DOJ Filing Follows Last Week’s BLAG Move


Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) will respond by August 2 to the petition filed last night by the Department of Justice for certiorari in the case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  DOJ’s filing comes on the heels of a petition for certiorari filed last week by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG).

Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director and co-lead attorney in Gill, said, “We are in this fight to strike down a blatantly discriminatory law that hurts our clients – widowers, married couples with kids, elderly people – and many others every day.  To that end, we will add our voice and respond forcefully to BLAG’s attempt to justify DOMA’s discrimination.”

The Gill petitions are in response to a unanimous May 31st ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that Section 3 of DOMA is an unconstitutional denial of equal protection of the laws.  The Gill plaintiffs are seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts, all of whom are represented by GLAD, based in Boston.

Today DOJ also petitioned for certiorari in a separate, unrelated DOMA challenge, Golinski v. OPM, which is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

GLAD filed Gill v. Office of Personnel Management on March 3, 2009. Prior to the appellate court decision, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro found DOMA an unconstitutional denial of equal protection on July 8, 2010.