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

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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.
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'GASLIGHTING'

‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

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Legal experts are now weighing in on Thursday’s bombshell, massive and months-long reporting from The New York Times that reveals, among several previously unknown allegations, that then-Attorney General Bill Barr and his special counsel, John Durham were handed apparent evidence of suspicious financial acts by Donald Trump, and proceeded to create a false public narrative that Durham’s investigation found evidence of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump, suggesting it was on the part of the FBI, not the president, in order to protect the president.

“On one of Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham’s trips to Europe,” The Times reveals, “according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes.”

The Times adds that “Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump.”

READ MORE: Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted

“Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”

Until now.

Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert who literally wrote the book on the U.S. Constitution, calls the Times’ report “jaw-dropping.”

“When Durham unexpectedly found evidence of crimes committed BY rather than AGAINST Trump, he and Barr deliberately deceived the nation into thinking the opposite! This deep dive by the NYT is as jaw-dropping as anything I’ve read in the past decade,” Tribe says.

Law professor and former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill, one of TIME’s  2021 most influential people in the world, accused Barr of “gaslighting” the public.

READ MORE: ‘Moral Turpitude’: Trump Coup Memo Author John Eastman Now Facing 11 Counts of Alleged Ethics Violations – and Disbarment

“Every line of this article must be read,” Ifill implored. “Horrifying breaches of professional ethics, misuse of DOJ investigative resources, and deliberate lies to, and gaslighting of the public. A grotesque perversion of the appropriate role of Attorney General.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known MSNBC legal contributor and professor of law, also calls it “jaw dropping.”

“Jaw dropping reporting. Lots here including an explanation of why Durham’s colleague resigned: under pressure from Barr to release an ‘interim’ report damaging Clinton & the FBI as the election drew near, Durham had a draft prepared that wasn’t factual,” she says.

Andrew Weissman, the former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who spent 20 years at DOJ, including working under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calls Barr “corrupt.”

“Can anyone really be surprised by this?” he asks. “Barr was just so corrupt and so corrupted the DOJ.”

MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor and the first woman to serve as US General Counsel of the Army was troubled by the picture The Times painted of how close Barr and Durham were, when special counsels are supposed to have great autonomy and not be shaded by any Attorney General interference.

“Even more troubling than Barr and Durham frequently having drinks and discussing the investigation is the fact that the only crime they discovered on their foreign trip was Italian intel about crimes by Trump,” she says via Twitter. “I want to know the status of that investigation!”

READ MORE: Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

Some legal experts lament that despite the bombshells in The Times’ report, it appears nothing will come of it – certainly nothing from the House Republicans.

Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin sardonically asks, “Surely McCarthy and Jim Jordan’s new Select Committee on ‘the Weaponization of the Federal Government’ will focus on this story and the actions of Bill Barr, John Durham and Donald Trump. Surely, right? Right?”

Wine-Banks also points to House Republicans’ new committee investigating what they claim is “weaponization” of the federal government.

“Barr’s relationship with Durham, his pressure on him to reach a certain result and their failure to follow up on Trump’s crime revealed during the investigation is what weaponization of the DOJ looks like — not what Republicans want to investigate now.”

Pete Strzok, who spent 26 years at the FBI including as Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Counterintelligence Division, and led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, speaks from experience.

“I can see Barr allowing the stunning amount of craziness (a gentle choice of word) described in this article,” he writes. “But does anyone in the current OAG or ODAG care about this? Durham has reported to AG Garland for twenty two (22) months now.”

“This,” Weissman adds separately, pointing to The Times article, “is all about the Trump weaponization of the DOJ – but we know that the House Rs won’t give a damn about it.”

 

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News

Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law

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Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.

An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.

In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”

The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s amendment to bar Biden from selling oil goes down in massive bipartisan defeat

Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.

Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.

“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.

Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.

In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”

Patch, which published a screenshot of  what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”

Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.

“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.

“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”

Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.

Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.

Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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