toothache — an extremism expert explains the bizarre reason it matters

“That conflict of interest just screams at you,” Schiff said.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading

News

‘Fear-Driven Alliance’: Conservative Explains Why Far-Right CPAC ‘Opportunists’ and ‘Paranoids’ Are Meeting in Hungary

Published

on

The rise of authoritarianism and fascism growing within the Republican Party was discussed by the opening panel on MSNBC’s “The Reidout” on Friday.

Host Joy Reid noted how the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Hungary this year, which is ruled by strongman Viktor Orbán.

“They have elections, of a sort, but also hamper voters’ abilities to make informed choices and heavily control the outcome that the elections are essentially a show,” she explained. “These are the autocratic dreams of a far-right leader obsessed with solidifying a Christian monoculture and who, in 2014, declared his intention to build an illiberal new state citing China, Russia and Turkey as role models. Flash forward to today where CPAC, the once conservative gathering that is now simply a cesspool of the far-right running amok, is holding its conference in Budapest.”

For analysis, Reid interviewed conservative writer Tom Nichols.

Nichols warned “there is a nihilistic, fear-driven alliance here with a group of opportunists, and I want to get back to this issue of about Hungary, the really dangerous thing here is that some of these people believe very deeply in — in some of this stuff and yet others, and I would say people like [Tucker] Carlson and Matt Schlapp and some of the other people capering about in Budapest, don’t believe in any of this and don’t believe in anything of this other than the extension of their own personal power and wealth.

“And when you have this coalition of shallow, empty opportunists along with with a group of paranoids, basically, then you have a really dangerous movement because each side has to keep upping the ante to kind of justify why they are doing the things they are doing,” he explained.

“A lot of this is an act, but the problem is you then paint yourself into a corner… You have to start actually trying to put forward policies and carry things out that, that make you look as if you believe the things that you’re doing. And then after a while, whether it’s an act or its opportunism is no longer relevant: You have become the thing you’ve been prancing about and pretending to be,” he explained.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.