Tag: Anti Gay Laws
(CNN) — Three years ago, when Scott Hamilton moved from New York to Oklahoma for work, his marriage, and all the rights that went with it, dissolved in the transition.
That’s because Oklahoma — a deeply conservative place — is one of 38 states that bans marriages between same-sex couples.
To make the move, Hamilton, 52, and his husband, Wayne Johnson, 59, who got married in Connecticut in 2009 and have been together since 1991, had to come to grips with the fact their relationship would no longer matter under the eyes of the law. They had to redo their wills and create new trusts to ensure their assets would be passed smoothly if one of them were to die.
If they were put into long-term care in Oklahoma, he said, the men would have to occupy separate rooms. They must file their taxes separately. And it’s almost impossible for them to use the word “husband” without comment.
John D. Sutter
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“Well, who are you? Are you his driver?” a nurse recently asked Hamilton when he was pushing Johnson through a hospital in a wheelchair, as he related it to me.
“No, I’m his husband.”
“Oh, good God,” she said, dismissively.
Oh-good-God is right.
On the heels of the announcement that the Supreme Court will hear two cases regarding gay marriage, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia defended some of his more controversial decisions concerning gay rights in a lecture Monday afternoon.
Scalia came to campus to discuss his recent book and share his thoughts on interpreting the Constitution. Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the current Court, has been described as the intellectual anchor of the Court’s conservative wing.
When questioned by Duncan Hosie ’16, who identified as gay, on his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas — which struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law — Scalia stood behind his decision. Hosie questioned Scalia’s comparison between having a moral objection to sodomy and having a moral objection toward things like bestiality or murder. Scalia defended his comparison as a form of argument.
“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against these other things?” Scalia asked, explaining his dissent. “It’s a reduction to the absurd … I don’t think it’s necessary but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding dryly, “I’m surprised you weren’t persuaded.”
Born in nearby Trenton, N.J., Scalia applied, but was not accepted, to Princeton. He instead attended Georgetown where he graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian in 1957. He later graduated from Harvard Law School.
Scalia was notably plain-spoken during both the lecture and the Q-and-A.
“For those of you who have been to some of our previous lectures, you’ll notice it was a little different this time,” said politics professor Robert George, the campus conservative leader who introduced Scalia and offered closing remarks.
Scalia declined to discuss issues related to active cases or potential future cases during the Q-and-A, instead directing the conversation back to the general arguments he made during the lecture.
During his lecture, he defended his view that focusing on the text and the original meaning of the Constitution are the best interpretive measures to protect the Constitution and democratic ideals.
“The text is what governs,” said Scalia, explaining that it would be wrong to bring in the historical circumstances at the time of the Constitution’s signing or to attempt to interpret the intent of those who wrote the document.
“I don’t care what their intent was. We are a government of laws, not of men,” he explained.
Paul Ryan told Focus on the Family president Jim Daly that he and Mitt Romney will defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, in the courts, and attacked President Obama for not. Ryan promised Daly that he and the Romney administration will work hard to oppose any LGBT equality measures.
Just a week ago, while speaking to supporters at a town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, Paul Ryan said that preventing same-sex marriage was part of America’s “universal human values.”
If elected, Romney-Ryan will maintain DOMA and likely advocate a federal amendment against same-sex marriage. LGBT people could then permanently lose out on the 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status. We are not just talking about the 179 tax provisions that take marital status into account, but limitations affecting Social Security benefits, health benefits, tax credits, estate taxes, residential sale benefits, family medical leave, immigration laws, Cobra benefits, and employee benefits are also at risk.
Romney-Ryan will ensure you are kept a second-class citizen by also denying you protection from discrimination in the workplace, protection from hate crimes, and by keeping you from adopting children. Basically you’ll get screwed, and I very much doubt they’ll call you in the morning.
They will, however, gladly take your tax money, ask you to work as hard as you can — as you always have — and continue to make this amazing country the best that it can be, just as the LGBT community has always done. And in return, they’ll give you a mere fraction of the inalienable rights that you deserve.
Take everything, yet give nothing. That doesn’t sound like the “Christian values” Romney speaks of, but more like a form of bondage — and not the good kind.
Most people don’t know just how bad Romney’s VP choice is. So we made this list of 10 things to know about Paul Ryan. Read it, then share it with everyone. The future of America is on the line—from a woman’s right to choose to our economy
The 83-year-old widow’s case may be the best chance to overturn the law banning same-sex marriage
You might have first learned of Edie Windsor, 83, in the documentary, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement. Or perhaps you remember Edie from the Out story in 2011. The love story explains how Edie met Thea Spyer in 1965, and the couple finally married in Toronto in 2007. But after Thea’s death in 2009, Windsor suffered a $350,000 penalty in federal estate taxes that would have been avoided if they were a heterosexual couple.
No matter what, you should remember that Edie Windsor filed a lawsuit in November 2010, with the aid of the ACLU, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. And now her case is picking up more steam.
On June 6, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sided with Windsor. As HuffPo reports, “This week, her lawyers filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to take her case and let her skip what would be the usual next step of going before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.” On June 13, Windsor filed a motion to expedite that appeal.
On Monday Attorney Roberta Kaplan said, “Edie and Thea were together for more than four decades and truly lived the words ‘in sickness and in health, until death do us part.’ Solely because of DOMA, Edie had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate tax, which is one of the most significant adverse impacts of DOMA. Edie, who just turned 83, suffers from a chronic heart condition. The constitutional injury inflicted on Edie should be remedied within her lifetime.”
Google is launching a campaign called “Legalize Love,” which will fight homophobia and lobby against legal oppression of homosexuals all over the globe.
Some details of the program were outlined by Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe at the Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London on Saturday, reports Dot429 Magazine’s Anna Peirano.
Gay rights laws in America have evolved to allow — but in some cases ban — rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, housing, employment and school bullying. The handling of gay rights issues vary by state and follow trends by region