Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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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.

Votes Lined Up In Senate Committee for DOMA Repeal

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2011

The Washington Blade has looked at some newly announced cosponsors and supporters for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA. Based on that headcount, RMA has  at least ten votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is enough to advance the bill to the Senate floor. Advocates are still trying to build support for the bill in the Senate before they press the committee to hold hearings.

DOMA Repeal Step One: Introduction

Timothy Kincaid

September 15th, 2009

A collection of political leaders, led by Rep. Nadler, who truly wish to see marriage discrimination removed from federal law, have taken the first step towards marriage equality. (NYT blog)

Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis appeared along with same-sex marriage advocates at a Tuesday morning news conference to announce the introduction of the bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act.

The bill already has roughly 90 cosponsors, though at least one name is conspicuously absent from that list: Representative Barney Frank, the openly gay Massachusetts Democrat. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also indicated earlier this year that repealing the law would not be a top priority.

The next step will be trying to encourage those who are reluctant to move forward on equality – or for tying their political careers to things that matter to our community – to consider equality as a principled goal.

This bill is not expected to pass this Congress. But it does let us know who is really committed when they tell us that they support equality for gay couples. There are now 90 congresspersons whom I’m now willing to listen to … and a few notable ones for whom I find that I have other causes that “will take up all of what I can do and maybe more” and perhaps they should seek a “better venue” elsewhere.

p.s. the bill does not yet seem to have caught the attention of the President. But I am absolutely certain that he will support this bill every bit as much as he has used his bully pulpit and influence with Congress to support other promises he made to our community during his campaign.

Bill To Repeal DOMA Coming Next Week

Jim Burroway

September 10th, 2009

The Advocate is reporting that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will introduce legislation next Tuesday to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. According to reporter Kerry Eleveld, the bill has just over fifty cosponsors. The bill’s introduction is slated to be announced during a press conference on September 15 at 11 a.m. EST.