WBEZ | Defense of Marriage Act http://www.wbez.org/tags/defense-marriage-act Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en DOMA headed for Supreme Court: Obama or Romney could make the difference http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/doma-headed-supreme-court-obama-or-romney-could-make-difference-103263 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS4548_AP111013039933.jpg" style="height: 253px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="As DOMA heads for the Supreme Court, Romney wants to appoint more judges like Antonin Scalia (AP)" /></div><p>President Barack Obama lived through the second presidential debates and may have blunted some of Mitt Romney&rsquo;s momentum in these last few weeks. But a bigger reason to vote for Obama became clearer two days after the clash at Hofstra University, when the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals in New York determined that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ny-federal-appeals-court-becomes-2nd-in-nation-to-strike-down-defense-of-marriage-act/2012/10/18/81d51d3a-193b-11e2-ad4a-e5a958b60a1e_story.html">DOMA</a>, and its definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.</p><p>The majority opinion in <em>Windsor v. United States</em> was written by Judge Dennis Jacobs, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush. Bush gave us the thewless Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court to replace the towering Thurgood Marshall, but perhaps more notable in the long run, he also put <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Souter">David Souter</a> on the bench.<br /><br />Souter, whose name has now <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Soutered">become a verb</a> unfortunately meaning to stealthily pretend to be one way in order to further something else, probably did more as the crucial fifth vote in the court&rsquo;s liberal bloc to preserve judiciary independence and personal freedom than anyone currently wearing those black robes. Souter was, and will likely remain, the last non-idealogical GOP nominee to the court for a long, long time.<br /><br />In other words, DOMA &mdash; and various other crucial civil rights issues &mdash; are headed straight for the Supreme Court in the next few years. Who sits on the court will make the difference in the lives of millions of people; in the case of <em>Windsor</em>, particularly the lives of partners in same sex marriages.<br /><br />Over at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Current_justices">the court</a>, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a reliable progressive vote, is 79 years old, and Steven Beyer is 74. The seemingly very healthy and very conservative Antonin Scalia is 76. They&rsquo;re the most likely candidates for replacement, in that order.<br /><br />In other words, the next president will very likely have an opportunity to replace at least one, if not two, liberal judges.<br /><br />For Obama, that means preserving the court&rsquo;s current balance. But for Romney, who has vowed <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/onpolitics/2012/10/01/obama-romney-supreme-court-vacancy/1606025/">to appoint judges in the mold of Scalia</a>, that means changing the court&rsquo;s direction for at least 20 years by replacing a progressive with an extreme conservative.<br /><br />Among Romney&rsquo;s possible appointments? Paul Clements, the man who argued against the Affordable Care Act before the court, and Tea Party fave Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a former clerk to Justice Samuel Alito who thinks <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/mike-lee-fema-funds-utah_n_813032.html?utm_hp_ref=mike-lee">federal disaster relief </a>and <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/01/14/139049/lee-child-labor/">child labor laws are unconstitutional</a>.<br /><br />These choices &mdash; far more dramatic and idealogical than either Bush I or II or even Reagan &mdash; are part of what&rsquo;s at stake in this election.</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/doma-headed-supreme-court-obama-or-romney-could-make-difference-103263 Durbin favors repeal of Defense of Marriage Act http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-favors-repeal-defense-marriage-act-95146 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/gay marriage rally .jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some U.S. senators will be looking to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act this coming year. The law prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages.</p><p>Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he wants it repealed as it relates to federal benefits.</p><p>"I believe that we should have marriage equality in this country - that we should treat people fairly, that we should not discriminate against them in this circumstance," Durbin said.</p><p>Durbin said he'll support calling for the repeal to come for a vote before the Senate.</p><p>Earlier this year Illinois passed a Civil Unions Act, providing couples, including same sex couples, many of the same legal rights as married couples.</p></p> Fri, 23 Dec 2011 20:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-favors-repeal-defense-marriage-act-95146 Civil unions may not offer solution for some same-sex couples http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-01/civil-unions-may-not-offer-solution-some-same-sex-couples-87268 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-01/Personal story.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>As of June 1, couples around Illinois can enter civil unions. The news is particularly good for many in the gay and lesbian community, who don’t have the right to marry, but not everyone is celebrating.<br> <br> DOMA, or The Defense of Marriage Act, defines marriage as between a man and a woman. So unlike their straight counterparts, same-sex bi-national couples can’t sponsor each other for citizenship. One local couple shared what that meant for them.</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 13:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-01/civil-unions-may-not-offer-solution-some-same-sex-couples-87268 Same sex couples protest tax status http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/same-sex-couples-protest-tax-status-85323 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/DOMA Getty Monika Graff.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In some states many same-sex couples are using their returns to point out the effect that DOMA - The Defense of Marriage Act - has on their tax status. DOMA defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. So same sex married couples cannot file federal joint tax returns.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.equalityillinois.org/bernard.html" target="_blank">Bernard Cherkasov</a> is CEO of Equality Illinois and he explained what same sex couples face during tax time.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/same-sex-couples-protest-tax-status-85323 Obama administration challenges the Defense of Marriage Act http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/obama-administration-challenges-defense-marriage-act-83084 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DOMA Tim Boyle Getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Last week, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.justice.gov/ag/">Attorney General Eric Holder</a> said the Justice Department would no longer defend cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is the federal law instated during the Clinton presidency saying marriage is confined to the union of a man and a woman. But now defending that law falls to Congress. To learn more about what this move will mean for the future of DOMA&mdash;both legally and politically&mdash;<em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke with Northwestern University School of Law professor <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/AndrewKoppelman/">Andrew Koppelman</a>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Botany, &quot;Feeling Today&quot;, Feeling Today (Western Vinyl)</em></p></p> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 14:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/obama-administration-challenges-defense-marriage-act-83084