GLAD just issued the following press release; sharing as received:
Amended Judgment Entered in GLAD DOMA Challenge; Parties Agree to a Stay
An amended judgment was entered on August 18, 2010, in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Simultaneously, a stay was issued pending any appeal by the government to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. It supersedes a judgment entered by the federal district court on August 12, 2010.
The amended judgment spells out in more detail the terms of the decision issued by federal district court Judge Joseph L. Tauro on July 8, 2010, in which he concluded that DOMA section 3 is unconstitutional. It describes what the decision means for the various claims of each plaintiff, seven married same-sex couples and three widowers.
The amended judgment was agreed to by both GLAD and the Department of Justice. In addition, GLAD did not oppose the government's request for a stay pending appeal.
“We agreed to a stay for two reasons,” said Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD's Civil Rights Project Director. “First and foremost, it is in our clients' best interest. They want the certainty of knowing that their Social Security payments, health insurance costs, or tax refunds are not potentially subject to repayment to the government. Only a final victory ensures that.
“Second, we think the stay actually provides clarity for married couples around the country who are looking at their own situations and wondering whether the Gilldecision allows them to apply for Social Security benefits, for example, or sponsor their spouse for citizenship. The answer, even without a stay in Gill, is: no, not yet.”
The Department of Justice now has 60 days to decide whether to appeal. “We are more than ready to deal with an appeal,” said Bonauto. “We have confidence in the strength and justice of our case.”
GLAD's FAQ about Gill has been updated with information about the judgment and stay.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
# # #