September 2011 Archives

What Advice Would You Give Obama?

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 30, 2011 2:35 PM |
On Saturday, Oct. 1, President Obama will be be giving the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign's 15th annual national dinner. The speech, HRC announced today, will be livestreamed so that everyone who wants to can watch. Many people have been talking about what they expect or want the president to say, but, for a different vantage point, Metro ... [Read]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today dismissed the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States appeal as moot, following the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law on Sept. 20. Further, the appeals court vacated the historic trial court decision striking down DADT as unconstitutional, holding, "Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, ... [Read]

Writing that he was bound by a 1982 appeals court decision whose reasoning the U.S. Department of Justice had argued was "no longer valid today," U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson dismissed an immigration case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act brought by Indonesian citizen Hamdi Lui and his American husband, Michael Ernest Roberts. The news, first reported by ... [Read]

This week's article -- "Becoming Law" -- will be is the conclusion of a four-part series marking the 15th anniversary of the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act. The aim of the series is to present an in-depth examination of the circumstances, consideration and passage of the 1996 federal marriage law. Here's a preview: [On] Sept. 20, 1996, ... [Read]

Today, President Obama talked about bullying and the Defense of Marriage Act over the course of a 50-minute "Open for Questions" roundtable moderated by Jose Siade from Yahoo Español and featuring Karine Medina from MSN Latino and Gabriel Lerner from AOL Latino and Huff-Post Latino Voices. On DOMA and bi-national couples: MR. LERNER:  Mr. President, on the Defense of Marriage ... [Read]

Over the course of 2011, the Defense of Marriage Act has been front and center in several public debates, most notably when the Obama administration announced on Feb. 23 that it would no longer be defending Section 3 of the bill -- the federal definition of "marriage" -- in court challenges to the 1996 law. Despite this, when Metro Weekly ... [Read]

[Photo: President Barack Obama greets departing Associate Counsel to the President Alison J. "Ali" Nathan, left, Meg Satterthwaite, and their twin sons Oliver and Nathan, in the Outer Oval Office on July 7, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)] Earlier today, the Blog of Legal Times noted that Alison Nathan, the former White House associate counsel nominated ... [Read]

Release of Prop 8 Tapes Back on Hold

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 27, 2011 6:00 PM |
The release of the Proposition 8 trial tapes is back on hold, following an order from an appeals court on Monday, Sept. 26. On Sept. 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a stay, or hold, of U.S. District Court Judge James Ware's Sept. 19 order that granted the unsealing of the Proposition 8 trial tapes ... [Read]

Gautam Raghavan, currently the deputy White House liaison at the Department of Defense, will be taking over as the full-time LGBT liaison in the White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE), according to several LGBT advocates informed of the decision, filling a role held by Brian Bond for the first two years of the Obama administration. Raghavan was one of ... [Read]

Lt. Dan Choi's chief legal counsel, Robert J. Feldman, filed a response on Sept. 21 to the government's filing of a motion seeking to order Magistrate Judge John Facciola to refrain from allowing Choi's lawyers to use "selective or vindictive prosecution" as a defense to the charge of failure to obey a lawful order by a police officer.  The government ... [Read]

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced in a news release that President Obama will be making his second appearance at the organization's annual national dinner. This year's dinner, which is to take place on Oct. 1 at the Washington Convention Center, will come just days after the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on Sept. 20 -- an accomplishment that ... [Read]

[Photo, above: Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks about the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at a news conference held by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Mullen at the Pentagon on Sept. 20, 2011. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] As federal folks, from the House to the Senate and from the Pentagon to the ... [Read]

"DADT IS HISTORY."

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 20, 2011 4:45 AM |
With additional reporting by John Riley. [Photo: The U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station in New York City's Times Square on Sept. 19, 2011, in the hours before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] Just after midnight, the White House took to Twitter today to announce, "As of 12:01 am, the repeal of the discriminatory law ... [Read]

Today, members of the U.S. Army began receiving a memorandum signed by Army Sergeant Major Raymond F. Chandler III, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and Army Secretary John M. McHugh that announces the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The letter, dated Sept. 20, was obtained by Metro Weekly and begins, "Today marks the end of ... [Read]

