Laws

United States of America

FEDERAL

Limited information only available for these topics

Adoption of Children
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum, Refugees
Bullying
Censorship, Free Speech
Civil Unions
Children
Civil Rights, Human Rights
Discrimination
Domestic Violence
Estates, Wills
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance, Succession
Intellectual Property
In Vitro Fertilisation
Marriage
Military, Veterans
Parenting
Partners
Personal Safety, Privacy
Property
Social Security
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence

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Annuities, Benefits, Pensions, Retirement, Social Security, Superannuation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 05 November 2015, it was reported that the US Veterans Benefits Administration awarded Joe Krumbach, husband of deceased Army vet Jerry Hatcher retroactive survivor benefits. The couple met in 1989 in Seattle and registered as domestic partners in 2003. In 2008 Jerry died of cancer. In 2013 the VA rejected Joe Krumbah's claim for 'Dependency and Indemnity Compensation' as Jerry had died four years before marriages by same-sex couples were legal. The Obergefell decision allowed Joe to retroactively amend Jerry's death certificate to show they were married, making him eligible for the benefits, which total about $80,000 [R1.4].

On 20 August 2015, at a status conference in the federal court in Chicago, the Department of Justice announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply the US Supreme Court's recent landmark marriage ruling retroactively and process pending spousal benefits claims for same-sex couples who lived in states that did not previously recognize their marriages, commencing on a date yet to be announced [R1.3].

On 24 February 2014, 92-year-old transgender widow and World War II veteran Robina Asti, has reportedly come away victorious in her recent battle with the Social Security Administration. After being denied spousal benefits following the death of her husband, Norwood, the SSA deposited money into her account earlier in February [R1.2].

On 16 December 2013, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin announced that Social Security is processing some widow's and widower's claims by surviving members of same-sex marriages and paying benefits where they are due. In addition, one-time lump sum death benefit claims may be paid to surviving same-sex spouses [R1.1].

R1.4 NewCivilRightsMovement: Widower Of Vietnam Era Army Vet Awarded Spousal Survivor Benefits 05 NOV 15
R1.3 LambdaLegal: SSA Tells Court It Will Apply Obergefell Retroactively To Grant Spousal Benefits In Lambda Legal Case 20 AUG 15
R1.2 TheAdvocate: 92-Year-Old Trans Widow Wins Social Security Battle 24 FEB 14
R1.1 GLBTNN: Social Security benefits now available to gay widows, widowers 16 DEC 13
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

As at February 2002, there were no federal regulations on sperm donation, but virtually all of the country's sperm banks, roughly 100 in all, followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that all tissue and organ donations from men who've had sex with another man during the previous five years be banned to prevent the inadvertent transmission of HIV [R1.1].

R1.1 The Advocate: FDA May Bar Gay Men from Donating Sperm 13 FEB 02
Asylum, Immigration, Migration, Passports, Refugees Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
See also: [HIV/Aids] [MARRIAGE] [PARENTING]
1.

Immigration

On 19 January 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service issued a policy memoranda that requires that USCIS change the gender marker on an official document if the person applying for the document presents: (1) a court order granting change of sex or gender; (2) a government-issued document (amended birth certificate, driver's license, etc.) reflecting the requested gender designation; (3) a letter from a licensed health professional affirming the applicant's gender identity [D1.37], [R1.36].

On 07 June 2016, it was reported that the US Department of Homeland Security had issued a Notice of Approval of Relative Immigrant Petition to Anthony Corbett Sullivan, the surviving partner of Richard Frank Adams with whom he entered into a marriage in 1975 and so allowing the Australian Sullivan to proceed with his ''green card'' application to remain in the US [D1.35], [R1.34].

On 02 August 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that effective immediately, visa applications by same-sex spouses would be treated the same as those by heterosexual husbands or wives, as long as their marriage was recognised in the country where they wed [R1.33].

See also:

On 01 July 2013, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano confirmed that LGBT Americans can now sponsor their foreign-born same-sex spouses for citizenship the same way heterosexual Americans can [D1.32], [R1.31].

On 28 June 2013, following the demise of DOMA, Julian Marsh and Traian Popov of Fort Lauderdale, Florida received good news. Julian's green card petition for his Bulgarian husband was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Julian, a US citizen, filed an I-130 Petition for his husband Traian on 13 February 2013 [R1.30].

Since 26 June 2013, when DOMA was ruled unconstitutional, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows those in valid same-sex marriages between US. citizens and non-citizens or green card holders if they are lawfully resident, the same rights and benefits as everyone else however, it is advisable to obtain accurate and current advice from a legal source [R1.29].

On 05 October 2012, new guidance from the Department of Homeland Security stipulating that gay and lesbian bi-national couples are families, spelt out three criteria for immigration officials who are determining whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion in potential deportation cases [D1.28], [R1.27].

On 27 September 2012, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano notified Congress that immigration agents will be formally instructed to consider same-sex relationships the same way as heterosexual relationships in deciding whether a person should be deported [D1.26], [R1.25].


On 01 August 2012, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly would avoid deporting foreign same-sex spouses of Americans under an [as yet unwritten] policy to consider same-sex marriages a reason not to start deportation proceedings [R1.24].


On 13 April 2012, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum revising the treatment of gender designations for transgender people on their immigration documents – no longer requiring any specific surgery, but instead allowing a doctor to certify the individual's gender [D1.23, [R1.22].


On 23 February 2012, the Obama administration was reported to be standing firm against calls to put a blanket hold on deciding green card petitions from married, binational gay couples. Instead, those petitions in all likelihood will continue to be rejected [R1.21].


On 30 November 2011, Immigration Judge Terry Bain granted a Joint Motion to Administratively Close Removal Proceedings against Argentinean born lesbian, Monica Alcota, because "good cause has been established." It is the first time the government has asked an immigration court to close removal proceedings against the gay or lesbian spouse of an American citizen since the formation of an inter-agency prosecutorial discretion working group began its work on November 17 with the goal of finding and closing all "low-priority" deportation cases [R1.20].


On 28 September 2011, US district Judge Stephen V Wilson granted a motion to dismiss the complaint of Handi Lui, a citizen of Indonesia who in 2009 married his American spouse, Michael Ernest Roberts, in Massachusetts. Lui had argued that US Citizenship and Immigration Services violated the Immigration and Nationality Act's provisions barring sex discrimination when it denied the couple's marriage-based petition for permanent residency. Furthermore, Lui argued, immigration officials' interpretation of the Defense of Marriage Act in denying the green card petition was unconstitutional [C1.19], [R1.18].


On 24 August 2011, the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, ruling on an appeal of the denial of petition for review, criticized the Board of Immigration decision as “flawed,” and ordered the case sent back to the agency so that it could reconsider based on the correct legal standard as instructed by the court [R1.17].


On 18 August 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano indicated a resolve to focus immigration deportation on pressing and immediate cases as opposed to those with a low-priority status such as cases involving families, including same-sex couples where one partner is facing deportation [D1.16], [R1.15].


On 04 August 11, a Presidential Proclamation suspended entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants any alien who planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated in, including through command responsibility, widespread or systematic violence against any civilian population based in whole or in part on race; color; descent; sex; disability; membership in an indigenous group; language; religion; political opinion; national origin; ethnicity; membership in a particular social group; birth; or sexual orientation or gender identity, or who attempted or conspired to do so [D1.14], [R1.13].


On 09 June 2011, Jane H Minichiello, the chief counsel at the Newark office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Homeland Security Department, canceled the deportation of Venezuelan man Henry Velandia in New Jersey who is married to an American man Josh Vandiver [R1.12]. See also [R3.10-3.11], [C3.12].


On 05 May 2011, US Attorney General Eric Holder vacated a deportation ruling against a gay man, suggesting that his relationship with a New Jersey man might qualify him to be considered as a "spouse" under immigration laws [R1.11]


Effective 09 February 2011, the State Department cabled personnel worldwide informing US citizen employees about a new major exception to the bar on immigration benefits for same-sex couples: if they're posted to the States, their foreign same-sex partners can get a special visa to live and work here legally [R1.10].


In November 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder refused to reverse the immigration ruling that initially separated married couple Genesio Oliveira and Tim Coco and Oliveira faced deportation [R1.9].

Previously:

In June 2010, federal immigration officials granted permission for Brazilian Genesio Oliveira to stay in the United States for one year on humanitarian grounds, which will allow him to try again for legal residency. In 2005, Oliveira and Tim Coco were married in Massachusetts [R1.8].


In February 2009, the Uniting American Families Bill was introduced and, if passed the Bill would allow gay and lesbian Americans and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign-born partners for legal residency in the United States [R1.7].


In September 2008, Congressional support for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) increased to 18 Senators. The bill currently has 116 cosponsors in the House of Representatives [R1.6].

In May 2007, Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Nadler (D-NY) introduced the UAFA into the U.S. Congress. Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may sponsor their spouse for immigration to the U.S. However, same-sex partnerships are not recognized for federal immigration purposes. Consequently, U.S. citizens in same-sex relationships cannot sponsor their partners for immigration benefits [R1.5].

Previously:

The Permanent Partners Immigration Bill, was sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. The Bill if enacted would have allowed a US same-sex partners to sponsor a non-US resident partner after proving a committed relationship through affidavits and other methods [R1.4].

On 13 February 2003, the bill was reintroduced to Congress [R1.3].

In July 2003, a companion Bill was introduced to the Senate [R1.2].


See also: Immigration Equality – "The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) of 2005", frequently asked questions guide [R1.1].

2.

Asylum, Refugees

On 30 October 2015, it was reported that the Department of State had recently changed the interpretation of the term spouse under the Process Priorities, or P-3, family reunification program in order to allow same-sex partners of qualified refugees and asylees in the United States to file an affidavit of relationship in order to join their partners in the United States ≠ even if they are not legally married. The P-3 program only recognizes a small pool of 24 countries and leaves out some of the countries that are the most blatantly hostile to LGBT people [R2.9].

In October 2011, the US Department of Homeland Security granted asylum to a gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if he had been forced to return to his native Mauritania [R2.8].

On 24 August 2011, the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruling on an appeal of the denial of petition for review, criticized the BIA decision as “flawed,” and ordered the case sent back to the agency so that it could reconsider based on the correct legal standard as instructed by the court [C2.7], [R2.6].

On 15 August 2011, the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled the applicant in Ninoska Lopez-Amador v. Eric H. Holder (Nos. 10-2376/3491) was not entitled to asylum or withholding of removal based on her sexual orientation or political views. Evidence not sufficient to show that she had suffered official persecution or had a reasonable fear of likely persecution on this ground if removed back to Venezuela [R2.5].

In June 2010, the US Department of Homeland Security granted asylum to the man in the midst of widespread persecution of gay men in Uzbekistan [R2.4].

In February 2010, the US Department of Homeland Security granted asylum to a gay Brazilian man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation [R2.3].

Since the early 1990s, a person's sexual orientation has been grounds for seeking asylum in the United States, although frequently special circumstances are required to win an asylum bid.

"Sexual orientation" has been added to the list of provisions enshrined in the 1951 UN Convention that entitles a person to apply for refugee status [R2.2].

HIV-positive status may also a ground for applying for asylum in limited circumstances [R2.1], [R3.6].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

Federal courts have allowed asylum for a variety of political and social reasons, including a woman's fear of genital mutilation in her African homeland [R3.1].


On 08 March 2017, the full court of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 9-2 that Carlos Bringas-Rodriguez was entitled to a presumption that he would be persecuted in the future if he was returned to Mexico, and remanded the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals for a ruling as to whether the government rebutted the presumption and directed the Board to reconsider its denials of Bringas-Rodriguez's requests for withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture [C3.38], [R3.37].

On 22 November 2016, Judge R Brooke Jackson in the US District Court Colorado ordered the US State Department to reconsider its decision to deny a passport to Colorado resident Dana Zzyym who does not identify as either male or female and refused to check a box for one of the genders on the passport application form. The judge saying ''that the administrative record ...does not show that the decisionmaking process that resulted in the policy in question was rational [C3.36], [R3.35].

On 17 August 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied 2-1 the petition of convicted Jamaican felon Ray Fuller seeking a review of the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals that found the testimony of Fuller - asserting he was bisexual and would face persecution if forced to return to his home country - wasn't credible [C3.34], [R3.33].

On 14 June 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed to decide en banc (before the full court) whether gay man Carlos Bringas-Rodriguez, who claims to have been physically abused in Mexico as a child because of his sexual orientation, but did not seek the protection of authorities there, is entitled to asylum. On 19 November 2015, the Court denied 2-1 a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of asylum [C3.32], [R3.31].

On 19 November 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied 2-1 a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture filed by Mexican citizen Carlos Bringas-Rodriguez, who sought relief based on his sexual orientation and HIV-positive status, ruling he was not entitled to a presumption that he would be persecuted in the future, because he failed to demonstrate that he was physically abused as a child because he was gay, or that the Mexican government was unable or unwilling to stop the abuse [C3.30], [R3.29].

On 03 September 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordering officials to defer the deportation of trans woman Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez and remanded the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals, citing the mortal dangers faced by trans women in Mexico and requiring immigration courts within its jurisdiction to consider the unique identities and vulnerabilities of transgender individuals in evaluating a transgender applicant's asylum, withholding of removal or Convention Against Torture claim [C3.28], [R3.27].

On 27 November 2013, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered immigration officials to review their decision not to grant asylum to a gay man only identified as “John Doe”, who said he was attacked for his sexual orientation in 2002 and 2003 in his native Russia and feared he would be persecuted if forced to return there, ruling the US Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals was wrong when it concluded that the man had failed to show that government officials in Russia were either unwilling or unable to control his attackers [C3.26], [R3.25].

On 24 July 2013, Judge Harry Pregerson in the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision by The Bureau of Immigration Appeals and ruled Dennis Vitug should be granted asylum because he was at risk from police, government and even his own family [C3.24], [R3.23].

On 19 April 2013, District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex married persons seeking immigration visas, finding that only state laws govern marriage, and that Congress has no rational basis to deny lawfully-married same-sex immigrants the same constitutional rights kept by opposite-sex applicants [C3.22], R3.21].

On 03 October 2012, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to block extradition of Efren Neri-Garcia, a gay illegal immigrant who sought protection in the US claiming Mexican authorities persecute gay people, finding there is evidence that Mexico supports gay rights, citing developments including Mexico City's legalization of gay marriage [C3.20], [R3.19].

On 08 March 2012, in a Texan first, Judge Richard Walton administratively closed the deportation case against gay Costa Rican David González, a visa overstayer who married Mario Ramírez in California in 2008, who would not now be deported because he's married to a US citizen [R3.18].

On 01 February 2012, the Board of Immigration Appeals recognized for immigration benefits a marriage between a male US citizen petitioner and a female transgender noncitizen spouse because: (1) the state of marriage had a procedure in place to recognize the postoperative gender; (2) the state of residence had a procedure in place to recognize the postoperative gender; (3) State law recognized the marriage as valid; and (4) the marriage qualified for immigration benefits under the INA [R3.17].

On 14 July 2011, the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals found that learning that one is HIV-positive is "a changed circumstance materially" affecting asylum eligibility, and granted a man's asylum application [R3.16].

On 24 June 2011, Immigration Judge Lisa Dornell reopens case sua sponte (of her own accord), cancelling a removal order in Rodrigo Martinez's immigration case, "in the interest of justice" [R3.15].

