July 18, 2011
By Adam Bink
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a motion for summary judgment in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, its 2nd Circuit challenge to the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
GLAD argues that the equal protection claims of the plaintiffs, six married couples and one widower from Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire, require heightened scrutiny from the court. The brief shows how DOMA fails heightened scrutiny, or even a rational basis review.
“No interest advanced to defend DOMA can in fact withstand any level of scrutiny,” the brief reads. “The reasons offered by Congress at the time of DOMA’s passage are either nonsensical or just another way of saying that Congress wanted to denounce and harm those gay men and lesbians who form long-term relationships and seek to have those relationships recognized and respected through civil marriage.”
GLAD also filed supporting affidavits from experts Michael Lamb, Ph.D, Gary Segura, Ph.D, Lititia Anne Peplau, Ph.D, George Chauncey, Ph.D, and Nancy F. Cott, Ph.D.
The next step is for Congress to respond to GLAD’s motion for summary judgment on or by August 15, 2011.
GLAD filed Pedersen v. OPM in Hartford, CT on November 8, 2010. GLAD’s DOMA challenge Gill v. OPM won a July 8, 2010 ruling in Massachusetts federal district court that DOMA is unconstitutional. That case is now on appeal.
The motion and other documents can be found on GLAD’s site here.