The Justice Department announced today that it will appeal the case of Gill v Personnel Management, in which a federal district court had ruled in favor of seven same-sex married couples and three widowed persons, including the widower of a Congressman, that they were entitled to federal benefits due married people. The lower court had found the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and Obama’s Justice Department in now appealing that ruling.
Kind of feels like fierce bigotry. And just wait, I suspect that any moment now we’re going to learn that the Obama administration has filed a motion to stop a federal judge’s order that basically eliminated DADT a few hours ago.
But remember, the Human Rights Campaign says we owe this President our gratitude.
From Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders’ press release:
Today, the Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, GLAD’s challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The case was heard in May 2010 by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro, who issued a decision finding DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional on July 8, 2010.
“We fully expected an appeal and are more than ready to meet it head on,” says Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director. “DOMA brings harm to families like our plaintiffs every day, denying married couples and their children basic protections like health insurance, pensions, and Social Security benefits. We are confident in the strength of our case.”
The case is now before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The next step will be for the government to file its brief to that court arguing that Judge Tauro’s ruling was wrong. GLAD will then file its brief in opposition to the government, and finally the government will file a reply brief. At that point, the appeal will be scheduled for oral argument. Briefing could be concluded by the spring of 2011 with oral argument to follow by the fall of 2011.
Now we await the Fierce Advocacy of the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense appealing Judge Virginia Phillips’ injunction ordering the military to stop enforcing DADT. This could be a red-letter day for LGBT supporters of the president, as his administration shows its real colors in light of its soaring rhetoric.