On 13 June 2011, Judge Alberto Riefkohl in the Newark Immigration Court granted of the Motion by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chief Counsel, Jane Minichiello, to administratively close the Henry Velandia deportation proceedings that had been first initiated in 2009 [C3.14], [R3.13].

On 10 June 2011, The US Department of Homeland Security filed a motion to administratively close proceeding for the deportation of Henry Velandia [C3.14], [R3.13].

On 06 May 2011, Judge Alberto J. Riefkohl of immigration court in Newark suspended the deportation of a Venezuelan man who is married to an American man [R3.12], responding to an unusual signal this week from the Obama administration that it is exploring legal avenues for recognizing same-sex marriages in immigration cases, see: [R1.11].


On 22 March 2011, in New York Immigration Court, a US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement attorney indicated that the government was willing to adjourn the deportation proceedings against Monica Alcota while Cristina Ojeda proceeds with a green card petition on behalf of her noncitizen spouse and pending their marriage-based immigration case [R3.11].


On 27 September 2010, the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals ordered to US Board of Immigration Appeals to review the plea of a gay Serbian man who said he was discriminated against when he originally applying for asylum [C3.10], [R3.9].


In October 2008, a Guatemalan man who sought asylum in the United States was denied his appeal by a panel of the San Francisco-based ninth circuit court of appeals because, the judges said, he had lied under oath [R3.8].


In August 2008, a Jamaican woman avoided deportation back to her home country after a judge ruled that her sexual orientation could lead to violence against her in Jamaica [R3.7].


In June 2008, the Immigration Court granted asylum to a gay man from Uzbekistan, who escaped persecution and came to the United States in 2001 on a student visa where he had been studying in the US for over four years before he fell out of student status [R3.6].


In February 2006, a 36-year-old Guyanese man got the OK to stay in the U.S. after a judge agreed that he might be physically attacked in Guyana for being HIV positive and gay and perhaps even die for lack of treatment [R3.5].


In December 2005, a federal appeals court disagreed with a gay Zimbabwe man's argument that he needed protection from persecution in his native country, upholding a lower court's denial of asylum [R3.4].


On 18 May 2005, the Board of Immigration Appeals In re Jose Mauricio LOVO-Lara recognized the grant of immigration benefits to a marriage involving a post-operative transsexual provided: (1) State law recognizes the change in gender, (2) State law recognizes the marriage as valid and (3) the marriage qualifies for immigration benefits under the INA [C3.3], [R3.2].


In August 2000, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a gay Mexican transvestite be granted asylum in the United States, saying he was a member of a particular "social group'' persecuted in his homeland [R3.1].

The ruling appears to expand the grounds for applying for political asylum in the US to gay men who face persecution in their home countries because they manifest female sexual identities. The decision also marked the first time that a federal court has ruled that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic in an asylum case.

The unanimous decision from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals broke new ground in asylum law, expanding the class of people who can be granted asylum on the basis of sexual persecution.

The appeals court has jurisdiction over cases in California and eight other western states.


In July 2000, the US 9th Circuit has ruled that an Armenian who said he was given an ultimatum to become a Communist or leave Armenia deserved another bid for asylum [R3.1].

Immigration
D1.37 Policy Memorandum: Revision of Adjudicatorís Field Manual Subchapter 10.22 - Change of Gender Designation on Documents Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services PM-602-0141 PDF 84.53kb 19 JAN 17
R1.36 Mic: On his final day, Obama made it easier for transgender immigrants to get documents in order 26 JAN 17
D1.35 Notice of Approval of Relative Imigration Petition: Estate of Richard Frank Adams 05 JAN 16
R1.34 ThePride: United States Government says Los Angeles Gay Coupleís 1975 Marriage is Valid 07 JUN 16
R1.33 SkyNews: US grants gay spouses equal visa rights 03 AUG 13
D1.32 DHA Statement: Implementation of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act 01 JUL 13
R1.31 The Advocate: Homeland Security Confirms Same-Sex Binational Couples Can Get Green Cards 01 JUL 13
R1.30 The Doma Project: Gay Couple in Florida Receives Approval of Marriage-Based Green Card Petition Just Two Days After Historic Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down DOMA 30 JUN 13
R1.29 EdgeOnTheNet: Immigration Law for the LGBT Community: Know Your Rights! 20 JUN 14
D1.28 Memorandum: Applicability of Prosecutorial Discretion Memoranda to Certain Family Relationships PDF 131.76kb, 05 OCT 12
R1.27 Washington Blade: Obama administration issues written deportation guidelines 09 OCT 12
D1.26 Napolitano letter to US House of Representatives PDF 51.69kb, 27 SEP 12
R1.25 ABC News: Immigration Agents Will Consider Same-Sex Partnerships in Deportation Cases 28 SEP 12
R1.24 BuzzFeed: Obama Administration Will Consider Gay Couples' Marriages In Deportation Decisions 02 AUG 12
D1.23 USCIS: Policy Memorandum PM-602-0061 PDF 2.24MB, 10 APR 12 (Posted 13 APR 12)
R1.22 SDGLN: Victory for transgender immigration documents and marriage benefits 14 APR 12
R1.21 The Advocate: DENIED: Obama Admin Immigration Decision Puts Couples in Limbo 23 FEB 12
R1.20 The Doma Project: Victory for Monica & Cristina! Government Closes Deportation Case Against Married Lesbian Couple in New York 06 DEC 11
C1.19 US District Court: Handi Lui, et al. V. Eric H. Holder, U.S. Attorney General, et al. PDF 121.94kb, 28 SEP 11
R1.18 The Advocate: Judge Throws Out Binational Couple's DOMA Lawsuit 29 SEP 11
R1.17 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Deported Peruvian Civil Partner Wins New Hope In Appellate Ruling at 174 PDF 487.30kb, 04 SEP 11
D1.16 DHS: Janet Napolitano letter to Senator Harry Reid PDF 1.41MB, 18 AUG 11
R1.15 San Diego LGBT Weekly: Deportation to focus on high-priority cases, not same-sex marriages 18 AUG 11
D1.14 The White House: Presidential Proclamation 04 AUG 11
R1.13 Washington Blade: Obama bars U.S. entry for violators of LGBT human rights abroad 05 AUG 11
R1.12 The New York Times: US Drops Deportation Proceedings Against Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage 29 JUN 11
R1.11 365Gay.com: Holder issues surprise order to stop deportation 05 MAY 11
R1.10 NYDaily News: Immigration benefits arrive for same-sex couples … but only if you're a diplomat 23 FEB 11
R1.9 365Gay.com: Gay Brazilian married in US may face deportation 08 NOV 10
R1.8 The Advocate: Immigration Officials Allow Gay Couple to Reunite 04 JUN 10
R1.7 Immigration Equality: On Valentineís Day, Binational Gay and Lesbian Couples Struggle to Stay Together 12 FEB 09
PinkNews.co.uk: US Congress returns to equal immigration rights for same-sex couples 10 FEB 09
R1.6 Immigration Equality: Congressional Support Dramatically Increases for Uniting American Families Act 18 SEP 08
R1.5 Immigration Equality Press Release: "Binational, Gay & Lesbian Couples And Their Families Converge On Washington D.C. To Lobby Congress For Same-Sex Immigration Benefits" 05 MAY 08
R1.4 Arizona Republic: Immigration Laws Hurt Gay Pairs 07 AUG 01
R1.3 365Gay.com: Nadler Reintroduces Gay Partners Immigration Act 14 FEB 03
R1.2 The Lesbian & Gay Immigration Task Force (now Immigration Equality): Permanent Partners Immigration Act 31 JUL 03
R1.1 Immigration Equality: The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) of 2005 02 MAR 06 Updated
Immigration Equality: The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) of 2005 FEB 06
Asylum, Refugees
R2.9 CenterForAmericanProgress: US Department of State Takes Small but Important Step to Protect Spouses of Same-Sex Asylum Seekers 30 OCT 15
R2.8 Columbia Law School: Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Secures Asylum for Gay Mauritanian Refugee 25 OCT 11
C2.7 Izquierdo v. Attorney General, No. 11-1110 (U.S.Ct.App., 3rd Cir., August 24, 2011) (designated not precedential)
R2.6 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Deported Peruvian Civil Partner Wins New Hope In Appellate Ruling PDF 487.30kb at 174, 04 SEP 11
R2.5 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Venezuelan lesbian applicant not entitled to asylum PDF 487.30kb at 183, 04 SEP 11
R2.4 365Gay.com: Gay Uzbekistan native granted asylum, escapes persecution 18 JUN 10
R2.3 365gay.com: Brazil gay man wins U.S. asylum 08 FEB 10
R2.2 Beirut Daily Star: For Some Young Lebanese Staying Means 'Life Will be Over' 12 OCT 01
R2.1 Newsday: "Pointing Gay Immigrants To Grounds for Asylum 02 JAN 03
Courts & Tribunals
C3.38 Opinion: Carlos Alberto Bringas-Rodriguez v. Jeffersen B Sessions III No. 13-72682 PDF 339.41kb. 08 MAR 17
R3.37 MetropolitanNews-Enterprise: Ninth Circuit, Sitting En Banc, Overturns Gay Manís Deportation to Mexico 09 MAR 17
C3.36 Order: Dana Alix Zzyym v. John F Kerry and Sherman D Portell No. 1:15-cv-02362 PDF 91.88kb 22 NOV 16
R3.35 DesMoinesRegister: Judge asks US to reconsider passport for intersex citizen 22 NOV 16
C3.34 Opinion: Ray Fuller v. Loretta E Lynch No. 15-3487 PDF 175.24kb 17 AUG 16
R3.33 WashingtonBlade: US court denies asylum for bisexual Jamaican felon 18 AUG 16
C3.32 Order: Carlos Bringas-Rodrigues v. Loretta E Lynch No. 13-72682 PDF 43.29kb 14 JUN 16
R3.31 MetropolitanNews-Enterprise: Court Grants Review in Gay Man's Deportation Case 15 JUN 16
C3.30 Opinion: Carlos Alberto Bringas-Rodriguez v. Loretta E Lynch No. 13-72682 PDF 139.89kb 19 NOV 15
R3.29 Metropolitan News-Enterprise: Ninth Circuit Upholds Gay Manís Deportation to Mexico 20 NOV 15
C3.28 Opinion: Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez v. Loretta E Lynch No. 13-73744 PDF 258.97kb, 03 SEP 15
R3.27 Buzzfeed: Court Suspends Deportation Of Transgender Immigrant, Citing Dangers In Mexico 04 SEP 15
C3.26 Opinion: John Doe v. Eric Holder No. 09-72161 PDF 105.23kb, 25 NOV 13
R3.25 EdgeOnTheNet: Court Orders Review in Gay Russianís Asylum Case 29 NOV 13
C3.24 Opinion: Dennis Quiambao Vitug v. Eric H Holder No. 07-74754, 08-71038, 08-72088 PDF 210.41kb, 29 JUL 13
R3.23 GayStarNews: US Appeals Court saves gay Filipino man from deportation to home country 25 JUL 13
C3.22 Order: Martin R Aranas, Irma Rodriguez and Jane DeLeon v. Janet Napolitano et al SACV 12-1137-CBM-AJW, 19APR 13
R3.21 DailyNews: Federal judge rules Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in immigration visa cases 20 APR 13
C3.20 Opinion: Neri-Garcia v. Holder No. 11-9566 PDF 36.64kb, 03 OCT 12
R3.19 Edge Boston: Gay Illegal Immigrant Denied Protection in US 05 OCT 12
R3.18 Houston Chronicle: Gay, married immigrant spared from deportation 11 MAR 12
R3.17 JD Supra: Transgender Marriage Based Immigration 24 FEB 12
R3.16 Gay City News: Asylum for Gay, HIV-Positive Man US 18 AUG
R3.15 Metro Weekly - Poliglot: "Interest of Justice" Leads Immigration Judge To Reopen Case, Ask About "Same-Sex Spouses" and Visas 04 JUL 11
C3.14 US Department of Justice: Order of Judge Alberto Riefkohl 13 JUN 11
US Department of Homeland Security: Motion to AdministrativelyClose Proceedings 10 JUN 11
R3.13 Stop the Deportations: US Government drops case against Henry Velandia 30 JUN 11
R3.12 The Bulletin: Judge gives immigrant in same-sex marriage a reprieve 07 MAY 11
R3.11 The Advocate: New York Couple Spared Deportation 22 MAR 11
C3.10 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals: Mladen Zeljko Todorovic vs. US Attorney General No. 09-11652 PDF 86.75kb, 27 SEP 10
R3.9 The Advocate: Court Orders Asylum Review for Serbian 28 SEP 10
R3.8 The Advocate: Gay Guatemalan's Appeal for Asylum Denied 08 OCT 08
R3.7 The Advocate: Jamaican Lesbian Granted Asylum in Florida 13 AUG 08
R3.6 Immigration Equality: Immigration Equality and McDermott Will & Emery Win Asylum for a Gay Man from Uzbekistan 26 JUN 08
R3.5 Poz.com: "Border Blues: When You Canít Go Home Because You Have HIV 01 FEB 06
R3.4 The Advocate: "Appeals Court Denies Asylum for Gay Zimbabwe Man 15 DEC 05
C3.3 In re Jose Mauricio LOVO-Lara, Beneficiary of a visa petition 23 I&N Dec. 746 (BIA 2005) PDF 61.54kb, 18 MAY 05
R3.2 JD Supra: Transgender Marriage Based Immigration 24 FEB 12
R3.1 Associated Press: Court Gives Gay Mexican Man Asylum 24 AUG 00

See also:
  Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force
Immigration Equality
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 28 January 2016, it was reported that the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) had rejected the Weinstein Co.'s new commercial for the movie ''Carol'' allegedly because of a nude scene which shows Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in bed together' [R1.2].

On 05 January 2012, the Pentagon reportedly still bans personnel from accessing LGBT content from US Department of Defence computers over a year after the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 January 1958, the US Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in One, Inc. v. Olesen which latter held that the October 1954 issue of the pro-gay magazine One was obscene and therefore unmailable [C2.1].

R1.2 PageSix: ABC won't air 'Carol' trailer featuring lesbian love scene 28 JAN 16
R1.41 GayStarNews: Pentagon still banning personnel from accessing LGBT websites 05 JAN 12
C2.1 One, Incorporated, v. Otto K. Olesen, Postmaster of the City of Los Angeles 355 U.S. 371 13 JAN 58
Children: Custody, Online Protection Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
1.

National

On 13 March 2017, The National Law Journal (registration) published an article by Barbara Handschu canvassing the law and issues arising when a non-biological partner, stepparent or grandparent seeks custodial rights with respect to the children of a same-sex relationship after separation [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 June 2008, the Virginia supreme court ruled that a federal law aimed at preventing parents from crossing state lines to evade a custody ruling requires Virginia to enforce a Vermont court order awarding child visitation rights to a mother's lesbian former partner [R2.2].


On 01 February 1999, a federal judge's decision kept the government from enforcing the Child Online Protection Act, a law aimed at protecting children from Internet pornography [R2.1].

R1.1 TheNationalLawJournal (Registration): Representing the Nonbiological 'Parent' 13 MAR 17
R2.2 The Advocate: Court: Vermont Ruling Stands in Lesbian Custody Case 07-09 JUN 08
R1.1 CNN: Judge Continues to Block Internet Law 01 FEB 99
Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Human Rights Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 23 September 2015, the US Secretary of State John Kerry named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy [R1.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: US names first-ever envoy for gay rights 24 FEB 15
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Federal

On 07 November 2016, it was reported that the Department of Defense is preparing to announce as soon as this week an ending of all unmarried same-sex domestic partner benefits for civilian employees, effective 31 December 2016, claiming it is meant to ensure ''that both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are treated on an equal basis'' [R1.26].