On Monday, Sept. 12, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. -- the lead prosecutor for the U.S. District of the District of Columbia -- filed a motion seeking to have the district court order the magistrate court hearing former Lt. Dan Choi's trial to refrain from allowing "selective or vindictive prosecution as a defense to the charge of failure to obey ... [Read]

The Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance will host forums for candidates seeking to represent Northern Virginia in five separate offices in advance of the commonwealth's November 2011 elections for state assembly and local county races.  The nonpartisan organization, which advocates for LGBT rights and visibility in government and the community on a state and local level, will hold one forum ... [Read]

The National Center for Transgender Equality announced this evening: The Social Security Administration (SSA) has confirmed that it has ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This will result in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee's W-2 does not match Social Security records. Asked about the decision, ... [Read]

Today at the White House briefing, Metro Weekly sought clarification about the earlier White House statement regarding the North Carolina marriage amendment slated for the ballot there in May 2012, as well as asking about whether President Obama had any plans to mark the Sept. 20 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal. Here's the transcript:      Q    Back in 2008, during ... [Read]

On Monday, Sept. 12, House Republicans made what appears to be a last-ditch effort at halting or stalling the Sept. 20 repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- though advocates of repeal say the move is unlikely to result in any delay. Writing that House Armed Services Committee "officials have requested, but not received, copies of the revised regulations and ... [Read]

Today, the Associated Press released polling that showed that a majority of Americans support "the government giv[ing] legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex." The 53 percent support the poll found was not surprising, as several polls over the past year have reached similar results. What did stick out was the AP-National Constitution Center poll's finding that ... [Read]

In his continuing comments on marriage equality, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were asked about the subject today on The View, with Dick Cheney beginning his answer by repeating a line that he's used since the 2000 vice-presidential debate, saying, "Freedom means freedom for everybody." He then noted the state province on making marriage decisions, ... [Read]

Just in from QNotes's Matt Comer:  RALEIGH, N.C. — Members of the North Carolina Senate barely passed a motion to place an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment on the ballot in May 2012. The body began debate shortly after noon and ended at 1:22 p.m. The final vote tally, 30-16, barely met the three-fifths majority needed for the measure to pass.  The ... [Read]

In Karen Golinski's challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, House general counsel Kerry Kircher signed a filing stating that the House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group "prefers not to participate in this district's pilot project permitting video recording of courtroom proceedings." The Sept. 9 filing means the hearing won't be recorded. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White ... [Read]

This weekend brought news that the consideration of a marriage amendment in North Carolina would be coming this week. From the Associated Press: A Senate judiciary committee is scheduled Monday to consider the updated proposal, which would recognize marriage between one man and one woman as the state's only valid domestic legal union. But the proposal, released Saturday by a ... [Read]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today affirmed a district court decision keeping an Arizona state law from going into effect that, as the appeals court puts it, "would have terminated eligibility for health-care benefits of state employees' same-sex partners." The appeals court three-judge panel found that the district court opinion, in which the district court found ... [Read]

To follow up on Metro Weekly's report, "Defending DOMA, Fighting Back," about the Department of Justice filing on Friday, Sept. 2, in a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in an immigration context, and for the benefit of those attorneys and others following these issues, here are the two key paragraphs from the DOJ filing, which was made on ... [Read]

At 10 a.m. Pacific Time, the California Supreme Court is to hear oral arguments in its attempt to answer the certified question about the specifics of California law sent to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its consideration of the appeal of the August 2010 trial-court decision striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. The ... [Read]

Today, in an email to supporters, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) announced the expected news that she will be running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.). Baldwin would be the first out LGBT senator in U.S. history. In a video posted to YouTube, Baldwin names both Kohl and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) -- who ... [Read]

On Thursday, Sept. 1, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard the appeal in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. [See Metro Weekly's LCR v. US Argument FAQ.] Although the merits of the arguments challenging the constitutionality of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" were considered by the judges, the majority of the more than ... [Read]

Goodwin Liu -- whose nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was stymied by Republican opposition -- was confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 31, for his nomination to the California Supreme Court. He was sworn in by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) today. And, on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Justice Liu is expected to participate in the oral arguments ... [Read]

This morning, Sept. 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the federal government's appeal of the trial court ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips finding that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional and that the government should be prohibited from enforcing the law.  Of course, in December 2010, Congress passed ... [Read]