Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GLAD Asks Supreme Court Hear DOMA Case

GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, a lawsuit challenging Section 3 of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) which prohibits federal recognition of the marriages of gay couples. GLAD is representing 6 married couples & a widower, from Connecticut, Vermont & New Hampshire who have all been denied critical federal benefits because of DOMA. GLAD co-lead counsel Mary L. Bonauto stated, “With each passing day, DOMA denies ordinary marital protections & heaps disrespect on our plaintiffs’ families & thousands of married same-gender couples across the country. Joanne Pedersen still cannot enroll her wife on her health insurance plan like other retirees from federal service. Lynda DeForge, like other workers whose spouses have serious medical conditions, still can’t take Family & Medical Leave Act leave to care for Raquel Ardin. Jerry Passaro continues to struggle without access to his late husband’s pension. The Artis, Kleinerman-Gehre & Savoy-Weiss families are each raising three children, but under DOMA pay extra federal income taxes or health insurance costs. DOMA even intrudes into the New Hampshire State Retirement System in denying a retired school teacher a health insurance subsidy for her spouse. These plaintiffs need to hear definitively from the Supreme Court whether or not the federal government will ultimately respect their love, commitment & legal bonds.” A decision issued July 31st by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut ruled in Pedersen that DOMA Section 3 unconstitutionally discriminates against our plaintiffs. GLAD filed what is known as a petition for “certiorari before judgment”— giving the Supreme Court an opportunity to immediately review the district court decision. Updates to Come…:)
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