On 20 July 2012, the government announced several such rule changes. It added “same-sex domestic partners” to the small list of those who have an “insurable interest” in a federal employee's retirement. Retirees can opt to provide an annuity for their survivors [R1.25].

On 16 May 2012, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act with a bipartisan voice vote. It must be approved by the full Senate and the House before enactment [R1.24].

On 09 March 2012, the Office of Personnel Management directed Blue Cross Shield health insurance company to cover Amy C. Cunninghis, the same-sex spouse of a federal employee Karen Golinski [D1.24/23], [R1.22].

On 18 November 2011, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act was introduced to the Senate which if passed into law, would extend the same benefits to same-sex partners that spouses of federal employees now receive. To qualify, partners would have to file an affidavit that they are in a committed domestic partnership and have a common residence, unless work (such as assignments abroad) prevents them from living together [R1.21].

On 12 March 2011, the Equal Access to COBRA Act was re-introduced in the House [R1.20]. See also [R1.10].

On 03 March 2011, same-sex domestic partners would be added to the list of annuitants who are eligible to receive a survivor annuity under the federal employees' retirement program, under proposed regulations from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) [R1.19].

On 17 November 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance to support enforcement of rules that protect hospital patients' right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner [D1.18], R1.17].

On 14 September 2010, Office of Personnel Management director John Berry reportedly said Federal employees can take off up to 24 hours a year to care for same-sex partners as part of a benefits package extended last year by President Barack Obama that does not include full health care coverage for partners [R1.16].

On 02 June 2010, President Obama signed a memorandum giving federal workers' same-sex partners additional benefits including child-care services and subsidies; more flexibility to use family leave to attend to the needs of domestic partners and their children; relocation benefits; giving domestic partners the same status as "family members" when federal appointments are made; and access to credit union and other memberships when those are provided to federal workers [R1.15].

See LTC website for eligibility information [R1.14] and Declaration of Domestic Partnership form [R1.13].

On 01 June 2010, the Office of Personnel Management announced same-sex partners of federal workers may begin to apply for long-term health care insurance in July [R1.12].

On 15 April 2010, The White House released a statement by President Obama instructing the Health and Human Services secretary to draft rules requiring hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments to grant all patients the right to designate people who can visit and consult with them at crucial moments [R1.11].

On 25 March 2010, Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat California) introduced the Equal Access to COBRA Act (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) which would if passed, allow many domestic partners the same access married spouses currently have to COBRA health coverage if their partner loses a job [R1.10]. See also [R1.19].

In January 2010, new State Department rules implemented President Obama's June order, opening up resources for helping domestic partners of foreign service officers moving abroad (assistance in obtaining foreign visas as well as access to employment opportunities and embassy medical units) and assistance in emergency evacuation should it become necessary [R1.9].

On 16 December 2009, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed a bill that will provide benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers [R1.8].

In December 2009, the Office of Personnel Management concluded that it did not have the legal authority to provide benefits to the spouse of Karen Golinski, a staff attorney who works at the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit in San Francisco despite ninth circuit chief judge Alex Kozinski saying that violated the court's guarantee of equal employment opportunity and that same-sex spouses were entitled to benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan [R1.7].

On 18 November 2009, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday voted 23–12 to pass the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, which would extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal government workers. The bill is now likely to move to a full House floor vote [R1.6].

In June 2009, President Barack Obama signed a 'presidential memorandum' equalising benefits for federal workers. Health benefits will not be included due to legal obstacles posed by DOMA and those serving in the US military are unlikely to be able to participate, being constrained by the DADT policy [R1.5].

In May 2009, gay partners of US diplomats stationed overseas were set to receive equal benefits in plans unveiled by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [R1.4].

On 20 May 2009, the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 was introduced in Congress to give the domestic partners of federal employees the same benefits, and require of them the same obligations, as the spouses of federal employees [R1.3].

In September 2008, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which would provide equal benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees, was being considered by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs [R1.2].

On 24 June 2002, President Bush signed legislation that allows death benefits for public safety officers killed Sept. 11 to go to a beneficiary other than an immediate family member [R1.1].

Up to now, the federal $250,000 death benefit was paid only to spouses, children and parents of fallen officers [R1.1].

This is believed to be the first time a federal benefit would be available to a survivor in a gay partnership [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 23 July 2013, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of a federal district court ruling in the case of Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which struck down Section 3 of DOMA, and affirming that a federal court employee must be allowed to add her same-sex spouse to her employer's health insurance plan [C2.14], [R2.13].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court released 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al. ruling that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment and entitling same-sex partners to equal treatment in regard to Federal benefits (and raising obligations) [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 27 July 2012, the 9th Circuit Court ordered: "The oral argument scheduled for September 10, 2012, is VACATED. The Court directs that this case be held in abeyance pending resolution of the petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment pending before the United States Supreme Court in Office of Personnel Management, et al., v. Golinski, No. 12-16 and, if certiorari is granted in this case, pending determination of the case on the merits" [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 22 February 2012, US District Court Judge Jeffrey S White ruled DOMA in Karen Golinski v. The US Office of Personnel Management that DOMA violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse [R2.8]. Three GOP congressional leaders are appealing a federal judge's ruling.

In July 2011, Chief Judge Anne Aiken of the US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled the denial of health care benefits to the same-sex partner of Margaret Fonberg, a US District of Oregon court employee constitutes unlawful sex discrimination [R2.7].

On 01 July 2011, the Department of Justice Department filed a brief in the matter of Karen Golinski v. The US Office of Personnel Management in opposition to motions to dismiss the claim for spousal health benefits [C2.6], [R2.5]. See also [R1.7].

On 18 January 2011, U.S. district judge Claudia Wilken ruled that three California gay couples may proceed with a lawsuit against the federal government over their exclusion from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), a long-term health care benefits program [R2.4].

On 18 November 2009, Judge Stephen Reinhardt in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government had violated married Federal Public Defender Brad Levenson's constitutional rights and the court's own non-discrimination rules and ordered that his partner Tony Sears be added to Levenson's healthcare plan [R2.3].

On 07 May 2004, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that it would compensate the lesbian partner of a woman who was onboard an American Airlines flight that crashed into the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 [R2.2].


In November 2003, the lesbian partner of a woman killed in the 11 September 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon was awarded more than $500,000 from a federal fund created to compensate victims of the attack [R2.1].

The master of a federal fund established by the Department of Justice after the terrorist attacks concluded that Neff, who is in her mid-fifties, was entitled to compensation. She had been with her partner for 18 years.

R1.26 LGBTQnation: Pentagon to same-sex domestic partners: Get married by New Yearís Eve, or else 07 NOV 16
R1.25  
R1.24 Washington Post: Senate panel approves benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees 16 MAY 12
D1.23 OPM: Re: Karen Golinski v. US. Office ofPersonnel Management and John Berry, Director PDF 35.52kb, 09 MAR 12
R1.22 The Washington Post: White House: Same-sex spouse may get health-care coverage 26 MAR 12
R1.21 FederalNewsRadio: Senate bill would extend federal benefits to domestic partners 18 NOV 11
R1.20 The Advocate: Insurance Bill for LGBTs Introduced 12 MAR 11
R1.19 CCH: Same-Sex Domestic Partners [to be] Added To Federal Employees' Annuitant List 11 MAR 11
D1.18 Part 482 – Conditions of Participation for Hospitals PDF 13.81kb, 18 NOV 10
R1.17 US Dept HHS: Medicare finalizes new rules to require equal visitation rights for all hospital patients 17 NOV 10
R1.16 The Advocate: Gay Fed Workers Allowed Unpaid Leave 14 SEP 10
R1.15 365Gay.com: Fed workers' same-sex partners given more benefits 03 JUN 10
R1.14 The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program: Introducing New Eligibility for Same-Sex Domestic Partners (Accessed 29 OCT 10)
R1.13 The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program: Declaration of Domestic Partnership PDF 95.21kb, 03 MAY 10
R1.12 The Advocate: Partners of Federal Workers May Apply for Benefits in July 02 JUN 10
R1.11 365Gay.com: Obama extends visitation rights to LGBT partners 16 APR 10
R1.10 DallasVoice: Boxer introduces COBRA benefits bill for domestic partners 26 MAR 10
R1.9 The Advocate: Big Win for Partners of Foreign Service Officials 11 JAN 09
dc Agenda: State Department issues guidance for FSOs with same-sex partners 08 JAN 09
R1.8 The Advocate: Senate Committee Passes DP Benefits 16 DEC 09
R1.7 The Advocate: Federal Agency Denies Spousal Benefits Claim 18 DEC 09
R1.6 The Advocate: House Committee Passes Partner Benefits Bill 18 NOV 09
R1.5 PinkNews.co.uk: Obama's gay federal benefits 'not permanent and won't include healthcare' 17 JUN 09
R1.4 PinkNews.co.uk: Clinton to give equal benefits to gay US diplomats 22 MAY 09
R1.3 The Advocate: DP Bill for Federal Workers Introduced 21 MAY 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Senate to Consider Same-sex Benefits for US Federal Employees 25 SEP 08
R1.1 Associated Press: Bush Signs Death Benefits Bill 24 JUN 02
Courts & Tribunals
C2.14 Order: K Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management No. 12-15388 PDF 60.19kb, 23 JUL 13
R2.13 The Advocate: Ninth Circuit Dismisses Appeal in Golinski DOMA Case 24 JUL 13
C2.12 Opinion: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States et al No. 12-307 Word 320.65kb, 25 JUN 13
R2.11 The Advocate: Doma Unconstitutional; California Ban on Marriage Dead 26 JUN 13
C2.10 Order: Karen Golinski v. US Office of Personnel Management & Ors PDF 43.67kb, 27 JUL 12
R2.9 Mercury News: 9th Circuit delays gay marriage ban review 27 JUL 12
R2.8 GayStarNews: US Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional 23 FEB 12
R2.7 Stoel Rives: Denial of Federal Benefits for Same-sex Couple Ruled Unlawful Discrimination 25 JUL 11
C2.6 Metro Weekly: Defendants' Brief in Opposition to Motions to Dismiss PDF 1.09MB, 01 JUL 11
R2.5 National Review Online: DOJ's Brief “Reads Like A Gay Rights Manifesto” 07 JUL 11
R2.4 The Advocate: Gay Couples Can Sue for Benefits 20 JAN 11
R2.3 FrontiersWeb: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Married Gay Federal Lawyer 30 NOV-13 DEC 09
R2.2 The Advocate: 9/11 Fund Compensates Lesbian Whose Partner Died in Terrorist Attack 07 MAY 04
R2.1 Washington Post: U.S. Awards Lesbian 9/11 Benefits for Loss of Partner 23 JAN 03

See also: New York Times: The High Price of Being a Gay Couple US 02 OCT 09
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

National

On 22 February 2017, The Trump administration withdrew Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools that let them use bathrooms and facilities corresponding with their gender identity, the US Department of Justice and Department of Education issuing a joint "Dear Colleague" letter rescinding the guidance without offering a replacement D1.37], [R1.36].

On 13 February 2017, it was reported that newly-confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had pulled the federal government's legal support for Obama administration anti-discrimination protections for transgender students despite President Trump saying last week he would not repeal Obama'ís executive protections for LGBT people [1.35].

On 05 August 2016, Justine Lisser, a spokesperson for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said the agency will ''continue to investigate cases despite the adverse decision'' of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision on 28 July in the Kimberley Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana) case, ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers gender non-conformity but not sexual orientation [R1.34].

On 25 October 2015, in the absence of national anti-discrimination laws, the NewYorkTimes published a consise summary of laws enacted by some states to protect LGBTIQ persons [R1.33].

On 27 July 2015, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board ratified a resolution (79% in favour) that removes the national restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees, effective immediately [R1.32].

On 14 December 2014, the Department of Justice announed in a memorandum that the government is now interpreting federal law to explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender individuals and will no longer argue that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect against workplace discrimination on the basis of gender status [D1.31], [R1.30].

On 21 July 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order giving employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies. The order maintains a provision allowing religious groups with federal contracts to hire and fire based upon “religious identity”, but not “sexual orientation or gender identity” [D1.29], [R1.28].

On 16 June 2014, it was reported that President Barack Obama is planning to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, as the US Congress continues to be stalled on the long-delayed Employment Non-Discrimination Act [R1.27].

On 07 November 2013, the US Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, by a bipartisan vote of 64-32, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives [R1.26].

On 04 November 2013, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in a procedural step known as a cloture [?] vote by a 61-30 margin with all Democrats in support and three Republicans [R1.25].

On 23 May 2013, 61.4% of the 1,400-member National Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted to pass new membership standards effective 01 January 2014, that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone' [R1.24].

On 25 April 2013, the Federal Election Commission ruled that gay married couples can't make a single political donation under both spouse's names [D1.23], [R1.22].


On 11 April 2013, the National Fair Housing Alliance released its 2013 Fair Housing Trends Report highlighting the need to amend the federal Fair Housing Act to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, and marital status [D1.21], [R1.20].


On 17 July 2012, after a two-year evaluation, Boy Scouts of America affirmed membership standards and announced no change to the policy of prohibiting openly gay youths and adults from participating in the group [D1.19], [R1.18].


On 16 May 2012, the Justice Department published its new guidelines to put into place the Prison Rape Elimination Act (signed into law by then President George W. Bush). The standards require training in effective and professional communication with LGBTI and gender nonconforming inmates and require the screening process to consider whether the inmate is, or is perceived to be, LGBTI or gender nonconforming [D1.17], [D1.16], [R1.15].


On 12 April 2012, President Obama was reported to have decided not to sign an executive order that would ban discrimination against LGBT employees by employers with federal contracts, whilst remaining supportive of legislation languishing in Congress [R1.14].


On 28 January 2012, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose [D1.13], [R1.12].

The new rule will be officially published this coming week and will take effect 30 days later. The Rule prohibits owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages, from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The rule also clarifies the definition of "family" to ensure that LGBT families are included in all HUD programs.


In January 2012, a report showed that children in LBGT families of color face higher levels of discrimination and stigma [D1.11], [R1.10].


On 22 September 2011, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act in the Senate and House to amend both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and credit [R1.9].

On 24 January 2011, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publicised a proposed new regulation for 60-day public comment, barring "owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing whose financing is insured by HUD from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, the dwelling, whether renter- or owner-occupied." Under the regulation, private lenders who want to use HUD's mortgage insurance program, which currently backs one third of all new mortgage applications, will be barred from making "inquiries regarding sexual orientation and gender identity" [R1.8].

On 08 December 2010, Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (Dem NY), John Conyers (Dem MI) and Edolphus Towns (Dem NY) introduced the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act to amend the Fair Housing Act and extend federal civil rights protections in housing issues to gay and transgender people [R1.7].

In January 2010, in a move that expanded protected classes under the purview of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Obama administration updated the federal jobs website to include language prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity. The policy change would protect federal employees and applicants for federal job on USAJobs.gov [R1.6].

The Federal Employee Non-Discrimination Act would if passed protect all LGBT workers across the country and is currently pending in both the House and Senate [R1.6].

Previously:

As at September 1999, there was no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, although in 1998, President Clinton issued an executive order prohibiting such discrimination in the federal civilian workforce [R1.5].

Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace sex discrimination, federal courts of appeal have repeatedly held that Congress did not intend that the term "sex" include sexual orientation [R1.4].

