Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Profiling the attorneys in the April 4 DOMA case
by Chuck Colbert, Keen News Service
2012-04-04

This article shared 2822 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When a panel of three judges on a federal appeals court hears arguments against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), three openly gay lawyers will argue the law is unconstitutional. Opposing them will be one straight attorney.

Legal gay icon Mary Bonauto will once again make a case for equal marriage, arguing on behalf of seven gay couples and three widowers, all married in Massachusetts after the 2003 Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision.

While the state affords them all the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of legal wedlock, the federal government, under DOMA, denies them more than 1,000 federal programs, benefits and legal protections afforded to opposite-sex couples.

Perhaps best known for winning the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Goodridge, Bonauto is the civil-rights project director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

Goodridge was the first state Supreme Court victory for advocates of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Before Goodridge, Bonauto and two other attorneys won an important 1999 decision in Baker v. State of Vermont, a ruling that prompted lawmakers there to adopt what was then the ground-breaking option of civil unions. Civil unions afforded same-sex couples all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage, but not the word marriage. In 2009, Vermont lawmakers made same-sex marriage legal.

A May 2004 New York Times Magazine profile on Bonauto likened her to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who, before becoming a judge, argued before the high court in the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended racial segregation in public education.

A native of Newburgh, N.Y., Bonauto is a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and holds a law degree from Northeastern University, located in Boston.

Bonauto and her wife, Jennifer Wriggins, reside in Portland, Maine, where they are raising twin daughters.

Just as GLAD won a favorable same-sex marriage ruling in the federal district court in Boston in July 2010, so did and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In a suit brought by the state's attorney general, Maura T. Healey, chief of the Massachusetts attorney general's civil-rights division, argued that DOMA infringed on Massachusetts sovereignty, trespassing on the state's ability to determine eligibility for issuing marriage licenses.

During oral arguments, attorney Healey led a full-court press. In strong words, she told the U.S. District Court judge that DOMA "forces Massachusetts to engage in a kind of invidious discrimination."

How? By denying same-sex married couples of the same benefits received by opposite-sex couples—or risk losing federal aid.

Even worse, DOMA is "animus-based national marriage law," said Healey. She contended that the law infringes on Massachusetts sovereign authority and "forces the state to discriminate against its own citizens."

Like Bonauto, Healey is no stranger to high profile gay litigation. Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Healey was an attorney at the Boston office of WilmerHale, a prestigious law firm. There, she provided counsel to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) in a 2006 case, Cook v. Rumsfeld, that challenged the constitutionality of the armed forces' ban on openly gay service, a federal law and military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Before law school, Healey, a New Hampshire native, played women's basketball for Harvard College. There, as point guard, she captained the school to an Ivy League championship. Afterwards, Healey went on to play professional ball in Europe. She is a 2006 inductee into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. She holds a law degree from Northeastern.

For the April 4 arguments, GLAD's and the attorney general's lawsuits have been consolidated. They are referred to as Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.

When the cases were first heard in U.S. District Court, the Obama Department of Justice (DoJ) was still defending DOMA. But last year, DoJ said it would no longer argue the law is unconstitutional.

This time, the DoJ will be arguing against DOMA. And it will do so in the person of openly gay attorney Stuart Delery, promoted recently to serve as DoJ's Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.

Like Bonauto and Healey, Delery has experience with high-profile gay litigation. While a partner at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., he was pro bono counsel of record for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's unsuccessful lawsuit in the First Circuit that challenged the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Delery earned a law degree at Yale. He clerked for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Byron R. White.

Delery and his longtime partner, Richard Gervase, are fathers of two sons, according to the gay newspaper Metro Weekly of Washington, D.C.. Both parents are active in Rainbow Families DC, a non-profit organization for LGBT parents and prospective parents in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

DoJ is no longer defending DOMA, but the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the U.S. House hired attorney Paul Clement, former Solicitor General for President George W. Bush, to do so.

At that time, Clement was a partner at the law firm of King & Spaulding. When the law firm withdrew from the DOMA case, Clement resigned and joined another smaller firm, saying, "Representation should not be abandoned because the client's legal positioning is extremely unpopular in certain quarters."

"Defending unpopular positions is what lawyers do," said Clement, to Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart. "The adversary system of justice depends on it, especially in cases where passions run high. Efforts to delegitimize any representation for one side of a legal controversy are a profound threat to the rule of law."

A Wisconsin native, Clement, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds a law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.

When Clement arrives in Boston to defend DOMA, he will be fresh off an appearance this past week before the U.S. Supreme Court in landmark litigation seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Clement will also be defending DOMA in other cases.

©2012 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


This article shared 2822 times since Wed Apr 4, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SCOTUS arguments today in SCOTUS 303 Creative Case; outcome could impact LGBTQs, other vulnerable populations
2022-12-05
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments for the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The case will either protect the fundamental equality of LGBTQ+ people — ...


Gay News

Supreme Court hears Colorado religious objection case
2022-12-05
The ordinary rights of LGBTQ people are on the line again at the U.S. Supreme Court —this time on Monday, December 5, with a case seeking to allow any business to deny service to a customer ...


Gay News

WORLD Japan ruling, Kenya groups, World Cup, Almodovar
2022-12-04
Video below - A district court in the Tokyo Prefecture ruled that Japan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is legal, according to The Washington Blade. In a statement to Reuters, plaintiffs' attorney Nobuhito Sawasaki said, "This is actually a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans officials, marriage equality, Karl Schmid, Pelosi, Buttigieg
2022-12-04
Video below - Once all of the newly elected officials are seated, there will be nine transgender state legislators (up from eight this year) and nine non-binary state legislators across the country, NBC News noted, citing The Victory Institute. ...


Gay News

Book censorship focus of public comments at Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting
2022-11-30
During the closed door portion of the regularly scheduled Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 28 at Lincolnwood Village Hall, Library Defense members hosted a Freadom Book Swap outside of the building. Library Defense ...


Gay News

Record 120 U.S. cities excel in protecting LGBTQ+ rights per HRC LGBTQ+ Equality Index
2022-11-30
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...


Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act
2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...


Gay News

WORLD Church of England, World Cup news, court rulings, Justin Trudeau
2022-11-27
The Church of England is defending the scrutinized guidance for its 4,700 primary schools on LGBTQ+ issues, claiming that it doesn't allow students as young as 5 to self-identify as the opposite sex, The Christian Post ...


Gay News

NATIONAL $1M donation, church departures, Harvey Milk, abortions, Grindr
2022-11-27
In Ohio, Dayton-based insurance company CareSource is donating $1 million to United Church Homes to support the development of a senior living facility at the site of the former Longfellow School that will also aim at ...


Gay News

Gay candidates Lopez, Lawson file papers for 2023 aldermanic race
2022-11-21
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), an openly gay City Council member who has been an ardent foe of Mayor Lightfoot, announced Nov. 21 that he was dropping his bid for Lightfoot's mayoral seat, and would instead ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns
2022-11-20
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner
2022-11-18
WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...


Gay News

Senate marriage equality bill advances with 62-37 bipartisan vote
2022-11-16
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators voted 62-37 for cloture—the end of debate—for the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), signaling passage in the near future for the measure that enshrines marriage equality into federal law. The ...


Gay News

Rights advocates: Nov. 16 Senate vote a 'backstop' against SCOTUS overreach
2022-11-16
Representatives from HRC and GLAD met with media virtually the morning of Nov. 16 to discuss the implications of the Respect of Marriage Act. That legislation, scheduled for a Senate vote the same day, codifies marriage ...


Gay News

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16
2022-11-15
The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports. Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.