Sara’s News Roundup 2/27/12: Another federal ruling against DOMA
The prospects for marriage equality in Alaska, another decision against DOMA in the federal courts, same-sex marriage in Kenya, and other recent LGBTQ news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.
1) Will Alaska be same-sex marriage’s Last Frontier?
Juneau, Alaska, Juneau Empire, February 21, 2012
Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur traveled more than 3,300 miles from their Anchorage home to get married, and in high fashion they became the first same-sex couple to exchange vows at the Empire State Building….
While the newlyweds are legally married in New York, their marriage certificate carries no legal weight in Alaska.
The 1998 amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act limits rights provided by same-sex marriages to only the state in which a couple was married.
2) Judge Finds DOMA Unconstitutional
California, Advocate, February 22, 2012
Federal judge Jeffrey White, who was appointed during George W. Bush’s presidency, has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. According to Think Progress, White, a judge in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, ruled in favor of Karen Golinski, an attorney and employee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, saying that her rights had been violated under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution when she was denied spousal benefits that heterosexual employees receive.
3) Lesbian federal worker wins health benefits case
California, Associated Press, February 24, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The government cannot deny health benefits to the wife of a lesbian court employee by relying on the 1996 law that bars government recognition of same-sex unions, a federal judge has ruled.
In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said the government’s refusal to furnish health insurance to Karen Golinski’s wife is unjustified because the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex married couples.
4) What ‘Bisexual’ Means to Me, and Why I Claim the Title
Huffington Post, February 16, 2012
The thing is, I didn’t always identify as “bi.” For the first 20 or so years of my life, I considered myself straight. Of course, during those years I did little actual considering all around, given that I had a boyfriend for most of the time, and that I was raised in a conservative, Christian environment that did not address alternative lifestyles. I never really had any cause to review my feelings on the matter, nor did I spend much time exploring other options.
5) Kenya’s legal same-sex marriages
Kenya, Africa, BBC News, February 15, 2012
Homosexual acts may be outlawed in Kenya but there is a long tradition among some communities of women marrying each other….
If a woman has never had any children, she takes on what is regarded as the male role in a marriage, providing a home for the younger woman, who is then encouraged to take a male sexual partner from her partner’s clan to become pregnant.
6) Facing Deadline, Prop. 8 Backers Seek Full Review by Appeals Court
California, Advocate, February 21, 2012
Prop. 8 attorney Charles Cooper tells MetroWeekly that he is seeking en banc review for the case — Prop. 8 was declared unconstitutional in 2010 by a federal judge, and a three judge appellate panel upheld that ruling two weeks ago. Now, the group ProtectMarriage, behind the 2008 antigay initiative, are seeking more of the Ninth Circuit to review the case.
7) And the Oscar for Most Disturbing Depiction Goes to…
Advocate, February 25, 2012
If there were an Academy Award for scariest and darkest portrayals of LGBT life, these films would be on the short list.
8) Sex-changing treatment for kids: It’s on the rise
Seattle Times, February 20, 2012
A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.
9) Opinion: What ‘Glee’ tells us about new LGBT allies
CNN, February 2012
The storyline on “Glee” captures something larger that we are seeing with a new generation of allies (allies are people who support LGBT rights but aren’t LGBT themselves). When I wrote “Allies at Work” in 2009, every ally I interviewed also supported LGBT pride. Today, we are encountering a different type of ally: one who supports LGBT people because they believe it’s the Christian thing to do. So they are supportive of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people though they may be conflicted over how they feel about “gay pride.”