As at 2008, twelve states and the District of Columbia and, for the first time, more than 100 cities and counties now prohibit employment discrimination based on both gender identity and sexual orientation. Eight additional states and 80 cities and counties prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation alone [R1.4].


In 2005, the Bush administration quietly rewrote the rules for allowing gays and lesbians to receive national security clearances [R1.3].

The Administration said security clearances cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual." But it removed language saying sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance."


As at April 2002, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which sought to add sexual orientation to categories such as ace, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability already covered by employment rights protection, has never reached a vote in the House, where the Republican leadership opposes the proposal [R1.2].

The bill exempts from its coverage churches, religious organizations, religious schools, the armed services, and businesses with less than 15 employees [R2.1], "bona fide private membership" clubs (other than labour organizations) [R1.2].

On 24 April 2002, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions voted to send the ENDA bill to the full Senate for a vote later in the year. It was expected that the bill would be scheduled for a vote sometime before the middle of October [R1.2].

In 1996, in the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) legislation lost by one vote [R1.1].

In 1995, president Bill Clinton signed an executive order stating: "The United States government does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, disability or sexual orientation in granting access to classified information" [R1.0].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 16 May 2016, the US Supreme Court declined to review the court's 1997 ruling in Auer v. Robbins, in which the court held that federal agencies should be free to interpret their own regulations, unless the interpretation is "plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation." The decision has supportive implications in the Obama administration's directive to public schools that Title IX's ban on sex discrimination requires allowing transgender students to use facilities that match their gender identities [C2.17], [R2.16].

On 19 April 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Department of Education's interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the law, banning sex discrimination and requiring school districts to allow transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 15 July 2015, the US Equal Opportunity Commission ruled 3-2 that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination ≠ a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 30 June 2014, in a decision with the potential to open up wide gaps in nondiscrimination protections for sexual minorities, the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that a family-owned corporation could claim an exemption from complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of the owners' religious objections to funding certain forms of contraception [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 31 March 2014, US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly found that discrimination that stems from noncomformity to “gender stereotypes associated with men” is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination due to sex. In 2012 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that the term 'gender' in Title VII “ … encompasses not only a person's biological sex but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity” [C2.9], [R2.8].

In July 2011, Chief Judge Anne Aiken of the US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled the denial of health care benefits to the same-sex partner of Margaret Fonberg, a US District of Oregon court employee constitutes unlawful sex discrimination [R2.7].

On 01 March 2011, The US Court of Appeals 7th Circuit ruled that anti-gay shirts cannot be prohibited in schools that allow support for gay rights, saying "A school that permits advocacy of the rights of homosexual students cannot be allowed to stifle criticism of homosexuality. People in our society do not have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs or their way of life" [R2.6].


In April 2010, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court's ruling that the Boy Scouts of America be barred from leasing city-owned land because of the organization's religious ties [R2.5].


In February 2006, U.S. district judge Terrence McVerry said that whilst the alleged harassment was "reprehensible," he could not argue that the complainant was the subject of discrimination based on gender but rather sexual orientation, which is not covered by federal statute. The case is on appeal [R2.4].


In September 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 7–4 in Rene v. MGM Grand [C2.3] that discrimination, even if motivated by sexual orientation bias, constituted gender stereotyping and is therefore illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act [R2.3].

Five judges in the majority said that regardless of motivating factors a person was protected by the anti-harassment guidelines set forward in Title VII; two said the particular case fell under the purview of gender stereotyping, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the landmark 1989 case Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins [C2.3], [R2.3].


In 2001, the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco reportedly ruled that federal law prohibited discrimination against transgendered people [R2.2].


In June 2000, the US Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the Boy Scouts of America were free to ban homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. The ruling reversed a New Jersey Supreme Court decision [R2.1].

3.

Churches

In April 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reportedly voted without dissent to abolish all antigay policies, effective immediately and allowing people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders [R3.1].

D1.37 US Department of Justice: Dear Colleague Letter PDF 397.53kb 22 FEB 17
R1.36 CNNpolitics: Trump administration withdraws federal protections for transgender students 23 FEB 17
R1.35 PinkNews: 'Hypocrite' Trump axed transgender protections just days after claiming to support LGBT rights 13 FEB 17
R1.34 WashingtonBlade: Despite court ruling, EEOC to continue taking anti-gay bias claims 05 AUG 16
R1.33 TheNewYorkTimes: A Look at State Laws Addressing LGBT Nondiscrimination 25 OCT 15
R1.32 BoyScoutsofAmerica (Press Release): Boy Scouts of America Amends Adult Leadership Policy 27 JUL 15
D1.31 Memorandum: Treatment of Transgender Employment Discrimination Claims Unter Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 PDF 1.29MB, 15 DEC 14
R1.30 EdgeOnTheNet: US Announces Protections for Transgender Workers 18 DEC 14
D1.29 Executive Order: Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Euqal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, and Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity 21 JUL 14
R1.28 Politix: Obama Signs Gay Rights Executive Order 21 JUL 14
R1.27 GayStarNews: Obama plans to sign executive order protecting LGBTI employees who work for federal contractors 16 JUN 14
R1.26 The Advocate: Senate Approves ENDA 07 NOV 13
R1.25 GayStarNews: ENDA passes crucial vote in US Senate 04 NOV 13
R1.24 GayStarNews: Boy Scouts of America votes to end ban on gay members age 18 and under 23 MAY 13
D1.23 Advisory Opinion: United States Senate Candidate Dan Winslow AO 2013-02 PDF 43.51kb, 25 APR 13
R1.22 GayStarNews: DOMA makes it illegal for gay couples to make joint political donations, rules FEC 27 APR 13
D1.21 Report: Modernizing the Fair Housing Act for the 21st Century PDF 530.21kb, 11 APR 13
R1.20 The Paramus Post: Housing Discrimination against Gays, Lesbians, and Poor Still Legal in Most States 13 APR 13
D1.19 BSA Press Release: After Two-Year Evaluation, Boy Scouts of America Affirms Membership Standards and Announces No Change in Policy 17 JUL 12
R1.18 The Age: Scouts keep gay ban 19 JUL 12
D1.17 DoJ Executive Summary: National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape PDF 150.09kb 16 MAY 12
D1.16 Complete Rule: National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape 28 CFR Part 115 Docket No. OAG-131; AG Order No. RIN 1105-AB34 PDF 1.84MB 17 MAY 12
R1.15 GayStarNews: Justice Department implements LGBT inclusive prisoner protections 19 MAY 12
R1.14 PinkNews: Obama refuses to sign an anti-discrimination bill for LGBT employees 12 APR 12
D1.13 Dept of Housing & Urban Development: Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs – Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity PDF 181.29kb, 30 JAN 12
R1.12 The HUDdle: Ending Housing Discrimination Against LGBT Americans 30 JAN 12
D1.11 Report: LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a glance PDF 1019.20kb, JAN 12
R1.10 The Grio: Children in LGBT families of color face double stigma 01 MAR 12
R1.9 ACLU: Senator Kerry and Representative Nadler Introduce Housing Non-Discrimination Legislation 22 SEP 11
R1.8 Gay City News: Anti-Bias Regs Added to Fed Housing Programs 20 JAN 11
R1.7 The Advocate: Fair Housing Bill Introduced 08 DEC 10
R1.6 The Advocate: Federal Job Site Bans Trans Discrimination 06 JAN 10
R1.5 Human Rights Campaign: State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Americans SEP 99
R1.4 Human Rights Campaign: State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Americans 2007-2008 FEB 09
R1.3 The Advocate: Gays Can Be Denied Security Clearance Under New Bush Rules 16 MAR 06
R1.2 Washington Blade: Senate panel passes gay workplace bill 26 APR 02
United States General Account Office: Sexual-Orientation-based Employment Discrimination: State and Federal Status 19 APR 02
R1.1 San Francisco Chronicle: Congress Urged to Ban Job Bias Against Gays 01 AUG 01
R1.0 The Age: CIA recruiters reach out to gay community 29 NOV 12
Courts & Tribunals
C2.17 Opinion: United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Bible No. 15-861 at page 25 PDF 54.34kb 16 MAY 16
R2.16 Policy.mic: This Little-Noticed Supreme Court Action Is Great News for Transgender Restroom Access 16 MAY 16
C2.15 Opinion: G.G. by his next friend and mother, Deidre Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board No. 15-2056 PDF 204.87kb 19 APR 15
R2.14 BuzzFeed: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Protections For Transgender People In Landmark Ruling 20 FEB 16
C2.13 Decision: (Name Redacted) Complainant v. Anthony Foxx Appeal No. 0120133080 PDF 866.43kb, 15 JUL 15
R2.12 BuzzFeed: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Barred By Existing Law, Federal Commission Rules 16 JUL 15
C2.11 Opinion: Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. No. 13-354 PDF 511.31kb, 30 JUN 14
R2.10 GayCityNews: High Court Says For-Profit Corporations Can Claim Religious Exemptions 30 JUN 14
C2.9 Memorandum Opinion: Peter J Terveer v. James H Billington Civil Action No. 12-1290 (CKK) PDF 108.33kb, 31 MAR 14
R2.8 TheAdvocate: Federal Judge Rules Gays Are Protected by Sex Discrimination Laws 03 APR 14
R2.7 Stoel Rives: Denial of Federal Benefits for Same-sex Couple Ruled Unlawful Discrimination 25 JUL 11
R2.6 365Gay.com: High school students have right to wear anti-gay t-shirt 03 MAR 11
R2.5 The Advocate: Supreme Court Lets Scout Ruling Stand 03 MAY 10
R2.4 The Advocate: Pennsylvania Gay Man Appeals Discrimination Case 01 OCT 08
C2.3 Rene v. MGM Grand 2002
Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 1989
R2.3 Gender Public Advocacy Coalition: Nevada rules in favor of Gender Rights 25 SEP 02
R2.2 San Francisco Chronicle: State Panel OKs Gender Protections 04 JUL 01
R2.1 Fox News: Court Upholds Boy Scouts' Ban on Gays 28 JUN 00
Churches
R3.1 The Advocate: Lutheran Church Abolishes Antigay Policies 21 APR 10
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 29 July 2013, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Cozen O'Connor v. Tobits, No. 11-0045 followed United States v. Windsor; holding that the deceased's partner was a “surviving spouse” entitled to benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so employers may now be required to recognize same-sex partners as spouses for purposes of providing benefits under a company's benefit plans [C2.6], [R1.6].


On 20 July 2012, the government announced several rule changes. It added “same-sex domestic partners” to the small list of those who have an “insurable interest” in a federal employee's retirement. Retirees can opt to provide an annuity for their survivors [R1.5].


In November 2009, a study found that some wealthy gay couples will pay an average of $3.3 million more in federal estate taxes this year upon the death of a spouse than their married heterosexual counterparts [R1.4].


In June 2008, the legal opinion prepared by Steven Engel, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel stated that —

"Although DOMA limits the definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse' for purposes of federal law, the Social Security Act does not condition eligibility for [benefits] on the existence of a marriage or on the federal rights of a spouse in the circumstances of this case; rather, eligibility turns upon the State's recognition of a parent-child relationship, and specifically, the right to inherit as a child under state law" [R1.3].


On 16 July 2007, the Department of Justice stated in a formal memorandum that the child of a lesbian couple living in Vermont was eligible to share in his nonbiological mother's Social Security benefits [R1.2].


On 24 June 2002, President Bush signed legislation that allows death benefits for public safety officers killed Sept. 11 to go to a beneficiary other than an immediate family member [R1.1].

Up to now, the federal $250,000 death benefit was paid only to spouses, children and parents of fallen officers.

This is believed to be the first time a federal benefit would be available to a survivor in a gay partnership

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 29 July 2013, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in a 12-page unsigned decision (of Jones, II, J) that Jean Tobits is entitled to survivor's benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, following the death of her spouse Sarah Ellyn Farley, who died of cancer in 2010. The couple were married in Canada in 2006 [C2.6], [R2.5].

Previously:

In November 2011, in the case of Cozen O'Connor PC v. Jennifer J Tobits and David M Farley and Joan F Farley, the parents Farley were seeking the proceeds of deceased lawyer Sarah Ellyn Farley's profit-sharing plan in priority to Jennifer J Tobits, her surviving spouse/life partner. The couple's marriage in Canada is not recognised in Pennsylvania [C2.2-4], [R2.1].

R1.6 WorkForce: Legal Briefing: Same-Sex Spouse Entitled to Survivor Benefits 16 SEP 13
R1.5 Boston Herald: Benefits cleared for same-sex partners 21 JUL 12
R1.4 The Advocate: Gay Couples Face Higher Estate Taxes 24 NOV 09
The Williams Institute: Federal Estate Tax Disadvantages for Same-Sex Couples PDF 636kb, NOV 09
R1.3 The Advocate: Department of Justice OK's Benefits for Kids of Same-Sex Couples 19 JUN 08
R1.2 The Advocate: Vermont Child Eligible for Nonbio Mom's Benefits US 08 JUL 08
R1.1 Associated Press: Bush Signs Death Benefits Bill 24 JUN 02
C2.6 Memorandum of Decision: Cozen O'Connor PC v. Jennifer J Tobits No. 11-0045 PDF 233.9kb, 29 JUL 13
R2.5 Washington Blade: Court rules lesbian widow must receive survivorís benefits 29 JUL 13
C2.4 Jennifer Tobit's Opposition to Plaintiff Cozen O'Connor, PC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings PDF 348.50kb, 22 SEP 11
C2.3 Answer, Counterclaim, Crossclaim PDF 31.78kb, 01 AUG 11
C2.2 Defendant Jennifer J Tobits' Answer, Affirmative Defense, Counterclaim and Cross-claims to Interpleader First Amended Complaint PDF 62.11kb, 08 JAN 11
R2.1 US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Cozen O'Connor PC v. Jennifer J Tobits and David M Farley and Joan F Farley Case No. 2:11-cv-45
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Federal

On 22 February 2017, The Trump administration withdrew Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools that let them use bathrooms and facilities corresponding with their gender identity, the US Department of Justice and Department of Education issuing a joint "Dear Colleague" letter rescinding the guidance without offering a replacement [D1.24], [R1.23].

On 13 February 2017, it was reported that newly-confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had pulled the federal government's legal support for Obama administration anti-discrimination protections for transgender students despite President Trump saying last week he would not repeal Obama'ís executive protections for LGBT people [R1.22].

On 19 January 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service issued a policy memoranda that requires that USCIS change the gender marker on an official document if the person applying for the document presents: (1) a court order granting change of sex or gender; (2) a government-issued document (amended birth certificate, driver's license, etc.) reflecting the requested gender designation; (3) a letter from a licensed health professional affirming the applicant's gender identity [D1.21], [R1.20].

On 14 November 2016, it was reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs had scrapped a proposed plan to cover gender reassignment surgery for transgender veterans from the Fall 2016 Unified Agenda, citing concerns about appropriate funding. The VA currently provides other services for trans veterans, including hormone therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation and long-term care following gender reassignment surgery [R1.19].

On 19 September 2016, Defense Department spokesman Air Force Major Ben Sakrisson reportedly said that active-duty personnel may qualify for sex-reassignment surgery if their doctors recommend it and senior military health officials approve it. Gender reassignment surgeries for active-duty personnel will be conducted at either a military hospital or, if qualified care is unavailable at a military facility, at a private hospital paid by Tricare. The benefit does not apply to non-active duty Tricare beneficiaries. Starting 03 October, the military health program will cover therapy and hormone treatments for Tricare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria but not surgery [R1.18].

