Experts divided as legal challenges loom
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
The announcement from President Obama last week that he believes Section 3 of the Defense ofMarriage Act is unconstitutional and that he will no longer defend the law in court is raising questionsabout whether he can further help the LGBT community by discontinuing enforcement of the law.Dan Pinello, who’s gay and a government professor at the City University of New York, said he be-lieves Obama has the authority to stop enforcing Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits the federal gov-ernment from recognizing same-sex marriages, now that he has deemed the statute unconstitutional.“If an order came down from the White House to start treating married same-sex couples like mar-ried opposite-sex couples, I think that would be honored in terms of bureaucrats sitting up and doingwhat he says,” Pinello said. “A president can seek not to enforce a statute if he believes, legally andotherwise, it’s unconstitutional.”In the past, presidents have declined to enforce laws that they believe are unconstitutional, butsuch situations are rare. President Woodrow Wilson ignored a statute that conditioned removal of post-masters on Senate approval. In 1926, the Supreme Court struck down the the law as unconstitutionalwithout making any suggestion that Wilson overstepped his boundaries by not enforcing the statute.
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washingtonblade.com • vol. 42, issue 09 • march 4, 2011 • Still sharp after 40 years
O’Malley reiterates support, lobbies delegates
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Blade went to press Thursday morning as a Maryland House committee vote was expected on the marriage bill.Visit washingtonblade.com for updated news.
Maryland House of Delegates member Tiffany Alston (D-PrinceGeorge’s County), one of two lawmakers who failed to show up foran expected committee vote Tuesday on a same-sex marriage bill,said she is now ready to vote on the bill, raising hope among support-ers that the legislation would be approved by the committee late thisweek.But Del. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City), who joined Alston in boycot-ting the marriage bill vote as a means of promoting at least two unre-lated bills stalled in the legislature, continued to withhold her vote onthe marriage measure as of late Wednesday. Her action drew attentionto the fragile coalition of lawmakers that LGBT advocates must rely onto enact same-sex marriage in Maryland.Carter and Alston stunned backers of the Civil Marriage ProtectionAct on Tuesday morning by staying away from a meeting of the House
Can Obama stop enforcing DOMA?
Marriage bill stalled by ‘holdout’ lawmaker
White House to host anti-bullying conference next week.
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Dana Beyer on status of transgender bias bill in Md.
has been involved in lobbying state lawmakers to approve a same-sex marriagebill, his spokesperson told the Blade this week
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