A very, very good Friday.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court finally announced that they will in fact hear 2 cases involving the constitutionality of the despicable and cynically named, “Defense of Marriage Act” (a.k.a. DOMA). There were several possible outcomes to today’s repeatedly delayed announcement, but the announced outcome is truly the best for anyone who cares about just letting all people live their lives in peace, regardless of sexual orientation.
The Court will review both California’s Proposition 8 and also U.S. v. Windsor, which deals with the part of DOMA that prevents the Federal government from recognizing marriages that are legal in some states for purposes of federal issues (like sponsoring one’s partner for a green card, for example).
SCOTUS blog puts the estimated hearing date somewhere in late March 2013, with a ruling no later than the end of June 2013. It couldn’t come too early for my partner and I as, coincidentally, June 28 is the date certain that he will be laid off, and we will be scrambling to find an alternative way for him to remain in the USA legally.
For the more geeky law-geeks, here’s the direct link to the Court announcement (PDF), courtesy of SCOTUS blog.
And here are links to a few other well-covered articles:
New York Times
The next couple of days will contain big news for me and my partner.
On Monday, Nov. 26, the Supreme Court is scheduled to finally announce which federal court cases it will hear this session relating to same-sex marriage rights, if any. If they agree to hear the case on California’s Prop 8, there’s a chance that all of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) may fall by next summer. If they refuse to hear it, all of California will have state-level marriage equality, most likely, by the end of this year, but the chances that any Supreme Court ruling will overturn DOMA in some sweeping measure this term will be reduced. There are several other DOMA cases pending, and I think it would bode better for us if the Court wrapped them all up into one big bundle to deal with this controversial issue in one fell swoop. Parsing it out into smaller cases might indicate a continued, very slow, incremental approach, resulting in much more personal pain for many thousands of Americans and many more separated or destroyed loving couples.
On Tuesday, we are supposed to learn whether or not my partner will be included in the massive layoffs announced at his company. If he is slated to be laid off, hopefully we will at least learn when and hopefully that date will be as far into the future as possible, to give us the greatest amount of time to prepare. My partner’s visa is tied to his company, and of course, I cannot sponsor him as his legally nonexistent life partner of 7 years.
I’ve already had to uproot and transplant myself across the Pacific Ocean THREE times since 2007 to preserve my relationship. Together, we’ve had to relocate trans-Pacifically twice. I’m older now and for various reasons, less employable there. I honestly don’t know what will happen if again we’re kicked in the gut by these antiquated laws. But I just don’t think I can do it again. Even the prospect of relocating to another state at this point … is something I just don’t want to think about, yet.
At this point, so much depends… on that red wheelbarrow beside the white chickens…
“Distribution Day” for the following cases before the Supreme Court:
- Hollingsworth v. Perry- Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. (This is the Prop 8 case.)
- Windsor v. U.S. – Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, which defines the term “marriage” for all purposes under federal law as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” deprives same-sex couples who are lawfully married under the laws of their states (such as New York) of the equal protection of the laws, as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. read more…
I am the mother of an American in a binational partnership for the past 20 years.
Our family has attempted to help our son and son in law every way we can think.
We have met with congressional reps, senators, the governors office, and given numerous presentations to many organizations.
We have spent years having petitions signed, formed a local organization.
We have volunteered with Immigration Equality and the Human Rights Campaign.
We have marched several times with our local PRIDE functions and volunteered at PRIDE Festivals,
We have gone door to door and business to business and have acted as keynote speaker with PFLAG.
I am now a senior citizen and my son and son in law are now in their 40′s
Todd Fernandez, whose byline refers to him as a “Gay human rights activist,” writes a provocative piece on The Huffington Post in which he argues that as a community, we haven’t been demanding enough. He especially argues against pressuring only one of our two major political parties.
I don’t agree with everything he says there, particularly his downplaying of the significance of President Obama’s historic acknowledgment that he now believes (“privately”) that “same-sex couples oughtta be allowed to get married.” read more…
I’m one of the lucky ones – lucky because I’ve had the good fortune to share the past ten years of my life with the person I love, despite the fact he’s a Mexican citizen, and I’m an American citizen. I’m lucky because, in 2001 when we met, I had the resources, ability, and the option to move to Mexico and establish a business and a life with Luis. I’m lucky because Luis and I built a rich and rewarding life together. We enjoy the love and support of both our
families, we have a wonderful circle of friends, and we’ve been able to give back to our Mexican community in ways that have been incredibly satisfying. read more…
I am a British National in the UK who has been privileged to share the last eleven years with my partner who is from Texas. We have a daughter who is doing well at school and has her eye on going to University eventually. We have been lawful Civil Partners under UK law for almost 6 years and enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as a married couple. read more…
Okay, so this actually IS news worth reporting: On Friday, Sept. 23, the very first Republican, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [FL18] of the Miami, Florida area, cosponsored H.R. 1116, the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill to repeal the despicable Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), without whose existence, there would be no need for UAFA or this site. read more…
The UAFA-related blogosphere is alive with reports of the bill being re-introduced into Congress. This will seem like a wet blanket, but my jaded response is… so what?
The bill (and its predecessor) has been introduced into every subsequent Congress since the year 2000, and it has never come close to passing. To be fair, every year support has increased, and in the last Congress, the 111th, we garnered more co-sponsors than ever before. We were told by Democratic leaders that in order to get a floor vote in the house, we would have to show the support of a majority of the ruling (then-Democratic) caucus. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010) there were 255 Democrats in the House, a majority of which would be 128. We reached that number on Sept. 16, 2011. Did we get our floor vote? No, not even by the end of the session, at which time we had accumulated a record-breaking 135 co-sponsors. read more…
Two big headlines that I will always recall, in one paper:
“Defense of Marriage Act Sails Through Senate”
“Employment Non-discrimination Act Fails to Pass”
It was September 1996, and these were my welcome messages from the United States government after my year-long, round-the-world trip. read more…