On 18 August 2016, the US General Services Administration issued a bulletin to clarify that the nondiscrimination requirement under various Federal civil rights laws and regulations includes gender identity as a prohibited basis of discrimination under the existing prohibition of sex discrimination for any facility under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA [D1.17], [R1.16].

On 24 June 2016, it was reported that on 01 July the Department of Defense will finally announce an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military [R1.15].

On 29 April 2014, the Department of Education issued guidance clarifying that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits (sexual violence and) discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding, prohibits discrimination against transgender students [D1.14], [R1.13].

On 03 September 2013, the American Bar Association released the 313-page book “Transgender Persons and the Law” a comprehensive guide for both cisgender legal practitioners and transgender individuals to better serve the population. $129.95 [R1.12].

On 14 June 2013, the Social Security Administration announced transgender people will be able to update their gender on agency records without having undergone sex-reassignment surgery by submitting a passport or birth certificate that notes their gender or a letter from their doctor that confirms they have received transition-related treatment [R1.11].

On 01 December 2012, the American Psychiatric Association announced the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to be published in May 2013 (DSM-V) in which "gender identity disorder" will be replaced with "gender dysphoria" and not listed as a mental disorder [R1.10].

On 13 April 2012, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum revising the treatment of gender designations for transgender people on their immigration documents – no longer requiring any specific surgery, but instead allowing a doctor to certify the individual's gender [D1.9], [R1.8].

On 11 November 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it had abandoned its long-held position that gender reassignment treatment is cosmetic (not eligible for deduction as a medical expense) rather than a medical treatment. The announcement responded to the U.S. Tax Court's ruling in O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 34 (2010) [R1.7].


On 15 September 2011, the Social Security Administration W-2 News Issue 2011-01 notified that effective 24 September SSA will no longer issue "gender no-match" letters to employers, which alert them when the gender marker on an employee's W-2 does not match his or her Social Security records [R1.6].


On 31 May 2011, the Bureau of Prisons issued a memorandum clarifying the evaluation and treatment of inmates with Gender Identity Disorder requiring that they receive ongoing treatment based on a current individualized assessment and evaluation [D1.5], [R1.4]. The policy change resulted from the case of Vanessa Adams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons et. al. [R2.4].


On 09 June 2010, the State Department announced passport rules that removed a strict requirement that applicants must undergo gender-reassignment surgery before qualifying for a gender change on their passport [R1.3].


In August 2009, the Transportation Security Administration was phasing in new flight requirements requiring that all passengers declare their full name, age, and gender to book travel [R1.2].


In 2007, the US Congress introduced a transgender-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), proposed federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 22 November 2016, Judge R Brooke Jackson in the US District Court Colorado ordered the US State Department to reconsider its decision to deny a passport to Colorado resident Dana Zzyym who does not identify as either male or female and refused to check a box for one of the genders on the passport application form. The judge saying ''that the administrative record ...does not show that the decisionmaking process that resulted in the policy in question was rational [C2.31], [R2.30].

On 28 October 2016, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear (certiorari granted) the Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. transgender rights case which could determine whether schools are required to let students use bathrooms based on gender identity [D2.29], [R2.28].

On 21 August 2016, US District Judge Reed O'Connor granted an application for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the Federal Government's guidelines instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and other private facilities of their choice and from initiating, continuing, or concluding any investigation based on the interpretation that the definition of sex includes gender identity in Title IXís prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex [C2.27], [R2.26].

On 12 August 2016, US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth heard states' arguments that the Obama administration transgender directive was unconstitutional and seeking a preliminary injunction that would temporarily block it. No immediate ruling was made [R2.25].

On 25 May 2016, Arizona joined with Texas (and 11 other States) to challenge a directive by the Obama administration that for the purposes of Title IX compliance, schools receiving Federal funding must not discriminate against transgender students, letting them use restrooms that match their self-proclaimed sexual identity [R2.24].

On 16 May 2016, the US Supreme Court declined to review the court's 1997 ruling in Auer v. Robbins, in which the court held that federal agencies should be free to interpret their own regulations, unless the interpretation is "plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation." The decision has supportive implications in the Obama administration's directive to public schools that Title IX's ban on sex discrimination requires allowing transgender students to use facilities that match their gender identities [C2.23], [R2.22].

On 19 April 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Department of Education's interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the law, banning sex discrimination and requiring school districts to allow transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity [C2.21], [R2.20].

On 25 October 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. State Department on behalf of an intersex client, Dana Zzyym, denied a U.S. passport because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the passport application form, and the form does not provide any other gender marker designation [C2.19], [R2.18]. Lambda Legal argued the case on 20 July 2016.

On 21 January 2016, the Medicare Appeals Council issued a Notice of Decision to transgender disabled Air Force veteran Charlene Lauderdale notifying that her request for pre-authorization for vaginoplasty is covered under her United Healthcare through Medicare Advantage Plan. The decision potentially affects all Medicare enrollees and will likely influence private insurers as well [C2.17], [R2.16].

On 25 October 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the US State Department on behalf of Dana Zzyym, an intersex client denied a US passport because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the passport application form, and the form does not provide any other gender marker designation [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 04 March 2015, the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals ordered that 'future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun' [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 08 July 2013, the Department of Justice determined that Mia Macy was unlawfully discriminated against by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), ordering the ATF to re-offer Macy her job and awarding her back pay with interest and other compensatory damages. The decision also ordered ATF to take action to ensure no future employees or job applicants are discriminated against on the basis of gender identity [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 20 April 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in Mia Macy v. Eric Holder that a refusal to hire or to otherwise discriminate on the basis of gender identity is by definition sex discrimination under federal law [C2.9], [R2.8].

On 30 September 2011, the Vanessa Adams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons et. al. case was settled with a change in Bureau of Prisons policy enabling ongoing GID treatment based on current individualized assessment and evaluation [D1.5], [R2.7], [C2.6].


On 02 February 2010, the US Tax Court ruled in O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 34 (2010), that O'Donnabhain should be allowed to deduct the costs of her treatment for gender-identity disorder, including sex-reassignment surgery and hormone treatments [R2.5].


In September 2008, US District Court Judge James Robertson ruled that the Library of Congress unlawfully discriminated against a transgender woman whose job offer was revoked when her plans to transition from male to female were revealed [R2.4].


The 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins ruled a person cannot be discriminated against for not conforming to the gender stereotype behavior expected by another person or social norms [R2.3].


In 2001, reportedly the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently ruled that federal law prohibited discrimination against transgendered people [R2.2].


On 06 June 1994, the US Supreme Court held 9-0 that a prison official's "deliberate indifference" to a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate violates the Eighth Amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. MtF transsexual Dee Farmer contended, prison officials had a legal duty to protect inmates from harm and violence. Justice Souter for the Court said "it is enough that the official acted or failed to act despite his knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm" to find a "deliberate indifference" [C2.1].

D1.24 US Department of Justice: Dear Colleague Letter PDF 397.53kb 22 FEB 17
R1.23 CNNpolitics: Trump administration withdraws federal protections for transgender students 23 FEB 17
R1.22 PinkNews: 'Hypocrite' Trump axed transgender protections just days after claiming to support LGBT rights 13 FEB 17
D1.21 Policy Memorandum: Revision of Adjudicator's Field Manual Subchapter 10.22 - Change of Gender Designation on Documents Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services PM-602-0141 PDF 84.53kb 19 JAN 17
R1.20 Mic: On his final day, Obama made it easier for transgender immigrants to get documents in order 26 JAN 17
R1.19 WashingtonBlade: VA nixes plan to cover gender reassignment surgery 14 NOV 16
R1.18 MilitaryTimes: Pentagon to cover sex-reassignment surgery for transgender active-duty troops 19 SEP 16
D1.17 GSA Bulletin 2016-B1 Federal Management Regulation; Nondiscrimination Clarification in the Federal Workplace 08 AUG 16 PDF 195.74kb 18 AUG 16
R1.16 Federal Register: Federal Management Regulation; Nondiscrimination Clarification in the Federal Workplace 18 AUG 16
R1.15 HumanRightsCampaign: Transgender Military Ban To Be Lifted July 1st 24 JUN 16
D1.14 Guidelines: Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence PDF 867.31kb, 29 APR 14
R1.13 LGBTQ Nation: Department of Education: Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students US 29 APR
R1.12 SFGN: American Bar Association Publishes Legal Guide for Trans People 11 SEP 13
R1.11 WashingtonBlade: Transgender advocates applaud new Social Security policy 14 JUN 13
R1.10 MSNBC: Being transgender no longer a 'mental disorder': APA 04 DEC 12
D1.9 USCIS: Policy Memorandum PM-602-0061 PDF 2.24MB, 10 APR 12 (Posted 13 APR 12)
R1.8 SDGLN: Victory for transgender immigration documents and marriage benefits 14 APR 12
R1.7 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Internal Revenue Service Will Acquiesce on Deductibility of Gender Reassignment Treatment Expenses PDF 423.20kb, 02 DEC 11 at 249
R1.6 The Advocate: White House Backs Social Security Admin.'s Pro-Trans Policy 16 SEP 11
D1.5 US Department of Justice – Bureau of Prisons: Memorandum for Chief Executive Officers: Gender Identity Disorder Evaluation and Treatment PDF 3.26MB, 15 JUN 2010, 31 MAY 2011
R1.4 NCLR: Federal Bureau of Prisons Makes Major Change in Transgender Medical Policy 30 SEP 11
R1.3 The Advocate: Passport Rules Eased for Transgender People 10 JUN 10
R1.2 The Advocate: New Laws Add Hassle for Trans Fliers 14 AUG 09
R1.1 MCV: Gender Identity Bill 03 MAY 07
Courts & Tribunals
C2.31 Order: Dana Alix Zzyym v. John F Kerry and Sherman D Portell No. 1:15-cv-02362 PDF 91.88kb 22 NOV 16
R2.30 DesMoinesRegister: Judge asks US to reconsider passport for intersex citizen 22 NOV 16
D2.29 Order List: 580 U.S.: Friday. October 28, 2016 PDF 38.85kb 28 OCT 16 (Accessed 29 ICT 16)
R2.28 BBCnews: Supreme Court to hear transgender school bathroom case 28 OCT 16
C2.27 Preliminary Injunction Order State of Texas et al., v. United States of America No. 7:16-cv-0054-O PDF 531.90 21 AUG 16
R2.26 enca 22 August 2016 US judge blocks transgender bathroom ruling 22 AUG 16
R2.25 DesMoinesRegister: Q&A: No immediate ruling on Obama transgender directive 12 AUG 16
R2.24 VerdeIndependent: Arizona to test transgender restroom edict in federal court 25 MAY 16
C2.23 Opinion: United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Bible No. 15-861 at page 25 PDF 54.34kb 16 MAY 16
R2.22 Policy.mic: This Little-Noticed Supreme Court Action Is Great News for Transgender Restroom Access 16 MAY 16
C2.21 Opinion: G.G. by his next friend and mother, Deidre Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board No. 15-2056 PDF 204.87kb 19 APR 15
R2.20 BuzzFeed: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Protections For Transgender People In Landmark Ruling 20 FEB 16
C2.19 Complaint: Dana Zzyym v. John F Kerry and Sherman D Portell No. 1:15-cv-02362 PDF 25 OCT 15
R2.18 LambdaLegal: Lambda Legal Sues US State Department on Behalf of Intersex Citizen Denied Passport 26 OCT 15
C2.17 Notice of Decision: On the case of Charlene Lauderdale ALJ Appeal No. 1-2978123060 PDF 1.44MB 21 JAN 16
R2.16 BuzzFeed: Genital Surgery Must Be Provided To Trans Woman Through Medicare Program 30 JAN 16
C2.15 Complaint: Dana Zzyym v. John F Kerry and Sherman D Portell No. 1:15-cv-02362 PDF 25 OCT 15
R2.14 LambdaLegal: Lambda Legal Sues US State Department on Behalf of Intersex Citizen Denied Passport 25 JUL 15
C2.13 Order: US v. Bradley E Manning Army 20130739 PDF 222.36kb, 04 MAR 15
R2.12 GayStarNews: US army is ordered to stop referring to Chelsea Manning as a man 06 MAR 15
C2.11 Decision: Mia M Macy v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF-2011-00751 PDF 2.70MB 08 JUL 13
R2.10 TransgenderLawCenter: Investigation Concludes Government Agency Discriminated Against Transgender Job Applicant 16 JUL 13
C2.9 EEOC: Mia Macy v. Eric Holder PDF 970.08kb, 20 APR 12
R2.8 Boston Herald: Government says transgender people protected under law 24 APR 12
R2.7 NCLR: Federal Bureau of Prisons Makes Major Change in Transgender Medical Policy 30 SEP 11
C2.6 US District Court: Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint PDF 100.46kb, Filed 10 JUL 09
R2.5 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Internal Revenue Service Will Acquiesce on Deductibility of Gender Reassignment Treatment Expenses PDF 423.20kb, 02 DEC 11 at 249
R2.4 The Advocate: Trans Woman Wins Bias Suit Against Library of Congress 23 SEP 08
R2.2 Gay People's Chronicle: First TG case under 1964 Civil Rights Act is settled 12 JUL 02
R2.2 San Francisco Chronicle: State Panel OKs Gender Protections 04 JUL 01
C2.1 Memorandum Opinion: Farmer v. Brennan No. 92-7247, 511 USD 825 06 JUN 94 511 USD 825

See also: Immigration Law and the Transgender Client
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

National

United States Code, Title 18 Crimes & Criminal Procedure, Part I Crimes, Chapter 13 Civil Rights [L1.1]

Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

(a) In General–

(1) [...]

(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-

(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of any person -

(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--

(I) death results from the offense; or

(II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

(B) CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that--

(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim--

(I) across a State line or national border; or

(II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;

(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);

(iii) in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or

(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)--

(I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or

(II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.


On 28 October 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909, H.R. 1913) into law [R1.9].

The Act authorizes the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute violent attacks in which the perpetrator has targeted a victim because of the his or her actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability [R1.9].


On 22 October 2009, the Senate voted 68 to 29 to pass a Defense Department funding bill that includes a measure extending hate-crimes protections to people targeted on the basis of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. The National Defense Authorization Act now goes to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature [R1.8].

Previously:

In June 2009, the US Senate leadership settled on passing hate-crimes legislation as an amendment to another bill rather than voting on it as a stand-alone piece of legislation [R1.7].


On 29 April 2009, the US House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act which would expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability. The Senate version of the bill was expected to be introduced soon by Senator Edward Kennedy [R1.6].


In September 2005, the US House of Representatives unexpectedly backed a measure [the Children's Safety Act] to expand federal hate crime protection to gay people, a measure that House conservatives had blocked for years [R1.5].

The hate crimes amendment would expand existing federal hate crime program to add sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to federal hate crime laws. It would give grants to the states to help prosecute such crimes.


On 11 June 2002, the Senate voted 54–43 derailing efforts to win a speedy vote on the legislation (S 625) and send it to the House, which has rejected it twice in recent years. While it takes only a simple majority to pass a bill, motions to end debate require 60 votes. Backers of the bill fell six votes short. Current federal law allows only race, color, religion or national origin to be the basis of a federal hate-crime case, and the covered offenses are limited to crimes committed against a person engaged in one of six federally protected activities, such as voting or going to school [R1.4].

LLEEA (S 625) would apply to violent crimes motivated by a victim's real or perceived gender or sexual orientation, as well as their race, color, religion, national origin, or disability [R1.3].


