Tuesday, March 3, 2009

GLAD Files Lawsuit Against Federal Government

Here’s another update from our friends at The Family Leader Network.

Handful of same-sex couples attack federal Defense of Marriage Act passed overwhelmingly by Democrats and Republicans

A lawsuit was filed yesterday with the federal District Court in Boston that seeks to declare portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, unconstitutional.

The suit addresses the use of DOMA Section 3, which makes clear that spousal protections in Social Security, federal income tax, federal employees' and retirees' benefits, and in the issuance of passports are reserved for married couples only.

The plaintiffs in the suit are eight homosexual couples who say they are "married" and three individuals whose homosexual partners have passed away.

The suit was filed by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

"Public policy should be decided by the public, not by one judge and a very small number of radical activists," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum. "America continues to overwhelmingly reaffirm that marriage is one man and one woman. Does the democratic process mean anything anymore?"

  • 45 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
  • All 30 states that have sought to affirm marriage as one man and one woman in their state constitutions have done so.
  • DOMA passed in 1996 by an overwhelming majority of 342-67 in the House and 85-14 in the Senate and was then signed by President Bill Clinton.

"None of these facts appear to matter to the people who have filed this lawsuit," Raum explained. "They do not care about the negative social impact on children if federal judges redefine marriage. Courts should never impose a system which guarantees that more kids will be brought up in homes without a married mom and dad. How can we justify hurting millions of children for the possible emotional benefit of a very small number of adults?"

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins expressed concerns that the Obama administration's Department of Justice would not suitably defend DOMA against the lawsuit, given Obama's personal position in favor of repealing the law.

"We advise the Obama Administration to fulfill its constitutional duties and defend DOMA energetically and competently. We also urge any federal courts that hear this case to dismiss it and preserve the right of the people to decide such important public policy decisions," said Perkins.

My question is why are these people filing a lawsuit now? Where were they in 1996 when this was signed into law? The majority of America feels that marriage is between a man and a woman. And that’s the way it needs to stay.

State Legislators Didn’t Listen to Our Vote

From CRI: California Legislature Violates Separation of Powers, Passes Anti-Prop 8 Resolutions

The Assembly and Senate passed resolutions stating their opposition to Proposition 8.

Both houses of the state legislature are trying to go on record opposing Proposition 8 prior to the California Supreme Court’s hearing of the lawsuits against Proposition 8 on Thursday. In lengthy floor debates, Democrats passed HR 5 (Ammiano) and SR 7 (Leno), which express the opinion of the legislature that Proposition 8 was an unconstitutional revision and must be ruled invalid. However, the legislature’s passage of HR 5 and SR 7 violates the separation of powers doctrine which clearly instructs the legislature to refrain from influencing the judicial process, particularly pending legal cases.

Many Democrats rose to speak out against Proposition 8, even those from districts that clearly voted in favor of Proposition 8. “How arrogant for these lawmakers to express their personal opposition to Proposition 8 and try to persuade the court when their constituents voted in favor of traditional marriage,” stated Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.

Assemblyman Van Tran eloquently pointed out that HR 5 is an attempt to “retroactively disenfranchise the votes of over 7 million voters” who passed Proposition 8. He explained that HR 5 is also an “illegal ex parte communication with the court.” Tran went on to chastise the Democrats for seeking to unduly influence the judicial review of Proposition 8 after the people had voted, and the legislature is politicizing the judicial process just a few days before the hearing.

Republican assemblymen Chuck DeVore, Ted Gaines, Joel Anderson, Steve Knight, Mike Villines and Dan Logue all rose to speak out against HR 5 and affirm the people’s right to pass Proposition 8.

Joel Anderson called on this fellow lawmakers to refrain from interpreting the law in the legislature, leaving that constitutional duty to the judicial branch.