INFOGRAPHIC: The LGBT Undocumented
Last week was a watershed moment in the history of the LGBT Community. You could not help but see the transitioning of facebook into a bright sea of red as everyone (or almost everyone) changed their profile into red tints, showing support for marriage equality. What impressed me the most was the number of straight friends, including two of my ministers from my mainstream Methodist church, joined in the show of support. After a standing room only Town Hall Meeting at the Center in which local leaders discussed the two cases before the Supreme Court, we now wait for a decision to come out in late June or first three days of July. No one, including myself, knows how SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) will rule, but I love placing odds on certain events, so I will attempt to break down the possibility of how SCOTUS will rule. Again, this is at best a guess….. Would probably be more effective throwing darts at the choices.
Reversing lower courts’ decision and declaring Prop 8 as valid. 2 % chance of succeeding. While 4 members of the Court are not what you consider gay friendly, the four progressive members and Justice Kennedy clearly revealed that they do not think Prop 8 is Constitutional.
Dismissal of case as improvidently granted. 25% chance of dismissal. This is uncommon but not unheard of, and it means the Court decides it was wrong to have taken up this particular appeal and dismisses case without ruling on the merits. This in essence would allow the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to stand, which declared Prop 9 as unconstitutional, and allowing same sex marriage to resume in California.
Lack of Standing - 43% chance of denial of appeal. Since no governmental official in California would support appealing the lower courts’ decision declaring Prop 8 as unconstitutional, supporters of the denial of same sex marriage were allowed to make the appeal themselves. SCOTUS raised the issue several times during the hearing; giving the impression to some observers this could be a way out without having to issue a binding decision. If the court rules there is a lack of standing, either one of two things could occur: 1. They would order the decision of the federal judge who first heard the case as binding, allowing same sex marriage to re-occur in California (good thing). Or 2. Issue a ruling that the lack of standing will make the lower court’s decision binding only on the four original plaintiffs, allowing these two couples to marry , but no one else (very bad thing). Most likely they will issue that original federal court order declaring Prop 8 as unconstitutional for entire state of California. Note: Such ruling would only affect CA and no other state.
Decision on the merits declaring Prop 8 as unconstitutional. 28% chance of occurring. While there appear five votes to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional, they do not appear to be in agreement as the method to reach such decision. Some justices appear ready to declare all state laws preventing same sex marriage as void, while other justices only want to address the state law in California. Justice Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, appears ready to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional, but not ready to support a sweeping change across the nation. He appears to be the fifth and deciding vote, so most likely the opponents of Prop 8 will have to accept his line of thought.
Decision to declare all prohibitions against same sex marriage as unconstitutional. 2% chance of success. As this is the result that we all hope for, it does not appear that SCOTUS is ready to make such a drastic step. Even the more progressive members of the Court seem hesitant to take such a major step. I hope I am very wrong on this “guess” but would be shocked (and thrilled) if court issued such ruling.
Only Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits same sex married couples from accessing federal marital benefits (over 1100 benefits), is being considered for appeal purpose at this time. Section 2, which allows states the right to refuse to accept the marital status of same sex couples, will have to be addressed in a follow up case, as I am sure it will.
Appeal will be dismissed for lack of standing -25% chance of dismissal. Because the President of the United States and the Attorney General refused to defend DOMA because it appears to them to be unconstitutional, five leaders of Congress called the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) elected to appeal the lower court’s decision declaring DOMA as unconstitutional. (Bipartisan my ass…. 3 Republicans including Speaker Boehner voted to appeal against 2 Democrat votes). There is some question as to whether BLAG actually has a right to make decision to appeal an issue reserved for the Executive Branch. While valid argument, SCOTUS appears ready to vote on this issue. And if dismissed, the lower court’s decision declaring Section 3 as unconstitutional would be upheld though may cause confusion for the remaining 8 states as to federal rights.
