Tag Archives: ACLU. lawsuit

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane WILL NOT Defend State In Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

Kathleen Kane gay marriage

Multiple sources have confirmed that Attorney General Kathleen Kane of Pennsylvania is expected to announce today that her office won’t defend the state in a federal lawsuit that challenges Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage.

Kane, is named along with Governor Tom Corbett as a defendant in the suit

Kane, a Democrat, supports gay marriage.  Pennsylvania law includes a provision allowing the governor’s legal team to defend state law in her place, should it be more “efficient,” or in the state’s interest to play it that way. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett opposes gay marriage, but due to some recent Republican politicians “change of heart” at this time it is unsure if Corbet  who is facing a very tough re-election in 2014 will defend the law.

The suit was filed in Harrisburg and is believed to be the first federal case on the gay marriage issue since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Article 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, known as Whitewood v. Corbett, on Tuesday on behalf of 21 state residents. The plaintiffs are 10 couples and one widow who want to marry here, want the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages or want equal protections granted to straight married couples.

Pennsylvania, the only state in the northeast without provisions for same-sex civil unions or marriages

 

 

ACLU Sues Department of Defense Over Gay Soldiers Honorably Discharged Under DADT Only Recieve 50% Seperation Pay

The ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense because soldiers that are discharged for being gay or lesbian under DADT are given only half of the separation pay given to other honorable dischargees

The lead plaintiff in the case is Richard Collins, a decorated former staff-sergeant in the U.S. Air Force who served for nine years until he was discharged from service under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Mr. Collins’s superiors learned that he is gay when two civilian co-workers observed him exchange a kiss with his civilian boyfriend. Mr. Collins received an honorable discharge from the Air Force but discovered after the discharge had been completed that his separation pay had been cut in half on the grounds of “homosexuality.” The ACLU and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network first contacted the Defense Department in November 2009 to request that the separation-pay policy be revised to eliminate the discrimination against gay and lesbian service members, but the department has refused to do so. Because of its refusal to change this discriminatory policy, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico have filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

The Department of Defense has a list of conditions that trigger an automatic reduction in that pay, including homosexuality or homosexual conduct.

Talk about adding insult to injury.  What a horrid country we live in.

TWO Lawsuits Filed Challenging The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Yesterday I reported briefly that the ACLU has filed a case against DOMA today more details have emerged.:

Edith (Edie) Windsor and Thea Spyer shared their lives together as a committed couple for 44 years. They became a couple in 1965, got engaged in 1967, and married in Canada in 2007, after it became legal. When Thea died in 2009, the federal government refused to recognize their marriage and taxed Edie’s inheritance from Thea as though they were strangers. Under federal tax law, a spouse who dies can leave her assets, including the family home, to the other spouse without incurring estate taxes. Because of a law called the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the federal government refuses to treat married same-sex couples, like Edie and Thea, the same way as other married couples. This case points out that it is a denial of the equal protection principles of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution for the federal government to pick and choose which marriages it will recognize for federal purposes, when it otherwise leaves that question entirely up to the states

.Also today the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed its second lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of five same-sex couples and a widower.

This new action specifically addresses married couples in Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire, and comes on the heels of a Massachusetts Federal District Court ruling this summer finding DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional.

In Pedersen et al. v. Office of Personnel Management, GLAD represents five married same-sex couples and a widower who have all been denied federal rights and protections simply because they are married to a person of the same sex.

”Getting married was extremely meaningful to Ann and me,” said Joanne Pedersen, who, with her spouse Ann Meitzen, is a plaintiff. “We were shocked to discover that the federal government essentially looks on ours as a second-class marriage.”

Filed in Federal District Court in Connecticut, this suit addresses DOMA’s denial of marriages in connection with federal employees and retirees benefits programs, Social Security benefits, survivor benefits under federal pension laws, work leave to care for a spouse under the Family Medical Leave Act, and state retiree health insurance plans that are controlled by federal tax law. Several plaintiffs who have paid additional federal income taxes because they cannot file a joint federal tax return as a married couple will join the suit once they are officially turned down for refunds from the IRS.

This is the way to do it.  I’ve always said that.  To the courts.  NOT at the voting machines.  It’s nice to see that we are learning from our past mistakes.

Now lets pray to god that Human Rights Campaign DOES NOT get involved AT ALL and knows enough to keep its mouth shut and tries not to take credit for this like it did with the Prop 8 lawsuit it badmouthed in the beginning but embraced when it won.  (Remember that?)