June 7th, 2012
In the spate of DOMA challenges, I think it might provoke thought to rehash a DOMA case from last year. One in which the Federal Government conceded that – at least in some cases – same-sex married couples are, indeed, married.
February 24, 2011 – Gene Balas and Carlos Morales jointly filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (a cooling down time to allow them to come up with a repayment plan).
March 28, 2011 – the attorney representing the Office of the United States Trustee at their initial hearing, noted that both Balas and Morales were male and therefore could not file a joint petition.
April 15, 2011 – the Trustee’s objection was formalized by Motion to Dismiss.
May 11, 2011 – this was the date set for hearing. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (Paul Clement, under the direction of House Speaker Boehner) requested an extension until June 13, 2011.
June 13 2011 – BLAG filed no objections to the statements and arguments of Balas and Morales. Finding the the government’s “non-response to the Debtors’ challenges” to be noteworthy, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan sided with the Debtors.
The Debtors have demonstrated that DOMA violates their equal protection rights afforded under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, either under heightened scrutiny or under rational basis review. Debtors also have demonstrated that there is no valid governmental basis for DOMA. In the end, the court finds that DOMA violates the equal protection rights of the Debtors as recognized under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
In a rather unusual action, 20 of the 24 Central California Bankruptcy Court judges signed the ruling.
June 27, 2011 – the US Trustee appealed the decision.
June 30, 2011 – seven Trustees (that serve cases under the US Trustee) requested immediate certification of appeal to the Ninth Circuit, expressing concern that there was no certainty at the level on which it was decided (I know and work with several of these Trustees and they most certainly are supportive of marriage equality).
July 6, 2011 – noting that the President and Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA3 the US Trustee requested to withdraw his appeal.
The Department of Justice has advised the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (the “BLAG”) of the pendency of this appeal, and the BLAG has responded that it does not intend to appear to present arguments in support of Section 3 of DOMA. The BLAG is actively participating in litigation in several other courts in which the constitutionality of Section 3 has been challenged. In light of the decision by the BLAG not to participate in this appeal and the availability of other judicial fora for resolution of the constitutional question, the United States Trustee has determined that it is not a necessary or appropriate expenditure of the resources of this Court and the parties to continue to litigate the appeal.
July 11, 2011 – the appeal was dismissed. Balas and Morales continued with their joint bankruptcy as the married couple that they are.
So how, exactly, does this play into the whole scheme of DOMA challenges? It would appear that if you file for bankruptcy in Los Angeles, then the Federal Government considers your marriage to be valid. It would be most curious if Balas and Morales were to make a social security claim based on marriage; how could the government object? It has already conceded that they are married.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
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