Gays Take Fight against DOMA to Connecticut; Federal Judge Urged to Strike Down Defense of Marriage Act

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 19, 2011 | Go to article overview

Gays Take Fight against DOMA to Connecticut; Federal Judge Urged to Strike Down Defense of Marriage Act


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The House of Representatives has failed to defend its federal marriage law, and it should be thrown out, attorneys for six gay couples and a gay widower said in recent court papers.

Because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the gay plaintiffs have all been mistreated and denied federal benefits given to other married couples, said Mary L. Bonauto and her colleagues at the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in briefs filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The DOMA defense lawyers are missing the point when they continue to talk about whether same-sex marriage is allowable or a good or bad idea, Ms. Bonauto and her colleagues said. That is not the issue, they said.

Congress does not get to make a decision on who is married and what marriage means, and in any case, the plaintiffs are already married, they said. This case should not be a difficult one, they added: DOMA should be struck down.

The GLAD court papers, filed Sept. 14, are in response to briefs from Bancroft PLLC lawyer Paul D. Clement and his colleagues, who are representing the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives.

The House argues that DOMA is constitutional and rational, and is asking U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, a 2007 appointee of President Bush, to dismiss the lawsuit against it. Final responses are due Oct. 5.

Pedersen v. …

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Gays Take Fight against DOMA to Connecticut; Federal Judge Urged to Strike Down Defense of Marriage Act
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