New & Noteworthy:

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is a U.S. federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states and which restricted federal marriage benefits. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Section 3 of DOMA had codified the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.

Section 3 of DOMA was found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, “as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” [ Wikipedia → ]

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Okla. state House approves resolution opposing same-sex marriage

Monday, April 8, 2013
ok-flag-licensed
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Weighing in on the recently energized debate around gay marriage, the Oklahoma House approved a resolution without opposition Monday to reaffirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman and support the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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Letterman: Opposing gay marriage in the name of religion is ‘absolute stupidity’

Thursday, April 4, 2013
Letterman
NEW YORK -- David Letterman, playing host to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on "The Late Show" on CBS Wednesday night, had a few remarks directed at opponents of same-sex marriage.

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Former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford: No gays on the Appalachian Trail

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford perfectly encapsulates the particular sanctimony the Right reserves for homosexuality. Republican politicians perfected this selective intolerance back when gay people were a convenient political punching bag – an unfamiliar other with whom the majority could not immediately identify. Since then, gay people have come out of the closet in droves and most Americans have come to embrace gay rights. But the GOP is sticking with its reflex condemnation of gay people. Does it trouble Mark Sanford or give him any pause at all as he goes from being the ambassador of international love back to his embrace of a position that is now laughingly hypocritical?

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U.S. Sen. Bob Casey: ‘I can no longer in good conscience’ oppose gay marriage

Monday, April 1, 2013
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says he now supports gay marriage, becoming the latest lawmaker to change positions on an issue now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Supreme Court inaction would likely return marriage equality to California

Friday, March 29, 2013
Supreme Court Gay Marrage
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Supreme Court seems reluctant to use the legal battle over California's same-sex marriage ban to rule that all gay Americans have a constitutional right to wed, but that doesn't mean gay marriage will not be returning to the state.

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DOMA is doomed

Friday, March 29, 2013
GET-EQUAL-DOMA
So it's over. Two days that are now part of LGBT history. Two back-to-back arguments at the United States Supreme Court, with most of the country paying attention—hearing about our lives, our relationships, and how discriminatory government policies and voter initiatives mark us as inferior, unequal, and vulnerable. In Wednesday's case, the issue was section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which withholds federal protection and recognition from same-sex spouses. Once again, the Justices were not only engaged, but talked about us in terms we have rarely heard in these hallowed halls...

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Democrats criticize GOP support of Defense of Marriage Act

Thursday, March 28, 2013
doma-protest
WASHINGTON -- The cost to taxpayers for a House Republican decision to fund the legal team supporting the Defense of Marriage Act has climbed from $500,000 to as much as $3 million, Democrats say in questioning the GOP stance on the gay marriage issue now before the Supreme Court.

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However the Supreme Court rules, gay marriage debate is far from over

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on WednesdayPhoto: Carolyn Kaster, AP
However the Supreme Court rules after its landmark hearings on same-sex marriage, the issue seems certain to divide Americans and states for many years to come.

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Pelosi: GOP has been ‘irresponsible’ on same-sex marriage issue

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Nancy Pelosi
WASHINGTON -- U.S. House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said Wednesday that Republicans who voted to spend millions in taxpayer dollars defending the federal ban on same-sex marriage are "irresponsible," and that she's "very optimistic" the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

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A boost for same-sex marriage: Supreme Court justices question federal law

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.Dana Verkouteren, AP
WASHINGTON — Concluding two days of intense debate, the Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it could give a boost to same-sex marriage by striking down the federal law that denies legally married gay spouses a wide range of benefits offered to other couples.

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