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The Community Letter March 2011

The Community Letter March 2011

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Published by Jim Hensley
The Community Letter, celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and allied communities of Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding region of Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri.
The Community Letter, celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning and allied communities of Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding region of Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri.

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Published by: Jim Hensley on Mar 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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© 2009 Allstate Insurance Company allstate.com
Daniel Mason(502) 966-5178
4610 Outer LoopLouisvilledanielcmason@allstate.com
T h e  R e s p e c T e d  s o u R c e  f o R  G L B T  N e w s  s i N c e  J u N e  1 9 9 0
T H E  C O M M U N I T Y 
In a bold move to advance the cause of marriage equality at the level of thefederal government, US Attorney General Eric Holder made the followingstatement on February 23, regarding the Department of Justice’s course of actionin two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denes marriage for
federal purposes as only between a man and a woman.
“In the two years since this [Obama] Administration took ofce, the
Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court.  Each of those cases evaluating Section 3was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold
that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are
constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment.  While the President 
opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended
it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.
Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however,
which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual
orientation should be treated.  In these cases, the Administration faces for therst time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard,
under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are
viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, thePresident has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented
Obama Administration Will No Longer Defend DOMA 
Attorney General Eric Holder (See DOMA, continued on page 19)
M Ldy GG f h Lsvll & spp Fss!
Dls  pg 19!
2     The COMMUNITY LeTTer  www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM  MArCh 2011
West Jefferson St. Louisville, KY 40202. Hotel reservations (502) 581-1234. The Enigma, Olde CitySideshow, a suspension performance by Crash, Penguin Boy & Baron, Slip & Slide Bikini Bowling &Bikini Mechanical Bull Riding. Amy Nicoletto from LA Ink will be there all weekend long. Over 200 of the world’s best tattoo artists will be there. Live tattooing and tattoo contest all weekend long.Art galleries, art auction and tattoo seminars.Show Info : 1 (800) 541-8239
Fri. 2PM - 12AM Sat. 12PM - 12AM Sun. 12PM - 8PM
$20 per day $40 for the weekend 
Tattoo Arts Convention
March 18th - 20th 2011
Hyatt Regency Louisville
MArCh 2011  www.TheLeTTerONLINe.COM  The COMMUNITY LeTTer      3
Last month a bill establishing civil unions easily passedboth chambers of the Hawaii legislature. As of press timeGov. Neil Abercrombie was scheduled to sign the bill intolaw. An enthusiastic supporter of equality, he even madethe law’s passage a major focus of his electioin campaignlast year.Once enacted, the new law will take effect on January 1,2012.“This is a great day for all Hawaii families,” said JenniferPizer, National Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal.“We commend and thank Hawaii’s legislators for decidingit’s time for the state to take this important step."
Lambda Legal and the ACLU led a lawsuit in July,
2010 after then-Governor Linda Lingle vetoed HB 444, theprevious civil union bill. The remedy requested in that suitwill be provided by this bill, meaning there will be no needfor the lawsuit to continue.Hawaii’s constitution was amended in 1998 to allowthe legislature to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, which it has done. Thismeans same-sex couples cannot ask Hawaii’s courts to require full equality throughmarriage. Although civil unions are a lesser status than marriage, they will providea full range of state law protections and duties to gay and lesbian couples, such asaccess to family court to dissolve the legal status in an orderly way, clear duties topay child support and alimony as spouses must, and other vital protections. Bills tooffer civil unions have been under steady consideration in the Hawai`i Legislatureeach year since 2001.
With passage of Hawii's legislation, ve states (CT, IA, MA, NH and VT) and theDistrict of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. Six states (CA, IL, NV, NJ, OR
and WA) offer broad state-law protection through civil union or registered domestic
Hawaii Legislature Approves Civil Union Bill
Gov. NeilAbercrombie
(S Hawaii LeGiSLature , d  pg 14)

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