Section 3 of DOMA will be declared unconstitutional on the merits. 75% chance of occurring. The questioning by the progressive members of SCOTUS along with Justice Kennedy gave the appearance that DOMA clearly made same sex couples suffer monetary loss (in this case- force to pay Estate Taxes) and thus a violation of equal protection. Even Chief Justice Roberts was open to the argument that DOMA was an unconstitutional intrusion into areas usually reserved for states. This could be a 6-3 or even 7-2 vote to invalidate DOMA.
SCOTUS reverses lower courts’ ruling and uphold DOMA – 0% chance of succeeding. This will be the first of several cases dismantling DOMA.
There is an interesting side note to the DOMA case. If Section 3 is struck down, Federal benefits will be available to those couples who are legally married in the 9 states and District of Columbia (and soon to be joined by California). If a couple who is receiving such benefits move and are domiciled in a state that does not recognize same sex marriage, those rights may be withdrawn. There is no definitive answer to this question, but one that must be considered. Also, if DOMA is struck down, will there be a gay migration to those states that recognize same sex marriage? It’s not just a watershed moment….it’s a Tsunami.
Buckle your seatbelts….. I think it’s going to be a FUN ride.
The Center Orlando
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Transgender Equality are pleased to announce the release of their joint publication “Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers,” available at www.aclu.org/transgender-parent-guide.
All too often parents who have transitioned or come out as transgender after having children have seen their gender transition raised by their ex-spouse or partner as a basis to deny or restrict custody or visitation. Transgender people who formed families after transitioning or coming out have faced challenges to their legal status as parents, often based on attacks on the validity of their marriages.
This guide provides information to transgender parents and their attorneys to help them protect parent-child relationships and assist them when faced with disputes over child custody issues.
Please feel free to share this notice with any individuals or groups for whom it could be helpful.
If you would like to order free hard copies of the publication, please contact the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project at email@example.com or (212) 549-2627.
Today, Mark Kirk and Tom Carper became the latest senators to endorse same-sex marriage, as members of the chamber seem to be falling over themselves to do in recent weeks. Just in the past month, nine members, including Kirk and Carper, have reversed course on the issue. The changes followed both Rob Portman’s announcement that he supports same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court arguments on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Public support for gay marriage has hit a new high as Americans increasingly see homosexuality not as a choice but as a way some people are, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.
The Supreme Court takes up the issue of gay marriage next week, and nearly two-thirds of all Americans say the matter should be decided for all states on the basis of the U.S. Constitution, not with each state making its own laws.
My name is I-Shan Yang, a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Texas Tech University. I am currently working on a research study of same-sex couples’ parenting experience, which might help increase mental health professionals’ awareness and understanding when working with same-sex couples. I am recruiting participants across the country. Participants will get a chance to win a $25 giftcard after finishing the online survey. The survey is short and takes about 10-15 mins to finish.
Here is the survey link: https://ttuhumansciences.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0VZLedTNwWfdHTK
Administration officials say the Justice Department will urge the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California, wading into the protracted legal battle over Proposition 8 and giving gay-rights advocates a new court ally.
After first suggesting it would not get involved, the Obama administration will file a friend-of-the-court brief late today in support of the two gay couples who launched the fight over the issue four years ago, the officials said. Today is the last day for filing briefs in support of the couples’ position.
The administration last year signaled it might stay on the sidelines. In May, when President Obama first said that “same-sex couples should be able to get married,” he added that it was not a matter for the federal government.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on Wednesday, ABC’s Pierre Thomas asked Holder how the Justice Department will approach the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to California’s Prop. 8 marriage ban. [Read more...]
The GLBT Center will be offering a new support group called LIFE for those who have recently have been diagnosed with HIV and other life changing illnesses. While the group’s main focus is for young men and women, the group is open to anyone recently diagnosed (within the past year).
The group will be a place to discuss issues, feeling and concerns while transitioning to the new reality of living with a life changing illness. The group will be led by two certified life coaches.
We will be meeting on Monday evenings at 7pm beginning on February 11 at the GLBT Center located at 946 N. Mills Ave in Orlando (Bus Stop 125)…
For more information you can contact Stephen Halpin at StephenLifeCoach@gmail or by calling at (407)602-8511 of by contacting The Center at 407-228-8272 and ask for Randy Stephens.