Saturday, January 22, 2011

Judge Rules Against Federal Marriage Defense

Oakland's U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken will allow same-sex couples to sue against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) saying it is "robbing states of the power to allow same-sex civil marriages that will be recognized under federal law."

For background on the DOMA battle, read Obama 'Defends' Marriage yet Promises its Destruction and follow embedded links therein.

-- From "Suit over long-term care can proceed" by Dale Kasler, Fresno Bee 1/21/11

A judge this week denied a request by the federal government, which is also a defendant, to dismiss the lawsuit. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken means the lawsuit, filed last April by three same-sex couples in San Francisco, can go forward.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System [CalPERS] . . . whose premiums are priced lower than most private plans, has refused to sell to same-sex couples. The pension fund says its hands are tied by the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge OKs Suit for Same-Sex Health Benefits in California" by Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service 1/21/11

"A state cannot allow same-sex couples to participate in its long-term care plan if it wishes the plan to qualify for favorable tax treatment" under DOMA, the [past] ruling from California's northern district states.

The three couples suing the government had legally married during the window of time that California had legalized same-sex marriage before the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, which amended the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

"The exclusion of same-sex couples from the federal definition of marriage does not encourage heterosexual marriages," Wilken wrote. "Furthermore, the preservation of resources does not justify barring some arbitrarily chosen group of individuals from a government program. Nor does moral condemnation of homosexuality provide the requisite justification for the DOMA's section three."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court win for same-sex couples seeking benefits" by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer 1/20/11

[Judge Wilken] rejected arguments that the law's sponsors put forth in 1996, that the legislation was necessary to promote procreation and preserve heterosexual marriage.

"Marriage has never been contingent on having children," Wilken said . . .

She said sponsors' "moral rejection of homosexuality" had been obvious in congressional debate. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that bias against gays is an unconstitutional justification for passing a law [NOT!], Wilken noted.

Her statements paralleled the reasoning of the Massachusetts decision and a ruling in August by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco that struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.