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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West Virginia Senators split on DOMA repeal

Monday, March 25, 2013
Sens. Joe Manchin (left) and jay Rockefeller
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller says he now opposes a federal law barring same-sex marriage. But his fellow Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, still supports the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act. [...]

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Hottest ticket in town: Technically free, Supreme Court tickets cost time, money

Monday, March 25, 2013
People wait in line outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday March, 25, 2013, a day before the court will hear a same-sex marriage case. Photo: Jose Luis Magana, AP
WASHINGTON — The most expensive ticket to "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway: $477. The face value of a great seat for this year's Super Bowl: $1,250. Guaranteed seats to watch the U.S. Supreme Court hear this week's gay marriage cases: about $6,000. [...]

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Why the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage

Monday, March 25, 2013
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We are on the threshold of a historic decision on individual rights by the Supreme Court of the United States as it considers two cases involving same-sex marriage. The cases about “who you love” could change the laws in 41 states and more than 1,000 federal statutes. Regardless of what [...]

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Public braves snow for a chance to witness historic gay marriage cases

Monday, March 25, 2013
Taylor, Talla and Vincent Carter cover themselves from the snow as they wait in line outside of the Supreme Court in Washington on Monday.Photo: Jose Luis Magana, AP
WASHINGTON — People waiting to attend to gay marriage cases being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court have been undeterred by snow falling in the nation's capital. [...]

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Presidential punch: Can the Obama briefs make a difference at the Supreme Court?

Monday, March 25, 2013
Barack Obama
WASHINGTON -- LGBT legal activists and their allies have nothing but praise for the Obama administration’s decision to submit briefs in both marriage equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. [...]

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Marriage equality supporters mark historic week with candlelight vigil in Times Square

Sunday, March 24, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Several hundred marriage equality supporters turned out for a candlelight vigil in New York's Times Square on Sunday evening, in a peaceful demonstration to mark this week's historic events in which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans and the [...]

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Wide range of potential outcomes possible in same-sex marriage cases

Sunday, March 24, 2013
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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court can choose from a wide array of outcomes in ruling on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [...]

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Standing: How the Supreme Court could avoid ruling in either gay marriage case

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Protesters march into the early morning hours of of Nov. 8, 2008, expressing their anger against the passage of Proposition 8. The measure, approved by voters days earlier, amended the state constitution, banning same-sex marriages and overturning the state Supreme Court decision that legalized them in just sic months earlier.Photo: Afton Almaraz, AP
It is hard to overstate the potential impact of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning marriage for same-sex couples. The primary questions posed by the two cases – Hollingsworth v. Perry involving Proposition 8. and U.S. v. Windsor, involving the Defense of Marriage Act— could lead to rulings that [...]

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Hopeful observers line up outside Supreme Court to witness same-sex marriage cases

Friday, March 22, 2013
Supreme Court Gay Marriage
WASHINGTON — A line has begun forming outside the U.S. Supreme Court for people who want to attend next week's arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. [...]

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Nation’s most influential pediatricians group supports marriage equality

Thursday, March 21, 2013
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CHICAGO -- The nation's most influential pediatrician's group has endorsed same-sex marriage, saying a stable relationship between parents regardless of sexual orientation contributes to a child's health and well-being. [...]

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