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 Topic: Administration supports lesbian employee's case | APNews

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bowzerbird  



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
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Interests: Webkinz, Photography & Animation
Physical Location: Washington

Posted: 3 Jul 2011, 5:08 pm    Post subject: Administration supports lesbian employee's case | APNews Reply with quote

Finally, the Feds are on OUR side: This is the "paradigm shift" and can hopefully force states to comply!!
Here's the link:
http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/2011/07/administration-supports-lesbian-employees-case

Here is the actual article if you want a "Sneak Peek"

Administration supports lesbian employee's case
By: SUDHIN THANAWALA | Associated Press | 07/02/11 12:27 PM


In a strongly worded legal brief, the Obama administration has said the federal act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman was motivated by hostility toward gays and lesbians and is unconstitutional.

The brief was filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco in support of a lesbian federal employee's lawsuit claiming the government wrongly denied health coverage to her same-sex spouse.

The Justice Department says Karen Golinski's suit should not be dismissed because the law under which her spouse was denied benefits — the Defense of Marriage Act — violates the constitution's guarantee of equal protection.

"The official legislative record makes plain that DOMA Section 3 was motivated in large part by animus toward gay and lesbian individuals and their intimate relationships, and Congress identified no other interest that is materially advanced by Section 3," the brief reads, referring to the section in the act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Though the administration has previously said it will not defend the marriage act, the brief is the first court filing in which it urges the court to find the law unconstitutional, said Tobias Barrington Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

"This brief represents the concrete manifestation of a complete paradigm shift in the federal government's position on anti-gay discrimination and the constitutional rights of married same-sex couples," Wolff said in a phone interview Saturday.

The brief argues that gays and lesbians have been subject to a history of discrimination by federal, state and local governments and private parties. It also lays out the administration's position that sexual orientation is an "immutable characteristic," that gays and lesbians are minorities with limited political power and that sexual orientation has no bearing on someone's ability to contribute to society and advances no legitimate policy interest.

"It's quite powerful to have the administration saying in a court filing that this kind of discrimination should be viewed suspiciously," said Tara Borelli, an attorney for Golinski.

Attorneys for a U.S. House of Representatives group that has stepped in to defend the marriage act's constitutionality in the Golinski case did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In court filings, they have said that multiple courts have relied on Congress's justifications for enacting the law to uphold its constitutionality.

Golinski is a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lawyer. She sued the U.S. Office of Personnel Management last year for not authorizing family health coverage for her same-sex spouse.

Her attorneys are now seeking summary judgment in her favor.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/2011/07/administration-supports-lesbian-employees-case#ixzz1R5PHIJG4
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glbtq  
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Joined: 01 Feb 2003
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Posted: 4 Jul 2011, 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Administration supports lesbian employee's case | APNews Reply with quote

Yes, this is a very important development. Thanks for posting the link and the article.
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Linda  



Joined: 12 May 2003
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Physical Location: Dearborn, MI

Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is good to see the strength and clarity of the language in the Justice Department's brief. Let us hope that Ms. Golinski prevails in her case.

Thanks for posting this important article, Bowzerbird. If you read about further developments, please share those as well.
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JayJay  



Joined: 27 Sep 2006
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Interests: gay history

Posted: 6 Jul 2011, 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thanks for this posting bowzerbird. Also see the entry here on Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the social sciences department, which has more information about this lawsuit plus others that are challenging DOMA.
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glbtq  
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Posted: 7 Jul 2011, 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is worth noting that the Ninth Circuit panel that lifted the stay of the ruling declaring Don't Ask, Don't Tell cited the Justice Department's brief in the Golinski case. That is very unusual for a brief that was just filed on Friday to be cited in an opinion on a different case issued less than a week later!
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