Fourth Case Challenging DOMA Brought Before Supreme Court

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has presented a fourth federal case challenging the so-called “Defense of Marriage” Act (DOMA), expanding the options for the U.S. Supreme Court should it decide to address the discriminatory legislation. GLAD won this particular case on behalf of Joanne Pedersen and others at the trial court level in Connecticut this past July when a federal trial-court judge ruled “that no conceivable rational basis exists" for DOMA's federal definition of marriage. In a Supreme Court filing, GLAD argued for the court to hear this case, saying, “Because they have been disadvantaged in so many different ways, the Petitioners in this case best represent the range of DOMA’s effects on married gay men and lesbians.”

The other cases that may potentially be addressed include the case of Nancy Gill and other plaintiffs represented by GLAD, and the case of federal employee Karen Golinksi being backed by Lambda Legal. The Obama administration has put forth both of these cases as potentials for the high court. The American Civil Liberties Union is also representing a case brought by New York widow Edith Windsor. With so many plaintiffs coming forward to challenge the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage” Act (DOMA), GLAAD urges the media to elevate their stories of personal struggle fostered by this anti-gay legislation. DOMA affects lesbian and gay couples’ everyday lives, and through hearing about these unnecessary obstacles, the general public can begin to understand why these couples need marriage equality.

Journalists have a responsibility to show audiences that DOMA is about more than politics, it’s about real families who are being hurt.