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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U.S. Supreme Court to release same-day audio recordings of marriage cases

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday it will release audio recordings of next week's arguments in two same-sex marriage cases just a few hours after they conclude.

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National polls find growing support for legalizing same-sex marriage

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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Three national polls released this week find widespread support for marriage equality, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and California's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Partisan split marks same-sex marriage cases before U.S. Supreme Court

Saturday, March 16, 2013
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WASHINGTON — No Democratic attorney general in a state that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying has signed onto a legal filing asking the Supreme Court to uphold California's constitutional ban on gay marriage. No Republican attorney general is asking the high court to rule in favor of marriage equality.

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Diverse U.S. Supreme Court justices, families mirror country

Thursday, March 14, 2013
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The varied family portraits of the U.S. Supreme Court justices are somewhat at odds with the arguments of gay marriage opponents who stress the unique ability of heterosexual couples to have babies as a reason to uphold bans on same-sex marriage.

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AFA president: Overturning DOMA and Prop 8 may lead to hate speech laws

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
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During the debate over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Religious Right groups like the American Family Association warned that the law would “criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality” and “take away our religious freedoms.”

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Outserve-SLDN sets ambitious goal in State of LGBT Military Service address

Sunday, March 10, 2013
Allyson Robinson (center) addresses attendees at the Outserve-SLDN National Dinner on Saturday.Photo courtesy Outserve-SLDN.
Nearly 1,000 service members, veterans, and supporters gathered in Washington on Saturday night for the OutServe-SLDN 2013 National Dinner, and to hear the first State of LGBT Military Equality Address by Allyson Robinson, a U.S. Army Veteran and Executive Director of Outserve-SLDN.

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Clinton: I signed DOMA to ‘defuse a movement’ toward ban on gay marriage

Thursday, March 7, 2013
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WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a law he signed that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

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Obama: U.S. is experiencing an evolution on same-sex marriage

Friday, March 1, 2013
President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013.Photo: Charles Dharapak, AP
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Friday there was no way he could avoid urging the Supreme Court to overturn the state of California's ban on gay marriage.

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Democrats urge Supreme Court to overturn anti-gay marriage law

Friday, March 1, 2013
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WASHINGTON — More than 200 congressional Democrats are urging the Supreme Court to overturn a key provision of the federal law against gay marriage.

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ASA brief: Parents’ sexual orientation has no bearing on children’s well-being

Thursday, February 28, 2013
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The American Sociological Association (ASA) has weighed in on the same-sex marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, filing an amicus brief Thursday outlining social science research that shows “children fare just as well” when raised by same-sex or heterosexual parents.

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