Bill Passed to repeal DOMA

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The Human Rights Campaign successfully delivered over 135 thousand petitions calling for this repeal. The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California (D) fears that the bill will have no chance in the House that is controlled by Republican conservatives. Even with 31 Democratic Senate sponsors, there is Republican hindrance.

President Obama announced this past February that the law would no longer be defended by his administration. He stated recently that he supports “civil unions” but, what about “same-sex” marriages? This federal law has economically impacted all gay and lesbian couples around the nation, not giving them the same government privileges as heterosexual couples. There are currently six states which now recognize gay and lesbian marriages (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire) however, couples’ rights are still limited. They cannot file for joint federal tax returns, nor do they have spousal Social Security benefits. Also, couples are not a part of the Family and Medical Leave Law or protected from estate taxes if their partner dies.

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Justice Department appeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruling

No one was sure if the Obama-led government would appeal Tuesday’s ruling by California Judge Virginia Phillips to halt enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” especially since the prez and his supporters are on the record as opposing the policy. Turns out, they’re not letting it slide. Today the The Department of Justice requested a stay on the ruling and the government filed an appeal in federal court.

From The Advocate:

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