Waldport City Councilor Greg Holland has married his domestic partner, Carlos Lazaro at a ceremony on November 12th in Long Beach, California. The two had been domestic partners for 26 years and have resided for 8 years in Waldport.
Greg has been collecting signatures to help get a marriage equality proposition on the November, 2014 ballot in Oregon.
The two decided to not wait for Oregon to pass the initiative, especially when the Oregon Department of Justice has filed an opinion that Oregon must recognize gay marriages performed in other states, even though Oregon presently doesn’t allow gay marriages.
The couple have faced the problems that a domestic partnered couple face; hospitals refusing to allow the domestic partner to make decisions about his partner’s health until the parents approve. Taxes Greg had to pay on the portion his employer paid, on Carlos’ behalf, for medical insurance. Domestic partners have no right to survivorship benefits from Social Security. All in all there are over 1,000 new rights that married couples have now that they didn’t have when they were domestic partners.
Greg welcomes your well-wishes and offers support to other couples that are thinking about taking the plunge. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg marries Michael M. Kaiser, left, and John Roberts in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday. Kaiser is president of the center; Roberts is an economist.
Saturday marked the first time that a Supreme Court member conducted a same-sex marriage ceremony.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at the marriage of a longtime friend, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael M. Kaiser, to economist John Roberts in the atrium of the center in Washington.
Kaiser has been president of the center since 2001.
A representative of the center said the wedding was not a gala event – “just a ceremony followed by a dinner” – but added that the guest list included more than 200 attendees.
Ginsburg, who turned 80 this year, was among the majority in a Supreme Court decision earlier this summer declaring that people in same-sex marriages are entitled to the hundreds of federal benefits that couples in opposite-sex marriages have.
Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws legalizing same-sex marriages.
Not a good week for RushLimbaugh. Once again, America proves the falling talk show host, to be on the wrong side of history, or shall we say, ‘spot off.’ Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court have sent the Rushbo hate agenda – askew.
Limbaugh is known for continuously, and publicly, promoting the degradation of women on his show. On Tuesday, Senator Wendy Davis, women’s rights organizations and supporters from around the country, stood their ground and roared their objections to the anti-choice SB5 Bill, considered to be the most restrictive anti-choice bill in Texas history. They then, roared their joy, as the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, delivered good news from Davis, that the bill was dead. Sure, we’ve got anti-choice misogynists like Governor Rick Perry calling for a second session on the bill, but that has only re-ignited and re-enforced support for Davis, who is now looking to be a prime candidate for TX governor. Davis may even turn the state Blue. Ouch to GOP – as well as Rush.
And of course, Limbaugh is known for promoting hatred towards lesbians and gays, linking same-sex marriage to pedophilia, sex with children and sex with animals. And also last week, the Supreme Court announced its ruling to overturn DOMA. This decisions affords equal marriage rights to lesbians and gay couples living in states that have passed same-sex marriage. BAM to Limbaugh!
Can it get better? Yes it can. The Supreme Court also overturned Proposition 8, which means same-sex marriage is now fully legal in the state of California. Limbaugh has been eating crow for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week.
We can pretty much imagine what he’s had to say – something about, ‘the disintegration of America‘… blah, blah, blah. And he is lying again, saying, nobody in this country has ever been denied the right to get married… But he’s now preaching to a choir that is dwindling fast. The ‘hate radio’ host who has been promoting malicious commentary for decades, has been paying dearly this year from protests and boycotts against him. With each hateful word, he is seeing more of his sponsors dash for the exit signs.
So it was a very good week for America as we to celebrated equal rights and women’s rights victories, and at the same time, watch Rush Limbaugh fidget, fluster and stew. ‘Twas frosting on the cake.
To get involved in the fight against hate speech on public radio:
Sign: Limbaugh Petition
Join: Boycott Rush Limbaugh Group
Visit: The StopRush Database
Email: FCC Acting ChairWoman Clyburn
There is also a ThinkContext Limbaugh Sponsor Browser App and a new Limbaugh Petition to the Military/AFN. Some of the larger groups that support the protests include: Media Matters, UniteWomen.org, Daily Kos, and Liberals Unite. Thousands of sponsors have bolted from Limbaugh’s show.
LGBTQ Legal Outlook: The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Marriage Rulings in Oregon and Beyond – Proud Queer (PQ Monthly)
Today, the United Stated Supreme Court decided two important cases about marriage equality for same-sex couples. The outcome, while not everything advocates hoped for, is cause for celebration: The noxious federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been overturned, and the way has been paved for marriages to resume in the state of California.
The first case, United States v. Windsor, dealt with a New York widow who was forced to pay about $350,000 in estate taxes when her wife died. If she had been married to man, she would have had an exemption, but DOMA operated to make that exemption unavailable to her. The Court held that this discrimination by the federal government violated the liberty interest protected by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court started by observing that DOMA was unique in the scope and extent of federal regulation it imposed upon marriage, a legal relationship historically left largely to the states to regulate under our federal system of government. The law’s unusual character, the Court held, prompted a close examination to determine whether constitutional protections had been satisfied in its enactment.
Looking to the merits of the law, the Court found that its purpose was to impose a disadvantage and a stigma upon those who enter into same-sex marriages. That purpose, the Court then held, was improper under the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law. “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”
The Court’s reasoning is consistent with the one it has applied in other, relatively recent, cases concerning LGBT rights. It is remarkable in the fact that it draws the Court ever closer to recognizing that the state law denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples itself is a violation of the constitution’s equal protection guarantees. In this regard, the decision draws into question the validity of all state DOMA laws.
When will state DOMA laws be overturned? Perhaps sooner than you think. Lambda Legal already has a case pending in Nevada, Sevcik v. Sandoval, that raises these issues. It has been decided unfavorably by the trial court and is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And here in Oregon, advocates have already filed a ballot measure that, if passed at the polls in November 2014, will extend the right of marriage to same-sex couples.
In the meantime, the federal impact of DOMA’s invalidation is complex and likely to be a moving target for some time. While some federal statutes look to the “state of celebration” to determine whether a couple is married, others look to the state of residence. In other words, even if Oregon couples go elsewhere to be married, their marriage will not be recognized for all federal purposes, because they live in a state where their marriage is not recognized. We can expect both maneuvering in Congress and additional litigation on these issues for some time to come.
The second case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, has become a law school exam question on federal jurisdiction. Now, federal jurisdiction was my favorite course in law school, but it does not make for light coffee table conversation.
In Hollingsworth, the District Court invalidated California’s DOMA, Preposition 8, on federal equal protection grounds. The state did not appeal, but a group of the law’s supporters intervened in the case and appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s decision on much narrower grounds. The Supreme Court decided that those petitioners did not have “standing” to bring the appeal. Longstanding Supreme Court precedent holds that state laws must be defended by the state and not by private citizens, and Court followed those cases today, vacating the Ninth Circuit decision and reinstating the District Court’s decision.
The good news out of Hollingsworth is that Proposition 8 is indeed held unconstitutional, but by the District Court and not the U.S. Supreme Court. So marriages will resume in California but not elsewhere.
The cause of marriage equality advanced by some considerable measure today, but the battle continues. Oregonians can help by supporting the ballot measure campaign at http://www.oregonunitedformarriage.org.
Portland attorney Mark Johnson Roberts is a former president of the National LGBT Bar Association and of the Oregon State Bar. He practices family law at the Gevurtz Menashe law firm with a particular focus on LGBT family law issues. He can be reached at email@example.com.