Lee Swislow and her “marry” band of
gay lawyers are at it again.
After turning around mounting gay
marriage loses – there was Hawaii and DOMA – with a stunning
Massachusetts win in 2003, duplicating that success last year in
Connecticut and offering a pledge to win over the four remaining New
England states by 2012, you'd think GLAD was done. You'd be wrong.
In fact, the Swislow-led group is
looking to collar portions of the federal DOMA.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates &
Defenders (GLAD) announced their new challenge about three weeks ago.
GLAD filed the suit on behalf of eight gay married couples and three
surviving spouses from Massachusetts that have been denied benefits
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage
Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, defines marriage as a
heterosexual union for the purposes of federal benefits.
“What we are targeting is the
exclusion of legally married [gay and lesbian] couples of all federal
rights, benefits and responsibilities – of which there are over
1100,” Swislow said recently while talking exclusively to
OUTTAKEOnline.com CEO Charlotte Robinson.
Swislow said she believes it might take
up to a year before the group gets its day in court, and added that
the case was very winnable – even if it treks to the Supreme Court.
“[The section 3 DOMA challenge is] an
equal protection case that we feel is right in the mainstream of
sorts of legal theory and is a very winnable case,” Swislow said.
“We don't know if we'll end up in the Supreme Court or not, it
depends on what happens at the lower court level. But we think we
have a case that could win with this Supreme Court and we think with
any other Supreme Court.”
As for President Obama's silence on gay
issues since inauguration, Swislow noted she was giving the president
a year to show his true rainbow colors.
On the Net: More of this interview can
be found at voices.OUTTAKEOnline.com.