DOMA ruled unconstitutional by bankruptcy court

A federal bankruptcy court in California on Monday ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled that it is discriminatory to prevent a legally married same-sex couple from filing for joint bankruptcy.

The couple, Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, filed a joint chapter 13 petition. They were married in 2008 in California and remain legally married.

In his ruling, the judge wrote: “This case is about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for two people who filed for protection under Title 11 of the United States Code (Bankruptcy Code).”

It is “undisputed that the Debtors are a lawfully married California couple,” the judge wrote, adding that the couple came to the court to restructure and repay their debt following extended illnesses and long periods of unemployment.

The U.S. trustee for the case filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that two men cannot file jointly for bankruptcy. The judge ruled the trustee did not ask for dismissal based on one of the 11 causes listed in bankruptcy law to dismiss, but simply because the couple are two men.

The judge said the trustee filed no relevant case law supporting his position and said the couple should not be singled out for discriminatory treatment. He cited the Obama administration’s position that DOMA is unconstitutional and ruled that, indeed it is.

—  David Taffet

Gay Super City Planned for Calif. Desert

BOOM X390 | ADVOCATE.COMAlmost a dozen architecture firms have created designs for a
proposed gay-centric, pedestrian-friendly community not far from Palm
Springs, Calif. Daily News

—  David Taffet

Calif DMV Investigates Hate Letter

DMV x390 (fair) | ADVOCATE.COMThe California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended one of its
employees and is looking for more answers after the clerk sent a
scornful letter to the home of a transgender woman seeking to change her
driver’s license. Daily News

—  admin

Calif. AG Race Could Decide Prop. 8

KAMALA HARRIS 1 X390 | ADVOCATE.COMA liberal political action committee has produced a video urging
California’s gay voters to pull the lever on November 2 for attorney
general candidate Kamala Harris if they hope to do away with Prop. 8. Daily News

—  admin

Lou Engle Rallies Against Gay Marriage in Calif.

LOU ENGLE X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe controversial evangelical pastor draws thousands of attendees
on Saturday to protest gay marriage, abortion, and pornography on the
steps of the California state capitol in Sacramento. Daily News

—  John Wright

Judge Lifts Calif. Marriage Decision Stay on Aug. 18

Today Judge Vaughn Walker announced he will lift the stay on his decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger on August 18, allowing California to once again issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples barring an appeal. With today’s decision, there remain many steps – and unanswered questions – in this case.  Prop 8 supporters are likely to appeal the stay decision to the Ninth Circuit, which could issue its own stay and stop marriage licenses from being issued.  Additionally, supporters of Prop 8 have already filed their appeal of the entire case with the Ninth Circuit.

HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

“Lifting the stay will put Judge Walker’s basic premise that the state can’t discriminate against same-sex couples into action.  Californians deserve equality and they deserve it now.

“Ending the enforcement of this discriminatory and unconstitutional law will once again treat same-sex couples as full citizens of California. We look forward to the day when this becomes the permanent and unassailable reality for every family.”

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Conservative Calif. County Appeals Prop. 8 Decision

Officials in Southern California’s Imperial County, where 70% of voters supported Proposition 8 in 2008, have appealed Judge Vaughn Walker’s
landmark decision in the case to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.
Daily News

—  John Wright