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Tag: Defense of Marriage Act

June 26, 2013 | 7:09 am

Full Text Supreme Court DOMA Decision

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Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court: What’s at Stake

March 25, 2013 | 5:30 am

Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court: What’s at Stake

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On Valentine’s Day last month, about a dozen gay and lesbian couples showed up at San Francisco City Hall. They wanted something they knew they couldn’t have: A marriage license.

Same-sex couple Frank Capley (L) and Joe Alfano (R) look on before staging a sit-in protest after same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses from the San Francisco county clerk on Valentine's Day. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The protest, organized by Marriage Equality USA, happens every year. And every year the couples are turned away.

Thom Watson from Daly City came with his partner.

“You’re really never fully prepared for what it’s going to feel like yet again to be turned down for something that you want so badly and that other people take for granted,” Watson said.

The right to get that legal document from a county clerk is what Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing is all about: whether California’s Proposition 8 — a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman — violates equal protection under the law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court: What You Need to Know

March 21, 2013 | 8:00 am

Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court: What You Need to Know

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In California’s June 2000 primary, 61 percent of the electorate voted “yes” on Proposition 22, a measure that amended state law to read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized ” in the state. The state Supreme Court overturned the law in 2008 as discriminatory, opening the way for same-sex couples to get legally married in the state. About 18,000 gay and lesbian couples took advantage of the chance to tie the knot.

Same-sex marriage proponent Kat McGuckin of Oaklyn, New Jersey, holds a gay marriage pride flag while standing in front of the Supreme Court November 30, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

But the door that had been opened to same-sex couples slammed shut in November 2008, when voters passed Proposition 8. The measure, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, passed with 52 percent of the vote.

Gay-marriage advocates immediately filed challenges with the California Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, and in May 2009, the court upheld Prop. 8, another blow against same-sex marriage.

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January 7, 2013 | 9:40 am

Supreme Court Sets Dates for Prop. 8, DOMA Hearings

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The U.S. Supreme court has set dates for hearings on two cases concerning same-sex marriage. It will hear arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state, on March 26, beginning at 7:00 a.m. Pacific time.

It will hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA the next day, on March 27, at the same time.

In the Proposition 8 hearing, Hollingsworth v. Perry, the court is asking parties to argue whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the· union of a man and a woman.

It’s also asking them to present arguments on whether the people defending Proposition 8 — its sponsors — have legal standing. Normally state government officials would defend a state law that is challenged in federal court, but in this case California’s governor Jerry Brown opposes the law.

DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage for any purpose under federal laws, such as providing benefits like healthcare. In United States v. Windsor, the court is asking the parties to present arguments about whether this violates the Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law.

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Supreme Court to Review Prop. 8, Defense of Marriage Act

December 7, 2012 | 3:45 pm

Supreme Court to Review Prop. 8, Defense of Marriage Act

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The U.S. Supreme Court Building. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Supreme Court will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.

The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples.

The cases probably will be argued in March, with decisions expected by late June. Full AP story here

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No Supreme Court Action on Same-Sex Marriage This Morning; Announcement May Come Friday

December 3, 2012 | 7:19 am

No Supreme Court Action on Same-Sex Marriage This Morning; Announcement May Come Friday

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The U.S. Supreme Court Building. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Same-sex marriage was not on the U.S. Supreme Court’s list of orders when it was released at about 9:30 a.m. That means we’ll have to wait until Friday to find out if the high court will review the case concerning Prop 8, California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

An appeals court previously upheld a lower court’s ruling that invalidated Proposition 8. That is one of two laws involving same-sex marriage that the high court may review next spring. The court is also weighing overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for the purposes of legal recognition and receipt of benefits, such as the ability to file a joint tax return.

The Supreme Court will announce whether or not it will review the cases in a list of orders. “The vast majority of cases filed in the Supreme Court are disposed of summarily by unsigned orders,” the Supreme Court website states. “Such an order will, for example, deny a petition… without comment. Regularly scheduled lists of orders are issued on each Monday that the Court sits, but ‘miscellaneous’ orders may be issued in individual cases at any time.”

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Awaiting SCOTUS on Same-Sex Marriage: Clarifying What’s Before the Court

November 30, 2012 | 8:10 pm

Awaiting SCOTUS on Same-Sex Marriage: Clarifying What’s Before the Court

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The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to review two sets of decisions by lower courts involving same-sex marriage. Despite widespread anticipation, the court did not announce today whether or not it would hear the cases, so everyone will have to wait till at least Monday. One set of rulings the court is weighing overturned […]

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May 31, 2012 | 8:26 am

Federal Appeals Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

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BOSTON (AP) A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. In its unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the 1996 […]

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May 25, 2012 | 8:43 am

Another Federal Judge Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

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(Bay City News) A federal judge ruled in Oakland that the state’s public-employee pension system must make long-term care insurance equally available to same-sex spouses and partners. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken said a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional to the extent that it limits same-sex spouses of […]

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August 23, 2011 | 9:28 am

Deportation Case Against Same-Sex Couple Closed After Obama Immigration Shift; SF Couple Awaits

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A San Francisco judge has closed a deportation case against a member of a same-sex couple from southern California. Venezuelan citizen Alex Benshimol overstayed his visa in 2009, though he’d married Doug Gentry, a US citizen, in 2005. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not recognize same-sex unions. The judge’s decision, […]

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