Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
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Posts for June, 2013

Obama: Marriage Benefits Should Cross State Lines

Jim Burroway

June 27th, 2013

One of the unsettled questions in light of yesterday’s DOMA ruling is whether a same-sex couple living in Pennsylvania (where there is no marriage equality in state law) but married in New York (where there is) is entitled to federal recognition of their marriage. President Barack Obama, speaking while on tour in Africa, has White House lawyers looking into the issue:

He says as president, he believes federal benefits should be granted to couples married in a state that recognizes gay marriage even if they move to a state that doesn’t.

Obama says he asked his lawyers to start evaluating how to update federal statutes to grant gay couples federal benefits even before the high court ruled.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in their respective chambers yesterday, which would repeal the remaining provision of DOMA that allows states to ignore lawful same-sex marriages performed in other states. It would also explicitly clarify the question of whether Federal recognition of a marriage is dependent on the couple’s residency. While the measure enjoys bipartisan support, no movement is expected in the GOP-controlled House.

Lieberman introduces a bill to repeal DADT

Timothy Kincaid

March 3rd, 2010

Senator Joseph Lieberman, a formerly Democrat and currently Independent Senator from Connecticut, has introduced a senate bill which would “replace the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as ‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’, with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Specifically, it would repeal Section 654 of title 10 (“unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion”) and subsections (b), (c), and (d) of section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).

Instead, this bill would:

  • create Section 656 would be created which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • authorize a Pentagon Working Group which would have nine months to recommend implementation of the new policy, after which the Secretary of Defense would have two months to revise regulations
  • require the Secretary of Defense to report back in six months as to whether universities are allowing or welcoming ROTC onto their campus (some had banned or discouraged them due to discrimination policies)

Co-signing with Lieberman were:

Carl Levin (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)

Twelve Senators Voice Opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

January 20th, 2010

Twelve U.S. Senators have written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling on him to block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before that nation’s Parliament. Citing Uganda’s relative success in fighting HIV/AIDS, the Senators note:

While your nation has been a leader in Africa on many fronts, including the reduction of HIV infections, this proposed legislation will be a glaring setback in Uganda’s human rights standing.  Unfortunately, even the mere threat of the new and severe penalties for homosexual behavior suggested in this bill, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, could easily add to an already intolerant atmosphere in Uganda based on sexual orientation.

Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) joined Democrats Benjamin Cardin (MD), Richard Duban (IL), Daniel Akaka (HI), Christopher Dodd, (CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jeff Merkley (OR), Patty Murray (WA), , Mark Udall (CO), Diane Feinstein (CA) and Barbara Boxer (CA) in signing the letter.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of the past year’s anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Click here to read the letter sent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

DiFi Says “No” to 8

Timothy Kincaid

September 12th, 2008

Moderate Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein has finally spoken on her opposition to Proposition 8.

The views of Californians on this issue have changed over time, and as a State, I believe we should uphold the ability of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are gay and lesbian to enter into the contract of marriage.

I urge Californians to oppose Proposition 8.

DiFi now joins Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in opposition to this discriminatory measure. And if there are any statewide elected officials that support Prop 8, they’ve been awfully quiet about it.