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    Federal Judge Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

    In 1996, by a vote of 342–67 in the House and 85–14 in the Senate, the United States Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and President Clinton signed it into law. Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage as the union of husband and wife for purposes of federal … More

    A Veto from Hawaii: Marriage Debate Needs More Than Last-Minute Legislative Maneuvers

    This past April, on the last day of the legislative session, the Hawaii House of Representatives voted 31–20 in favor of HB 444, a controversial measure creating civil unions. This week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle replied with a veto of the bill. She states, “I have been open and consistent … More

    IRS Flouts the Defense of Marriage Act

    In a series of three letter rulings – here, here,  and here – issued in May, the Internal Revenue Service has reached conclusions that flout the plain meaning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The rulings involve California’s domestic partnership law, which dates to 1999 and has been expanded … More

    Sacrificing for Religious Liberty: Same-Sex Marriage in Washington, D.C.

    With the decision by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to deny a stay requested by proponents of traditional marriage, the District of Columbia’s same-sex marriage law takes effect today.  Anticipating that event, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington took another step to comply with the law’s terms this past … More

    The D.C. Government’s Strike against Foster Kids – and Religious Liberty

    This week Washington, D.C. became the second U.S. jurisdiction to lose the benefit of Catholic Charities’ adoption and foster care services over the issue of same-sex marriage. Early next month, barring Congressional or judicial intervention, the District of Columbia will become the sixth U.S. jurisdiction to authorize same-sex marriage. As … More

    Consensus for Marriage Vote in DC

    Last week the District of Columbia’s Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) rejected, for the third time, a request by five D.C. citizens to put the issue of same-sex marriage to a popular vote. If the Board’s decision is upheld by the D.C. Superior Court and appeals fail, only the … More

    Same-Sex Marriage and a Level-Playing Field for Religious Argument

    Last week, the evidentiary phase of the trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger came to an end. Perry is the federal court lawsuit in California that claims, in effect, that the U.S. Constitution contains a right to same-sex marriage. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the November 2008 … More

    Same-Sex Marriage in DC: Game, but Not Set or Match

    Advocates of traditional marriage filed an appeal in the District of Columbia today, as expected, seeking review of yesterday’s D.C. Superior Court ruling that a public referendum on the issue would violate the city’s Human Rights Act. The appeal will place the issue before the D.C. Court of Appeals, which … More

    Supreme Court Already Overturning Prop 8 Judge's "Eleventh Hour" Decisions

    On Monday, The New York Times carried an op-ed by Heritage Foundation scholar and former US Attorney General Ed Meese titled “Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8.” In that piece, Mr. Meese criticized a series of pre-trial rulings issued by Judge Vaughn R. Walker in the landmark same-sex marriage case … More

    No Cameras in Prop 8 Marriage Case

    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 late yesterday that a federal judge in San Francisco had acted improperly in altering longstanding rules barring the televising of federal court proceedings. As a result, the federal trial of Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage adopted in November 2008 … More