The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) against Fontbonne Academy, a religiously affiliated all girls college preparatory school in Milton, MA, after the school terminated a man they had just hired as Food Services Director upon learning he was gay and married to another man.
Matt Barrett, a longtime food industry professional, was offered the position on July 9, 2013, after three interviews. Mr. Barrett accepted the offer the same day and gave notice at his previous job. After accepting the position, Mr. Barrett filled out the school’s required employment paperwork, including a form that required him to list an emergency contact and state that person’s relationship to him. Mr. Barrett gave a truthful answer and listed his husband.
The next day, Barrett was contacted by email and asked to come in for another meeting on July 12, 2013. At that meeting, he learned that the school would no longer employ him because he was gay and married to a man.
“If I’m planning and making meals for students, I’m not sure what my being gay has to do with the job,” said Mr. Barrett. “I’ve always done well in my work, and was excited about working at Fontbonne. All I did was fill out the form honestly.”
“Religiously affiliated entities do not have a free pass to do as they please in how they treat employees, particularly when it comes to our important laws against discrimination,” said Benn Klein, GLAD Senior Attorney. “Our laws carefully balance the important values of religious liberty and non-discrimination. Here we have a school that is open to everybody, and the job had nothing to do with religion”.
On its website, Fontbonne says its school is an “inclusive community (that) embraces diversity in many forms (and) promotes a safe, diverse learning environment …”
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
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?)
Thursday we brought you an update on Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management. GLAD argued, in front of Judge Joseph Tauro on behalf of its 17 plaintiffs argued, that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. But while Department of Justice idiot attorney W. Scott Simpson conceded that even the Obama administration “disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy and would like to see it repealed,” (YEA RIGHT) he also maintained a position that it “does not affect its constitutionality.” (meaning they have to defend it because it’s a law……which is a lie) Moreover, and get this, keeping the law on the books, idiot Simpson argued, would allow the federal government and its agencies to not have to keep track of which states had legalized gay marriage, and which had not.
Here, Scott allow us to help, since you’re all so incompetent: First you need to figure out how many states there are. I know it’s hard for you but try.. Then you have to use some kind of search engine to bring all these things together.
In a press release from GLAD about the hearing today in a federal court in Boston. GLAD is arguing that section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. The Obama administration’s Department of Justice is defending DOMA and actually had the nerve to send Scott Simpson who wrote the horrid DOMA incest/pedophilia brief last June. Good to know that who DOJ has fighting against our rights in Boston.
“This is a classic equal protection issue. The Constitution applies to gay and lesbian citizens, and married ones, too,” Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director, told the Court. “What governmental purpose does the US have as an employer in treating some of its married employees, retirees and surviving annuitants differently from other married persons, such that Nancy Gill pays for a self and family plan like some of her married colleagues, but the plan doesn’t cover her own spouse?”
Bonauto presented a three-pronged legal argument: By singling out only the marriages of same-sex couples, DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution; DOMA represents an unprecedented intrusion of the federal government into marriage law, which for 230 years has been legislated by states; and by denying federal protections to families, DOMA burdens the marriages of same-sex couples and their right to maintain family integrity.
U.S. District Court Judge, Joseph L. Tauro, vigorously questioned plaintiffs and defendants in a courtroom packed with supporters and media. Judge Tauro heard GLAD’s motion for summary judgment as well as the federal government’s motion to dismiss. The hearing addressed the core issue of whether DOMA Section 3 is constitutional six years after the first same-sex couples in the country started marrying in Massachusetts, the result of GLAD’s groundbreaking marriage case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.\
Here Bay Windows does initial reporting includes this passage about the DOJ’s argument:
Justice Department lawyer Scott Simpson, representing the defendants, and Judge Tauro started talking over one another almost right away during Simpson’s opening statement. Simpson tried to present DOMA in a “historical context,” saying that the status quo was not the separation of federal and state governments, but rather, heterosexual marriage, and that DOMA was trying to preserve this status quo. He went on to detail how federal recognition of same-sex marriage would confuse federal government programs that heretofore have not recognized same-sex married couples, a supposition which was quickly rebuffed by Judge Tauro. “The matter is so complex it would be a burden on the federal government?” the Judge asked.
Judge Tauro similarly challenged Simpson’s interpretation of heterosexual marriage being the status quo prior to DOMA. “That was a circumstance,” the judge said, “there was no law.”
Simpson was quoted by the AP calling gay marriage an “experiment”,
If Simpson’s arguments are of the quality he displayed in “that brief,” then this should be a slam-dunk. The man’s an fucking idiot. And so is Barack Obama for letting the Department of Justice defend this law when it did not have to.