Thursday, May 31, 2012

The First Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion in Overturning DOMA

Rather than challenging the right of states to define marriage as they see fit, the appeals contest the right of Congress to undercut the choices made by same-sex couples and by individual states in deciding who can be married to whom.

-from the Opinion, which is here.

After a lapse of some 150 years since the beginning of the War Between the States, it is interesting to see a New England, federal court of appeals affirm states' rights.

It is also interesting to read through the list of organizations that filed amicus briefs for one side or the other.  That list is at the head of the opinion.

Here are the religious-affiliated organizations and their counsel supporting DOMA:

Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., Jeffrey Hunter Moon, Michael F. Moses, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Von G. Keetch, Alexander Dushku, R. Shawn Gunnarson, Kirton & McConkie and Carl H. Esbeck, Legal Counsel, Office of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals, on brief for U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; National Association of Evangelicals; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; The Massachusetts Catholic Conference; The Brethren in Christ Church; The Christian and Missionary Alliance; The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference; The Evangelical Free Church of America; The Evangelical Presbyterian Church; The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; The International Pentecostal Holiness Church; The Missionary Church; Open Bible Churches [USA]; The United Brethren in Christ Church; The Wesleyan Church, Amici Curiae.

Here are the religious-affiliated organizations and their counsel opposing DOMA:

Harvey J. Wolkoff, Jessica M. Lindemann, Russell P. Plato, Samuel P. Bickett, Ropes & Gray LLP, Robert O. Trestan, Steven C. Sheinberg, Steven M. Freeman, Deborah Bensinger, Anti-Defamation League, on brief for Anti-Defamation League, Andover Newton Theological School, California Council of Churches, California Faith for Equality, Central Conference of American Rabbis, General Synod of the United Church of Christ, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Hindu American Foundation, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, Japanese American Citizens League, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, MA Conference of the United Church of Christ, National Council of Jewish Women, People for the American Way Foundation, Society for Humanistic Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry California, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and Women of Reform Judaism, Amici Curiae.

There were other organizations with amicus briefs.  Labor unions were on the opposing side, for example.

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