GLAD Responds to latest Filing by the U.S. House of Representatives in Pedersen DOMA Challenge
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives submitted its response to the motion for summary judgment filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in its lawsuit Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, the multi-plaintiff challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) pending in the federal district court for the District of Connecticut. The House also filed a separate motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ action.
GLAD issued the following statement in response to the various filings:
“We see no new arguments in this brief that can possibly justify DOMA’s discrimination against married same-sex couples,” said Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director and co-lead attorney in Pedersen. “We are intent on moving this case forward and ending the serious harms that our plaintiffs and other families around the country are enduring because of DOMA.”
GLAD is representing six married same-sex couples and one widower from the states of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont in the Pedersen lawsuit. Co-operating counsel are Jenner & Block LLP (Washington, DC), Horton, Shields & Knox (Hartford), and Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston).
GLAD is litigating another DOMA challenge, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, currently on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, on behalf of seven married same-sex couples and three widowers who reside in Massachusetts. On July 8, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. The U.S. House of Representatives is defending DOMA’s constitutionality in the appeal while the Department of Justice is now maintaining – in agreement with the plaintiffs – that DOMA is unconstitutional.
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.