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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Judge Seeks Prop 8 Docs; DOMA Challenged; Iowa Recruits

A federal judge has ordered sponsors of California's Proposition 8 to release campaign strategy documents that opponents believe could show that backers of the same-sex marriage ban were motivated by prejudice against gays. [...] If the courts find that the ballot measure was motivated by discrimination, they could strike it down without having to decide whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. [...]

The initiative, approved by 52 percent of the voters, overturned the state Supreme Court's May 2008 ruling that gave gays and lesbians the right to marry in California. The state court upheld Prop. 8 as a valid state constitutional amendment in May but also ruled that 18,000 same-sex couples who married before the election were legally wed.  Walker has scheduled an Oct. 14 hearing in San Francisco on whether to dismiss the suit or let it go to trial in January. [...]

Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the Prop. 8 sponsors, said Friday it was unprecedented to allow "the losing side of a campaign to pry into the most intimate strategy discussions of the winning side." [...]

The Libertarian Party platform says "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no discriminatory impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have legitimate authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships."  At its April convention, the Libertarian Party of California overwhelmingly approved a resolution re-affirming its opposition to Prop 8.

From an Oct. 3 article by Rob Hotakainen in the Sacramento Bee:
As one of 18,000 legally wed same-sex couples in California, Brad Levenson and Tony Sears file state income taxes as a married couple. But they file their federal taxes as single individuals, paying hundreds of dollars more each year. That's because a law called the Defense of Marriage Act bars federal agencies from recognizing gay marriages. [...]

President Barack Obama already has promised to support a repeal, and the idea is gaining plenty of momentum among California Democrats. In the House, 22 of them -- including Sacramento's Doris Matsui -- are among the 97 cosponsors of a bill introduced two weeks ago by New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler that would dump the Defense of Marriage Act. [...]

Just last month, the Obama administration went to court to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, even after the president had made it clear that he personally opposed it. Administration officials said the Justice Department had no choice but to defend the law as long as reasonable arguments could be made about its constitutionality, even if the department disagreed with the statute.
From an Oct. 3 article by Eric Carpenter in the Orange County Register:
Figuring that plenty of gay couples in California are frustrated by the inability to get legally married here, representatives from Iowa have set up a booth at Gay Days at the Disneyland Resort encouraging them to consider moving to the Hawkeye State.

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