In July 2001, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to make hate attacks on gays a federal crime and to provide money to help local law enforcement agencies prosecute such offenses [R1.2].


On 14 September 2000 the House of Representatives endorsed for the first time a measure to make attacks on gays a federal hate crime, a move that was one of President Clinton's legislative priorities [R1.1].

But the 232–to–192 vote was entirely symbolic because it did not force lawmakers to adopt the measure, which passed the Senate as an amendment to a military bill in June, with broad bipartisan support.

Rather, the measure, which drew the support of 41 Republicans, was a Democratic effort to force Republicans, as Election Day nears, to take a recorded stand on expanding the hate crimes definition to include attacks on gays and to pressure Republicans into accepting the measure.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 15 October 2012, in a national first, US District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove upheld the Federal hate-crimes law dealing with sexual orientation, sending David Jason Jenkins (37) and his cousin, Anthony Ray Jenkins (22) to trial for allegedly beating Kevin Pennington (29), a gay Letcher County man in April 2011 because of his sexual orientation [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 02 August 2012, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the plaintiff Michigan Christian ministers had not established standing to challenge the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which offers harsher punishments for individuals who commit violent acts on individuals due to their sexual orientation, upholding a previous ruling that found the law constitutional [C2.2], [R2.1].

L1.1 United States Code: Title 18 Crimes & Criminal Procedure, Part I Crimes, Chapter 13 Civil Rights (Citation/Link required)
R1.9 The Advocate: Obama Signs Hate Crimes 28 OCT 09
R1.8 The Advocate: Senate Passes Hate-Crimes Measure 22 OCT 09
R1.7 The Advocate: Senate to Pass Hate Crimes as Amendment 09 JUN 09
R1.6 PinkNews.co.uk: US House votes to extend protection to victims of homophobic hate crimes 30 APR 09
R1.5 Sydney Morning Herald: House Backs Hate Crime Measure Protecting Gays 14 SEP 05
R1.4 Associated Press: Hate Crimes Bill Dealt a Setback 11 JUN 02
R1.3 Gender Public Advocacy Coalition: "National Hate Crimes Prevention Call-In Day" 03 JUN 02
R1.2 New York Times News Service: Senate Panel Passes Measure on Hate Crimes Against Gays 27 JUL 01
R1.1 New York Times: House Backs Putting Gays in Hate Crime Law Lizette Alvarez 14 SEP 00
C2.4 Memorandum Opinion and Order: USA v. AR Jenkins & DA Jenkins No. 12-15-GFVT PDF 268.96kb, 15 OCT 12
R2.3 Kentucky.com: Judge upholds gay hate-crime law, allows Kentucky case to proceed 16 OCT 12
C2.2 Opinion: Gary Glenn & Ors v. Eric H Holder 10-2273 PDF 42.95kb, 02 AUG 12
R2.1 TPM: Appeals Court: Hate Crimes Act Doesnít Suppress Anti-Gay Speech 02 AUG 12

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Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

National

On 21 December 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance outlining updated blood donor deferral recommendations to reflect the most current scientific evidence, changing its recommendation that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred - a policy that has been in place for approximately 30 years - to deferral for 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man [R1.22].

On 05 October 2015, the US Office of Personnel Management issued a Benefits Administration Letter notifying that agencies and/or retirement systems should no longer add children of same-sex domestic partners to FEHB enrollments as no new children are eligible. Stepchildren that are already covered under an enrollment for plan year 2015, based on a domestic partner certification, remain eligible family members only until the end of the plan year [D1.21], [R1.20].

On 03 September 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule (the 'Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities') establishing that the prohibition on sex discrimination under the Affordable Care Act includes discrimination based on gender identity. The rule is now open to industry comment [D1.19], [R1.18].

On 25 February 2015, the US Department of Labor issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to include married, same-sex couples with effect on 27 March 2015, entitling eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, regardless of where they live [R1.17]. The Act entitles a family member up to 12 weeks of leave to care for yourself or an immediate family member, including a spouse, if they or you have a serious medical condition and if you've worked at least a year, your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your work location, and you've worked at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months [R1.16].

However, see 2. Courts & Tribunals below at [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 23 December 2014, Commissioner Margaret A Hamburg announced that the agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact. A draft guidance recommending this proposed change in policy will likely issue in 2015 [R1.15].

On 14 March 2014, the US Department of Health & Human Services announced that starting next year, if an insurance company offers health care coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses. Deadline to enroll for health care coverage this year: 31 March 2014 [R1.14].

On 21 November 2013, President Obama signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, into law that lifts the ban on the donation of organs from HIV-positive people to others with HIV [R1.13].

On 12 November 2013, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Bill S.330, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act), which permits HIV positive-to-positive transplantation and the Bill now goes to the President for signature [R1.12].

On 29 August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that legally married same-sex couples on Medicare will be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes around the country [R1.11].

On 20 July 2012, The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a proposed rule to amend the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) regulations regarding coverage for children up to age 26 and for children of the same-sex domestic partners of FEHB enrollees. The regulations also allow children of same-sex domestic partners to be covered family members under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program [D1.10], [R1.9].

Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income if the partner is not considered a dependent. On top of that, the employees cannot use pretax dollars to pay for their premiums ≠ unlike their opposite-sex married counterparts [R1.8].

See: The New York Times chart showing the growing number of companies covering the extra costs that same-sex couples pay for domestic partner benefits – and companies thinking about it at .


On 07 September 2011, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance to support enforcement of rules that protect hospital patients' right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner [R1.7].

On 19 November 2010, the Department of Health & Human Services published Final Rule CMS-3228-F making Changes to the Hospital and Critical Access Hospital Conditions of Participation to Ensure Visitation Rights for All Patients [D1.6].

On 10 June 2011, the Department of Health & Human Services issued guidance [R1.5] under which States have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home [R1.4].

In April 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will permit states to extend Medicaid long-term care protections long available to spouses of nursing home residents to same-sex domestic partners as well [R1.3].

On 18 January 2011, federal regulations that prohibit all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs from discriminating against visitors based on sexual orientation and gender identity took effect [R1.2].

On 17 November 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a new hospital visitation rule (effective in approximately 60 days) that allows patients to designate their own visitors during a hospital stay, including their same-sex partners. No documentation will be required to prove any particular kind of relationship. [R1.1].

2

Courts & Tribunals

On 21 January 2016, the Medicare Appeals Council issued a Notice of Decision to transgender disabled Air Force veteran Charlene Lauderdale notifying that her request for pre-authorization for vaginoplasty is covered under her United Healthcare through Medicare Advantage Plan. The decision potentially affects all Medicare enrollees and will likely influence private insurers as well [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 26 March 2015, US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas granted a preliminary injunction staying the Department of Labour final rule revising the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to include married same-sex couples, pending determination of the matter [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 30 May 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board determined that denying Medicare coverage of all transsexual surgery as a treatment for transsexualism is not valid under the “reasonableness standard” the Board applies [C2.2], [R2.1].

1. Federal
R1.22 $: FDA updates blood donor deferral policy to reflect the most current scientific evidence and continue to ensure the safety of the US blood supply 21 DEC 15
D1.21 Benefits Administration Letter:: Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) Benefits for Children of Same-Sex Domestic Partners After Obergefell v. Hodges No. 15-207 PDF 176.23kb 05 OCT 15
R1.20 FedSmith.com: Benefits for Children of Same-Sex Domestic Partners 06 OCT 15
D1.19 Fact Sheet: Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Proposed Rule (Accessed 06 SEP 15)
R1.18 ReutersUS: US government to extend healthcare nondiscrimination law to transgender people 03 SEP 15
R1.17 LGBTQnation: Labor Dept. updates Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex spouses
R1.16 AOLjobs: Same-Sex Spouses Now Protected Under FMLA (But Not Civil Unions) 17 MAR 15
R1.15 FDA: FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg's statement on FDA's blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men 23 DEC 14
R1.14 HHS: Making Health Care Coverage More Accessible and Equitable For Same-Sex Couples 14 MAR 14
R1.13 Washington Blade: Obama signs bill for HIV organ donation 21 NOV 13
R1.12 GLBTNN: Bill lifting ban on HIV organ donation heads to President for signature 13 NOV 13
R1.11 The Advocate: HHS Offers Benefits, Joint Placement to Married LGBT Seniors on Medicare 29 AUG 13
D1.10 US Government Printing Office: Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 140 / Proposed Rules 20 JUL 12
R1.9 Washington Blade: OPM to extend health coverage to gay federal employees' children 20 JUL 12
R1.8 New York Times: A Progress Report on Gay Employee Health Benefits 25 OCT 11
R1.7 DoHHS: Medicare steps up enforcement of equal visitation and representation rights in hospitals 07 SEP 11
D1.6 Federal Register: Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 123 / Monday, June 28, 2010 / Proposed Rules PDF 121.45kb, 19 NOV 10
R1.5 Department of Health & Human Services: Same Sex Partners and Medicaid Liens, Transfers of Assets, and Estate Recovery PDF 67.55kb, 10 JUN 11
R1.4 Washington Blade: Obama extends protections to gay couples under Medicaid 10 JUN 11
R1.3 ElderLawAnswers: States May Now Extend Medicaid's Spousal Protections to Same-Sex Partners 06 APR 11
R1.2 The Advocate: New Hospital Visitation Rules in Effect 18 JAN 11
R1.1 The Advocate: New Hospital Visitation Rule Issued 17 NOV 10
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.6 Notice of Decision: In the case of Charlene Lauderdale ALJ Appeal No. 1-2978123060 PDF 1.44MB 21 JAN 16
R2.5 BuzzFeed: Genital Surgery Must Be Provided To Trans Woman Through Medicare Program 30 JAN 16
C2.4 Memorandum Opinion and Order: State of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska v. United States of America, et al. No. 7:15-cv--0056-O PDF 179.41kb, 26 MAR 15
R2.3 WashingtonBlade: Court blocks implementation of FMLA rule for same-sex couples 26 MAR 15
C2.2 Decision: NCD 140.3 Transsexual Surgery Decision No. 2576 PDF 571.06kb, 30 MAY 14
R2.1 ACLU: ACLU Statement on Final Ruling Invalidating Medicare Ban on Healthcare for Transgender Patients 30 MAY 14

See also: Human Rights Campaign: Protecting Your Visitation & Decision-Making Rights
Download: PDF 63.99kb
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 21 December 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance outlining updated blood donor deferral recommendations to reflect the most current scientific evidence, changing its recommendation that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred - a policy that has been in place for approximately 30 years - to deferral for 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man [R1.14].

On 21 November 2013, President Obama signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, into law that lifts the ban on the donation of organs from HIV-positive people to others with HIV [R1.13].

On 12 November 2013, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Bill S.330, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act), which permits HIV positive-to-positive transplantation and the Bill now goes to the President for signature [R1.12].

On 16 July 2012, the FDA approved Truvada, the first drug approved to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection, or who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners [R1.11].

On 04 January 2010, the 22-year old ban on HIV-positive people entering the US and long-term foreign residents from obtaining resident status, purely on the basis of having HIV officially ended [R1.10].

On 30 October 2009, President Barack Obama announced that the ban on HIV-positive people entering the country would be lifted with the publishing of a final rule on 02 November 2009 [R1.9].

Previously:

In September 2008, Members of Congress and others wrote calling on President Bush and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make the necessary regulatory change to completely lift the ban on HIV-positive travelers; in the meanwhile, the HIV travel ban continues to be enforced [R1.8].

In September 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would issue regulations under which a short-term traveler must meet twelve stringent criteria that impose unnecessary burdens on HIV-positive travelers and continue to stigmatize those living with HIV [R1.7].

On 30 July 2008, President Bush signed legislation that repeals the law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants and triples U.S. funding to fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis around the world [R1.6].

On 16 July 2008, the Senate voted to repeal the law that bars people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States. The proposed repeal must now go through the conference process and receive the President's signature [R1.5].

In December 2006, US President George W Bush announced an easing of the long-standing rule barring HIV-positive people from travelling to the United States [R1.4]

In February 2006, the Chicago Gay Games, scheduled for July 15-22, 2006 received Designated Event Status ("DES") from the U.S. government for purposes of granting HIV waivers [R1.3].

In April 2004, the federal Department of Veterans Affairs policy prohibiting organ transplants for those infected with HIV was being challenged by an HIV-positive Illinois veteran who needed a liver transplant. An Iowa City, Iowa, veterans hospital took steps to consider the man for the operation [R1.2].

In 2003, the law in the US provided that HIV-positive persons were effectively inadmissible to the US [R1.1].


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protect individuals with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) from discrimination on the basis of their disability. Section 504 prohibits discrimination by health care and human service agencies that receive federal funds. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination by state and local government entities even if they do not receive federal financial assistance. Title II requires that state and local governments provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in a service or receive a benefit from the entities' activities, programs or services [R1.0].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 February 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces unanimously ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that any of Techincal Sergeant David Gutierrez's acts were likely to transmit HIV to his partners, overturning a 25-year precedent that had allowed military personnel to be convicted of aggravated assault solely on the basis of a positive HIV test [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 25 February 2014, the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (upon remand) affirmed the finding that upheld the 18 January 2011 conviction of Technical Sergeant David Gutierrez on seven counts of aggravated assault [C2.4].

On 21 March 2013, the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Technical Sergeant David Gutierrez, found guilty 18 January 2011 of seven counts of aggravated assault, violating his commander's orders (to notify his partners that he is HIV-positive), and for failing to notify partners about his HIV status and to use condoms [R2.3].

On 28 March 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled 5–3 that the Privacy Act exposes the government to damage claims only for pecuniary losses borne by the plaintiff, not mental or emotional distress as claimed [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.14 $: FDA updates blood donor deferral policy to reflect the most current scientific evidence and continue to ensure the safety of the US blood supply 21 DEC 15
R1.13 Washington Blade: Obama signs bill for HIV organ donation 21 NOV 13
R1.12 GLBTNN: Bill lifting ban on HIV organ donation heads to President for signature 13 NOV 13
R1.11 qNotes: FDA approves first drug for reducing the risk of sexually acquired HIV 17 JUL 12
R1.10 365gay.com: UN lauds US and S Korea for lifting HIV travel ban 05 JAN 10
R1.9 365gay.com: Obama lifts ban on HIV-positive people entering the US 02 NOV 09
R1.8 Immigration Equality: Congress to Bush: Repeal HIV Travel Ban 22 SEP 08
R1.7 Immigration Equality: New HHS Rule Changes List of Diseases Barring Travel to the US, but Does Not Remove HIV US (NY) 07 OCT 08
Immigration Equality: Regulatory Change to HIV Travel Ban Continues to Stigmatize HIV-positive People, Fails to End Ban 30 SEP 08
R1.6 The Advocate: Bush Signs Bill to Triple AIDS Funding, Repeal HIV Travel Ban 01 AUG 08
R1.5 Immigration Equality: Senate Votes to Repeal HIV/Aids Law 17 JUL 08
R1.4 Positive Living: US Plans to Ease HIV Travel Restrictions 21 DEC 06
R1.3 Immigration Equality: "Gay Games HIV Waiver FEB 06
R1.2 The Advocate: Iowa City VA Hospital Bucks Transplant Ban 29 APR 04
R1.1 Washington Blade: HIV-positive immigrants face increased obstacles 07 NOV 03
R1.0 Office for Civil Rights: Know the Rights That Protect Individuals with HIV and Aids PDF 559.12kb, 12 SEP 12
C2.6 Opinion: US v. David J A Gutierrez, Technical Sergeant No. 13-0522 PDF 41.66kb, 23 FEB 15
R2.5 EdgeMediaNetwork: Lawyer: HIV Assault Ruling Could End All Such Military Cases 26 FEB 15
C2.4 Opinion: USAF Court of Criminal Appeals: US v. Technical Sergeant DAVID J. A. GUTIERREZ ACM 37913 (rem) PDF 206.36kb, 25 FEB 14
R2.3 GayCity News: Unprotected Sex Leads to Aggravated Assault Verdict 10 APR 13
C2.2 US Supreme Court: Federal Aviation Administration et al v. Cooper No 10-1024 PDF 217.67kb, 28 MAR 12
R2.1 GayCityNews: US Has No Liability for Improper HIV Disclosure 29 MAR 12
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Federal

On 19 December 2016, President Barack Obama was reported to have pardoned Peter Heidgerd, now 56. convicted 17 July 1989 of conduct unbecoming an officer while at Fort Gordon near Augusta. He spent a year behind bars in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 August 2013, in a potentially landmark case, since it is the first of its kind to address human rights violations based on sexual or gender orientation, Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively has been brought into US federal court in Massachusetts under a centuries old, yet unusually modern act: the Alien Tort Statute. The case alleges that Lively conspired with religious and government leaders to persecute LGBT people in Uganda [C2.2].

