Five married gay and lesbian binational couples filed suit in the Federal District Court in New York on Monday, arguing that denial of green cards for the spouses of gay and lesbian Americans pursuant to Section 3 of DOMA constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit was filed on the couples' behalf by Immigration Equality and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Filing what she described as the organization's "first big impact litigation," Immigration Equality's executive director, Rachel Tiven, tells Metro Weekly that the organization was "left with no choice but to sue" the Obama administration today in order to protect what it claims are the constitutional rights of same-sex married couples who are prohibited by the Defense of Marriage Act from receiving equal treatment in the green card application process.
Lawyers for Stop the Deportations - the DOMA Project repeated a call for the Obama Administration to implement immediate moratorium on the denial of any green card petitions filed by married same-sex couples until this case has been fully litigated and there has been a final judicial determination on DOMA Section 3, according to a press release from the group.
Said Lavi Soloway, attorney and co-founder of the DOMA Project, in a statement:
“The White House website states, 'President Obama believes [that]... Americans with partners from other countries should not be faced with a painful choice between staying with their partner or staying in their country.' The administration’s current policy of denying green cards and refusing to hold cases in abeyance destroys marriages and tears apart families. Abeyance would mean that USCIS does not approve petitions, as DOMA prohibits approval, but also does not deny petitions. By abstaining from a final decision, most especially in light of the pending legal challenge to DOMA, USCIS would allow legally married lesbian and gay spouses to live together legally and safely within the United States. Abeyance would not contravene DOMA, and it is a reasonable and respectful policy until there is a final resolution of DOMA especially in light of the filing of the lawsuit today."
Information on the plaintiffs is HERE.
The complaint is available HERE.
Challenge to DOMA heads to federal appeals court in Boston on Wednesday.
Jason Hackenwerth's inflatable art.
Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs.
Obama opens up lead over Romney in battleground states: "Obama leads Romney 51 percent to 42 percent in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. The president won all of those states in 2008, and will likely need to win about half of those electoral votes in 2012 if he is to secure a second term."
16 tips from homophobes for dealing with a gay child.
Zac Efron: “I can’t explain to you what it’s like to be a heartthrob. I don’t think I am a heartthrob."
WaPo on the push for marriage equality from Britain's conservatives: "Twenty-four years later, strategists see Cameron’s decision to champion the gay marriage cause as an attempt to seize the mantle of progressive change from the left and broaden the Conservative Party’s appeal among an increasingly key voting group: young urbanites."
South African zoo welcomes adorable pygmy hippo named Prince Harry.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has launched the first ever online EU-wide survey.
Goldman Sachs revealed to be 16-percent stake owner of biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States.
Jonathan Groff channels his inner Sutton Foster to tap his way through performance of "Anything Goes".
LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill introduced on last day of Georgia legislative session: "Taylor said today he was hoping to get Republican sponsors to sign on to the bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity before introducing it, but because it was an election year several supportive Republicans wanted to wait until January to sign on. Georgia is one of five states that does not have its own hate crimes law. Taylor's bill would allow judges to decide to apply stiffer penalties to those found guilty of committing a hate crime against people who are gay or perceived to be gay as well as transgender. The bill also includes race, gender, national origin and religion.
Male model fix: Elbio Bonsaglio.
Brooklyn photographer Iannis Delatolas fights back after gay bashing: "When I first came to New York in 1991 I went to Act Up and Queer Nation demonstrations. The Act Up shirt is part of my legacy. Making this image has helped me take back my dignity, it was my way of fighting back."
Rhode Island Governor endorses David Cicilline for Congress: “Congressman Cicilline is hardworking and honest and has a proven track record of supporting the social policies and programs that I voted for as a U.S. Senator. Returning Congressman Cicilline to Washington will help to ensure that my former political party, which has abandoned fiscal responsibility and is focused too closely on social issues, does not solidify its power.”
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton dreamt that the state would reject the pending anti-gay amendment: "I had a dream over the weekend. And we'll see how prophetic my dream is. I dreamt that … Minnesota would be the first state in the nation to reject this kind of measure."
Activist and videographer Sean Chapin, who successfully led a campaign to get the San Francisco Giants to be the first MLB team to make an 'It Gets Better' video, responds to news of the recent gay extortion attempt on Minnesota Twins player Carl Pavano, with another campaign.
I am calling on the commissioner, Bud Selig, to step up to the plate and help put an end to [homophobia in baseball] once and for all - to let our baseball players know that they will be fully supported and protected by Major League Baseball if they’re gay and want to come out of the closet. And one day, a player will finally come out as openly gay, and be able to play the game with the freedom and honesty that other players takes for granted.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Chapin's petition here.
Catholic Priest Accidentally Screens Gay Pornographic Images at School's Holy Communion Presentation
A Catholic priest "shocked" parents and one child at a presentation at St Mary’s School in Northern Ireland after indecent images of men appeared on screen at the beginning of his presentation, the Belfast Telegraph reports:
Father Martin McVeigh was about to host an advisory Powerpoint presentation for parents on the subject of their children’s imminent Holy Communion event last week but instead displayed shocking gay porn scenes.
It is believed among the 26 parents present, there was also an eight-year-old child at the meeting which came to a halt after the shocking images were shown. School Principal, Sean Devlin is said to have contacted the Armagh Archdiocese to inform them of the unpleasant event while the PSNI are investigating the incident but say on the basis of the evidence available, no crime had been committed.
The BBC adds:
"He was visibly shaken and flustered," said the parents. "He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room. The co-ordinator and the teachers then continued with the presentation. The meeting continued in his absence, however, the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted. Twenty minutes later he returned, he continued with the meeting and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church."
An enlightening trip inside the Trojan condom factory.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via the daily what)
So Long, David Archuleta [tlrd]