On 26 June 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence & Garner -v- Texas that the law in Texas making consensual sex between same-sex couples unlawful was an unconstitutional violation of privacy. The case arguably nullifies or invalidates similar laws across the Nation [C2.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: Obama pardons US Army captain who spent year in prison for being gay 19 JAN 17
C2.2 Memorandum and Order: Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively No. 3:12-cv-30051-MAP PDF 203.06kb, 14 AUG 13
C2.1 US Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003) 26 JUN 03
Intellectual Property, Copyright Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 18 September 2014, Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the Copyright and Marriage Equality Act, which would amend language in the Copyright Act that is currently preventing some married same-sex couples from receiving inheritance rights to the copyrights held by a deceased spouse. Some agencies - including the Copyright Office, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs - currently do not recognize same-sex couples living in states without marriage equality [R1.1].

R1.1 HRC Blog: Copyright and Marriage Equality Act Introduced to Protect Same-Sex Couples 18 SEP 14
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Federal

On 09 December 2016, Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree issued an opinion finding that Section 1 of the Cherokee Nation Marriage and Family Act which defines marriage as ''a civil contract between one man and one woman'', is unconstitutional as is Section 3 which prohibits marriage ''between parties of the same gender'' [D1.30], [R1.29].

On 07 June 2016, it was reported that the US Department of Homeland Security had issued a Notice of Approval of Relative Immigrant Petition to Anthony Corbett Sullivan, the surviving partner of Richard Frank Adams with whom he entered into a marriage in 1975 and so allowing the Australian Sullivan to proceed with his ''green card'' application to remain in the US [D1.28], [R1.27].

On 26 June 2013, following the US Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, advisers recommend careful pre-marriage planning, highlighting important considerations for couples to review and action [R1.26].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.34], [R2.33].

On 29 May 2014, the publication of an expanded version of the presentation address to The Nineteenth Annual Frankel Lecture in October 2014 by William Eskridge Jr., the John A Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale, entitled the “Original Meaning and Marriage Equality” in favor of marriage equality, was reported [D1.25], [R1.24].

On 25 October 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that following the Supreme Court's decision earlier this month to decline to hear any pending cases regarding same-sex marriage, the federal government will now recognize same-sex married couples in six new states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming [R1.23].

On 17 October 2014, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages taking place in Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin following the US Supreme Court's decision to decline to review rulings from the 4th, 9th and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals [R1.22].

On 20 June 2014, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits to married same-sex couples, including those who live in states where same-sex marriage is against the law. The benefits range from Social Security survivor and death benefits and veterans benefits to work leave for caring for sick spouses under the Family and Medical Leave Act [R1.21].

So, provided couples live in states that recognize their marriages they will receive benefits but legally married gay couples who now reside in "nonrecognition" states will be eligible for only a few benefits because Federal statutes prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration from extending some benefits to same-sex married couples and require amendment by Congress [R1.20]

On 10 February 2014, the Attorney General Eric Holder released the Justice Departmentís formal policy guidance on “ensuring equal treatment for same-sex couples”, based primarily of the “place of celebration” [D1.19], [R1.18].

On 08 February 2014, the US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that policy changes will recognize same-sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages in all federal legal matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits. The federal rules have no effect on state laws [D1.17], [R1.16].

On 25 April 2013, the Federal Election Commission ruled that gay married couples can't make a single political donation under both spouse's names [D1.15], [R1.14].

On 04 September 2012, the Democratic Party made history at its national convention when it became the first major American political party to explicitly endorse marriage equality in its platform [D1.13], [R1.12].

On 11 August 2012, the Democrats platform committee unanimously voted to endorse same-sex marriage in their party's platform, the first time a major political party has supported the issue in its statement of policies, sending the document for ratification by delegates to September's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina [R1.11].

On 23 May 2012, Mae Kuykendall professor of law at Michigan State University proposed that the Supreme Court should hold that while states may refuse to authorize same-sex marriages, they may not void – that is, refuse to recognize – gay marriages lawfully conducted in other states, leaving it leave it to state courts to resolve differences across states in areas like divorce, child custody and inheritance [R1.10].

On 09 May 2012, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” With that one statement, he made it clear that he believes that itís wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships from getting married [R1.9].

On 10 November 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 10–8 party-line vote. The Bill next goes to the full Senate, though prospects for final passage are bleak and even bleaker in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. [R1.8].

The Respect for Marriage Act to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act in its entirety would, if passed, also require that in order to provide "certainty", marriages that are valid in the state where the couple got married will be recognized in other states for the "purposes of any federal law in which marital status is a factor" [R1.7].

On 16 March 2011, the Respect for Marriage Act was expected to be reintroduced by representatives Jerrold Nadler, John Conyers, and the four openly gay House members: Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline. The legislation already had 105 original cosponsors in the House [R1.6].


On 15 June 2009, the Department of State notified GLAD of the amended policy for issuance of passports effective February 2008, providing that "[a] name change will be recognized for purposes of issuing a passport if the name change occurs [by] [o]peration of state law", that includes same-sex persons lawfully married [C1.5], [R1.5].


In March 2008, an American AIDS activist has been denied a new passport by the US State Department on the grounds that his hyphenated surname with his married gay partner is illegal [R1.4].


In September 2004, the House emphatically rejected a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage [R1.3].


In 2002, the proposed federal Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligation Act would allow unmarried persons to sign a certificate affirming they are in a committed, intimate relationship with a domestic partner which, if passed would then provide certain benefits [R1.2].


In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was signed into law by President Clinton

The law defines marriage as "the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife" [R1.1] and in effect says that no state can be required to recognize a gay marriage performed in another state where such unions might be legal.

It is argued by some legal experts that DOMA violates the full faith and credit clause in the Constitution that requires each state to honor the laws of other states.

See: 3. Courts & Tribunals [R2.2].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.34], [R2.33].

On 06 March 2015, the US Supreme Court set 28 April for oral argument in four consolidated marriage equality cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, to address the questions “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” and “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?” [R2.32].

On 16 January 2015, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider the four same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, consolidated and heard together on the question as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to licence same-sex marriage and to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. A ruling is expected before the current term ends in late June [C2.31], [R2.30].

On 06 October 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of five cases from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin seeking the freedom to marry, leaving in force the five favorable marriage rulings reached in three federal appellate courts, meaning that soon, as many as 60% of the American people will be living in freedom-to-marry states [C2.29], [R2.28].

On 29 September 2014, the nine justices of the US Supreme Court likely met to discuss whether they should take up any or all of the seven petitions before the Court from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin on the issue of marriage equality. (The only public word from the Court after the conference will be its order list. The list could be released earlier but likely will issue on 06 October) [R2.27].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court released 5-4 decisions (1) ruling DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment , entitling same-sex partners to equal treatment in regard to Federal benefits (and raising obligations) and (2) dismissing the Prop 8 same-sex marriage case ruling the proponents do not have standing, allowing resumption of same-sex marriages in California if proponents do not seek a re-hearing within 25 days, after which the 9th Circuit Court must issue a dismissal order and lift the stay on the Walker ruling [C2.26], [C2.25], [R2.24].

On 28 February 2013, the Administration filed a brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry that rebuts “… the central argument that Proposition 8 advances an interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing because only heterosexual couples can produce “unintended pregnancies” and because the “overriging purpose” of marriage is to address that reality by affording a stable institution for procreation and child-rearing …” [C2.23], [R2.22]. A decision is expected in June 2013.

On 04 March 2013, the Supreme Court announced it would grant extended time for oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, with 50 minutes devoted to jurisdictional issues and 60 minutes devoted to the merits [R2.21].

On 24 January 2013, Harvard law professor Vicki C Jackson filed a brief with the US Supreme Court arguing that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act and that the Republican congressional leaders defending the law do not have the authority to do so [R2.20].

On 13 November 2012, the Supreme Court rescheduled the Prop 8 case and four DOMA cases for conference on 30 November 2012 [R2.19].

On 29 October 2012, the Prop 8 case (Hollingsworth v. Perry) and four DOMA cases before the Supreme Court (Windsor, Pedersen, Golinski and Massachusetts) were scheduled for the conference on November 20 [R2.18].

As at 27 March 2012, the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been found unconstitutional by federal courts in California and Massachusetts. Challenges are under way in Connecticut, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Rulings from Louisiana and Texas seem to support DOMA. And in some immigration cases judges have sided with DOMA, while at other times they've ruled against it [R2.17].

On 27 October 2011, the Service Members Defense Network filed suit in the federal court in Boston challenging the Defense of Marriage Act as well as provisions in federal code that define "spouse" to the exclusion of married gay couples [C2.16], [R2.15].

On 26 July 2011, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed papers in US federal court in Manhattan saying the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, violates same-sex couples' right to equal protection under the US Constitution [R2.14].

On 06 July 2011, the Justice Department filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss bringing the case of In Re Balas and Morales to an end and leaving in place an order signed by 20 bankruptcy judges in the Central District declaring DOMA unconstitutional and allowing a married gay couple to file bankruptcy jointly [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 27 June 2011, the Justice Department filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the US Bankruptcy Court ruling In Re Balas and Morales that found the federal ban on gay marriage unconstitutional [R2.11].

On 13 June 2011, Judge Thomas B. Donovan of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California concluded that the 1996 law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional as DOMA violates the equal protection rights of the Debtors as recognized under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 31 May 2011, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael S. McManus (E.D. Cal.), citing a May 4 decision by Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia G. Morris in In re Somers, 2011 WL 1709839, rejected a motion by the US Bankruptcy Trustee to dismiss a petitioned filed jointly by same-sex partners who were married in California in 2008 because of late filing. Further, the criteria for dismissing a bankruptcy petition as specified in the statute had not been met. He observed that as a practical matter it made no sense to dismiss the petition, since the assets and debts were joint and a dismissal would require filing of separate petitions, then a motion to consolidate [R2.8].

On 24 February 2011, Assistant attorney general Tony West notified the clerk of the First Circuit that the department will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services [R2.7].

On 23 February 2011, the Attorney General notified the Speaker of the House of Representatives and issued a statement to the effect that the Department of Justice would not defend the DOMA statute in the cases of Pedersen and Windsor as Section 3 of the Act would not meet a "more heightened standard of scrutiny" [R2.6], [R2.5].

In November 2010, two new cases Pedersen et al. v. Office of Personnel Management filed in the Federal Districts of Connecticut and Windsor v. USA filed in New York, challenge the constitutionality of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) [R2.4].


In March 2009, the constitutionality of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMO) was challenged in the Federal District Court in Boston in the case of Gill et a.l v. Office of Personnel Management et al.

See more under: LAWS - MASSACHUSETTS - MARRIAGE


On 17 November 2009, U.S. ninth circuit court of appeals judge Stephen Reinhardt awarded compensation to Brad Levenson and Tony Sears, a gay couple in Los Angeles, after a February ruling that they were wrongly denied spousal health benefits by the federal government [R2.3].

On 22 December 2005, the judicial appeals tribunal of the Cherokee Nation ruled that the marriage of a lesbian Cherokee couple cannot be invalidated by a tribal council [R2.2].

On 16 June 2005, in the federal court in California US District Judge Gary Taylor ruled that a federal law recognizing only unions between a man and a woman as valid does not violate the U.S. Constitution [R2.1].

The judge declined to rule on whether a state ban on same-sex marriage violates the civil rights of a gay Southern California couple while a separate legal challenge to California's law works its way through the state courts.

D1.30 Opinion: Opinion of the Cherokee Nation Attorney General No. 2016-CNAG-01 PNG 2MB 09 DEC 16
R1.29 PublicRadioTulsa: Cherokee AG Opinion: Tribe Should Recognize Same-Sex Marriages 09 DEC 16
D1.28 Notice of Approval of Relative Imigration Petition: Estate of Richard Frank Adams 05 JAN 16
R1.27 ThePride: United States Government says Los Angeles Gay Couple's 1975 Marriage is Valid 07 JUN 16
R1.26 Marcum LLP (Press Release): Pre-Marriage Considerations for Same-Sex Couples 26 JUN 15
D1.25 Address: Original Meaning and Marriage Equality 52 Hous. L. Rev. 1067 (2015) PDF 346.85kb 14 MAR 15
R1.24 PRNewswire: Houston Law Review Explores Same-Sex Marriage In Latest Issue 29 MAY 15
R1.23 Department of Justice: Attorney General Holder Announces Federal Government to Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples in Six Additional States 25 OCT 14
R1.22 US Department of Justice: After Supreme Court Declines to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases, Attorney General Holder Announces Federal Government to Recognize Couples in Seven New States 17 OCT 14
R1.21 LGBTQ Nation: Obama Administration expands federal benefits for married same-sex couples US (DC) 20 JUN
R1.20 TheWallStreetJournal: Same-Sex Benefits Expansion Comes With Caveats 20 JUN 14
D1.19 Office of the Attorney General: Department Policy on Ensuring Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Married Couples PDF 1.28MB 10 FEB 14
R1.18 BuzzFeed: Attorney General Formalizes "Broad" Federal Recognition Of Same-Sex Couplesí Marriages 10 FEB 14
D1.17 Department of Justice: Remarks as prepared for delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala PDF 130.30kb, 08 FEB 14
R1.16 Human Rights Campaign: Attorney General Makes Landmark Announcement from HRC NY Gala Stage 08 FEB 14
D1.15 Advisory Opinion: United States Senate Candidate Dan Winslow AO 2013-02 PDF 43.51kb, 25 APR 13
R1.14 GayStarNews: DOMA makes it illegal for gay couples to make joint political donations, rules FEC 27 APR 13
D1.13 Democrats: Moving America Forward: 2012 Democratic National Platform PDF 336.06kb, 28 AUG 12
R1.12 The Advocate: Democrats Approve Marriage Equality Platform 04 SEP 12
R1.11 Bloomberg Businesweek: Democratic Party Backs Same-Sex Marriage for 2012 Platform 11 AUG 12
R1.10 New York Times: A Way Out of the Same-Sex Marriage Mess 23 MAY 12
R1.9 The White House: President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage 09 MAY 12
R1.8 ABC News: DOMA Repeal Takes a Step Forward in the Senate 10 NOV 11
R1.7 New York Times: What a Repeal of the Gay Marriage Ban Means 09 JUN 11
R1.6 The Advocate: DOMA Repeal Bill Introduced Wednesday 14 MAR 11
C1.5 Nancy Gill, et al v. Office of Personnel Management, et al Case No. 1:09–cv–10309 JLT (D. Mass)
US Department of Justice: Letter to GLAD 15 JUN 09
R1.5 The Advocate: DOMA Lawsuit Wins First Victory 17 JUN 09
R1.4 PinkNews.co.uk: US Rules Gay Married Name 'illegal' and Refuses Passport 26 MAR 08
R1.3 The Guardian: House Defeats Gay Marriage Ban Amendment 30 SEP 04
R1.2 The Star-Ledger: Jersey Bill Would Give Same-sex Couples Legal Benefits 20 OCT 02
R1.1 Washington Times: Gay-partner Benefits a Race Issue 30 SEP 02
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.34 Opinion: Obergefell, et al v. Hodges et al No. 14-556 PDF 428.77kb, 26 JUN 15
R2.33 ScotusBlog: Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples 26 JUN 15
R2.32 TheAdvocate: Supreme Court Sets a Date for Marriage Cases 06 MAR 15
C2.31 Order List: 574 U.S.: Certiorari Granted PDF 42.84kb, 16 JAN 15
R2.30 USAtoday: Supreme Court agrees to rule on gay marriage 16 JAN 15
C2.29 Orders: Order List: 574 U.S. PDF 433.43kb, 06 OCT 14
R2.28 FreedomToMarry: SCOTUS denies review of marriage cases, bringing the freedom to marry to 5 states 06 OCT 14
R2.27 GayNZ: Supreme Court discusses marriage 30 SEP 14
C2.26 Opinion: Dennis Hollingsworth et al v. Kristin M Perry et al No. 12-144 Word 169.09kb, 26 JUN 13
C2.25 Opinion: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States et al No. 12-307 Word 320.65kb, 26 JUN 13
R2.24 The Advocate: Doma Unconstitutional; California Ban on Marriage Dead 26 JUN 13
C2.23 Brief: Brief for the United States as amicus curiae supporting respondents PDF 182.78kb, 28 FEB 13
R2.22 Yahoo! News - The Ticket: Argument against gay marriage in California hinges on accidental pregnancies 04 MAR 13
R2.21 Washington Blade: Court grants extended time for DOMA arguments 04 MAR 13
R2.20 The Advocate: Law Professor Challenges Supreme Court's Jurisdiction Over DOMA 25 JAN 13
R2.19 MetroWeekly: Supreme Court Delays Marriage Equality Cases 13 NOV 12
R2.18 Prop8 Trial Tracker: Supreme Court plans to conference Prop 8 case on November 20 29 OCT 12
R2.17 JDSupra: Federal Court Decisions Chip Away at Same-Sex Marriage Ban 27 MAR 12
C2.16 Complaint: Major Shannon L McLaughlin & Others v. Leon E Panetta & Others PDF 209.79kb, 27 OCT 11
R2.15 SLDN: SLDN Files Landmark Litigation on Behalf of Married Gay and Lesbian Service Members, Veterans 27 OCT 11
R2.14 Reuters: New York challenges Defense of Marriage Act 26 JUL 11
C2.13 United States Bankruptcy Court Central District of California: In re: Gene Douglas Balas and Carlos A. Morales Case No. 2:11-bk-17831 TD, 1 PDF 47.95kb, 07 JUL 11
R2.12 The Recorder: Feds Concede DOMA Fight in Bankruptcy Court 07 JUL 11
R2.11 Jurist: DOJ appeals bankruptcy ruling striking down federal same-sex marriage ban 30 JUN 11
C2.10 United States Bankruptcy Court Central District of California: In re: Gene Douglas Balas and Carlos A. Morales Case No. 2:11-bk-17831 TD, 1 PDF 318.68kb, 13 JUN 11
R2.9 New York Times: A California Bankruptcy Court Rejects U.S. Law Barring Same-Sex Marriage 14 JUN 11
R2.8 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Bankruptcy judge rejects motion to dismiss joint petition PDF 652.99kb, at page 150, JUL 11
R2.7 The Advocate: Government Drops Two More DOMA Cases 25 FEB 11
R2.6 Department of Justice: Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act 23 FEB 11
R2.5 Department of Justice: Letter from the Attorney General to Congress on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act 23 FEB 11
R2.4 The Advocate: Two New Lawsuits Challenge DOMA 09 NOV 10
R2.3 The Advocate: Judge Orders Feds to Pay Gay Couple 18 NOV 09
R2.2 The Advocate: Marriage of Cherokee Same-sex Couple Stands 05 JAN 06
R2.1 The Advocate: Challenge to Federal Marriage Ban Tossed Out 18-20 JUN 05
Military, Veterans Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Federal

On 19 December 2016, President Barack Obama was reported to have pardoned Peter Heidgerd, now 56. convicted 17 July 1989 of conduct unbecoming an officer while at Fort Gordon near Augusta. He spent a year behind bars in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth [R1.77].

On 14 November 2016, it was reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs had scrapped a proposed plan to cover gender reassignment surgery for transgender veterans from the Fall 2016 Unified Agenda, citing concerns about appropriate funding. The VA currently provides other services for trans veterans, including hormone therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation and long-term care following gender reassignment surgery [R1.76].

On 07 November 2016, it was reported that the Department of Defense is preparing to announce as soon as this week an ending of all unmarried same-sex domestic partner benefits for civilian employees, effective 31 December 2016, claiming it is meant to ensure ''that both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are treated on an equal basis'' [R1.75].

On 19 September 2016, Defense Department spokesman Air Force Major Ben Sakrisson reportedly said that active-duty personnel may qualify for sex-reassignment surgery if their doctors recommend it and senior military health officials approve it. Gender reassignment surgeries for active-duty personnel will be conducted at either a military hospital or, if qualified care is unavailable at a military facility, at a private hospital paid by Tricare. The benefit does not apply to non-active duty Tricare beneficiaries. Starting 03 October, the military health program will cover therapy and hormone treatments for Tricare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria but not surgery [R1.74].

On 30 June 2016, the US Department of Defense announced open service by transgender individuals, effective immediately [D1.73], [R1.72].

On 24 June 2016, it was reported that on 01 July the Department of Defense will finally announce an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military [R1.71].

On 14 April 2016, it was reported that the Republic of Korea (South Korea) had been added to the list of 53 duty station assignments outside of the United States approved for same-sex military spouses [R1.70].

On 29 January 2016, 82-year-old veteran Donald Hallman of Columbus was reported to have received an honorable discharge a half century after the Army kicked him out for being gay. Hallman requested a reversal of his 1955 ''undesirably'' discharged status after President Barack Obama repealed the military's ''Don't Ask Don't Tell'' rule in 2010. He served from 1953 to 1955 and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany [R1.69].

On 05 November 2015, it was reported that the US Veterans Benefits Administration awarded Joe Krumbach, husband of deceased Army vet Jerry Hatcher retroactive survivor benefits. The couple met in 1989 in Seattle and registered as domestic partners in 2003. In 2008 Jerry died of cancer. In 2013 the VA rejected Joe Krumbah's claim for 'Dependency and Indemnity Compensation' as Jerry had died four years before marriages by same-sex couples were legal. The Obergefell decision allowed Joe to retroactively amend Jerry's death certificate to show they were married, making him eligible for the benefits, which total about $80,000 [R1.68].

On 16 October 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued an "Administration of Same-Sex Spousal Benefits" letter to all VBA Regional Ooffices and Centers providing instructions and procedures for processing compensation, pension, dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), and vocational rehabilitation and employment (VR&E) claims involving same-sex marriage in light of the Obergefell decision [D1.67]. See also Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs "Important Information on Marriage".

On 17 September 2015, months after the landmark Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the country, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs voted (13-12) against an amendment (HR 2529: Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act) saying explicitly that same-sex spouses of veterans are entitled to the same benefits as straight ones [R1.66].

On 25 August 2015, it was reported that the Pentagon's ban on transgender troops would end 27 May under a draft timeline on repeal of the policy that affects about 12,000 troops. The memo, circulated last week among top personnel and medical officials, lays out the road map for ending the policy and highlights some of the potential issues, including a pilot program that would provide leaves of absences for transgender troops being treated with hormones or having surgery [R1.65].

On 23 January 2015, the Navy officially approved the first DD-214 request of m2f transgender veteran Paula Neira to a change of her name on her military record [R1.64].

On 20 June 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs released guidance to same-sex couples seeking benefits [D1.63], [R1.62].

On 06 June 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that same-sex domestic partners and civil union partners of military personnel will be granted the same burial benefits that married spouses of service members receive [R1.61].

On 17 May 2014, North Carolina National Guardsman and Iraq veteran Tracy Dice Johnson, who was married to National Guard Staff Sergeant Donna Johnson killed in a suicide bomber attack in Khost, Afghanistan in 2012, announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs had reviewed her case and that she had been granted the same survivor benefits as straight spouses [R1.60].

On 28 April 2014, transgender communications specialist sailor Landon Williams reportedly was forcefully discharged by the US Navy in December 2013 after superiors discovered he had transitioned to be a male. The US Defense Department still retains a policy that was set when being transgender was viewed as a form of mental illness and classes it as a 'paraphilia' [R1.59].

On 06 January 2014, the Department of Defense announced an interim regulation under which same-sex spouses are entitled to the same DoD identification cards as their opposite-sex counterparts and now have access to health care, life insurance and survivor benefits. Comments are due by 07 March [D1.58], [R1.57].

On 13 December 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that National Guard organizations in all 50 states are now compliant with the Department of Defense's directive to extend benefits to all service members' legal spouses. Members in any state-run National Guard can now obtain military identification cards for their husbands or wives [R1.56].

On 29 October 2013, the US Coast Guard issued guidance as to changes the Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment policy statement to include sexual orientation (gender identity is not referred to) and genetic information as additional bases for prohibited discrimination [D1.55], [R1.54].

On 05 October 2013, the office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense was reported to circulated a memo mid-September alerting same-sex married couples they are now under the same federal ethics rules as heterosexual marriage couples and must avoid criminal conflicts of interest and also must include their spouse's incomes and investments if they are required to file a financial disclosure form [R1.53].

On 04 September 2013, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that President Obama had directed the Executive Branch to take steps allowing for same-sex spouses of military veterans to collect federal benefits [D1.52], [R1.51].

On 14 August 2013, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki advised Senator Jeanne Shaheen that benefits for same-sex spouses of veterans will continue to be denied for the time being despite the US Supreme Court's ruling against Defense of Marriage Act, because a portion of the US code governing veterans' benefits, Title 38, defines a spouse as a member of the opposite sex and that definition is independent of DOMA [D1.50], [R1.49].

On 14 August 2013, the Pentagon announced plans to extend full personnel benefits including housing and healthcare, to all legally married same-sex military spouses by 03 September [R1.48].

On 26 June 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement that says the Pentagon will begin the process to extend health care, housing and other federal benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members as soon as possible. By 01 October, it would extend a variety of benefits to same-sex partners, including access to on-base commissaries and some health and welfare programs [R1.47].


On 06 June 2013, the Pentagon notified plans to begin issuing identification cards to the same-sex partners of service members beginning Sept. 1, entitling them to benefits including education, survivor, commissary, travel, counseling and transportation, but not health care and housing allowances. The service member and their same-sex domestic partner must sign a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship [R1.46].


On 02 May 2013, in a letter to Autumn Sandeen the Pentagon confirmed that the Navy had updated its records to show she is a (m2f transgender) woman. The 'symbolic' move is regarded as a significant step toward more open service [R1.45].


On 14 February 2013, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki granted a waiver of department policy to allow the ashes of Nancy Lynchild – the same-sex spouse of retired Lt. Col. Linda Campbell – to be buried in a US national military cemetery. The waiver is specific to Lt. Col. Campbell and does not necessarily signal a formal change of policy [R1.44].


On 11 February 2013, Secretary Leon Panetta announced same-sex domestic partner benefits policy changes to the extent allowable under the law (presently constrained by DOMA) [R1.43].

Additional benefits include:

  • Dependent ID cards, which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies
  • Commisary privilges
  • Morale, welfare, and recreation programs
  • Surveys of military families
  • Quadrennial quality of life review
  • Emergency leave
  • Emergency leave of absence
  • Youth sponsorship program
  • Youth programs
  • Family center programs
  • Sexual assault counseling program
  • Joint duty assignments
  • Exemption from hostile-fire areas
  • Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations
  • Transportation to and from primary and secondary school for minor dependents
  • Authority of service secretary to transport remains of a dependent
  • Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives
  • Payments to missing persons
  • Space-available travel on DoD aircraft
  • Child care
  • Legal assistance

On 06 June 2013, the Pentagon notified plans to begin issuing identification cards to the same-sex partners of service members beginning Sept. 1, entitling them to benefits including education, survivor, commissary, travel, counseling and transportation, but not health care and housing allowances. The service member and their same-sex domestic partner must sign a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship [R1.43].


On 23 January 2013, a senior defense official revealed that Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense, would be lifting the military ban on women serving in combat. Transgender and transsexual men and women remain banned from service altogether, due to unchanged medical guidelines [R1.42].


On 05 January 2012, the Pentagon reportedly still bans personnel from accessing LGBT content from US Department of Defence computers over a year after the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell [R1.41].


On 06 August 2012, President Obama signed the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (HR 1627) introducing a range of new military benefits in addition to the law prohibiting pickets at the funerals of military personnel (Sec. 601) [R1.40].


On 19 July 2012, the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill that would ban the use of military funds for the purpose of same-sex couples holding weddings or other commitment ceremonies on military bases and ban military chaplains from conducting any such unions. The Senate is expected to jettison the amendment [R1.39].


On 20 July 2012, in a military wide memo from the Pentagon, the US military for the first time allowed gay men and women to wear their uniforms at the San Diego Pride parade on 21 July [D1.38], [R1.37].


On 05 March 2012, transgender veterans are able to change the gender marker on their medical records by simply providing a physicianís letter confirming gender reassignment, according to a clarification of a Veterans Health Administration policy [R1.36].


On 23 February 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to House Speaker John Boehner notifying that the Administration would no longer defend legislation in court banning same-sex couples from receiving military and veterans benefits [D1.35], [R1.34].


On 15 December 2011, the Senate passed the 2012 Defense spending bill on a 86–13 vote, minus the orginally-passed repeal of the prohibition against sodomy and bestiality in the military. The House passed the bill on 14 December 2011 on a 238–136 vote [R1.33].

Previously:

On 12 December 2011, the conference committee examining the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 dropped antigay provisions, including an amendment that would have barred military chaplains from performing same-sex weddings in their official capacities. Article 125 was not repealed in the conference report despite the Senate including repeal in its version of the bill [R1.32].

On 30 November 2011, the Senate amended 93–7 S.1867 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012" by adding Sec. 527, providing that "A military chaplain who, as a matter of conscience or moral principle, does not wish to perform a marriage may not be required to do so." The House of Representatives version would flatly prohibit chaplains from performing any same sex-marriage [R1.31].

The Bill also includes a provision repealing Article 125, the provision against sodomy (see below). The Bill has yet to be reconciled with the House Bill and must be signed by the President before becoming law.


On 28 October 2011, the Department of Defense identified 14 benefits for members to designate whomever they wish as beneficiaries [R1.30]:

  • Service Members Group Life Insurance beneficiary;
  • Post Vietnam-era Veterans Assistance Program beneficiary;
  • All-volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program Ė Active Duty Death Benefit beneficiary;
  • Death Gratuity beneficiary;
  • Final Settlement of Accounts;
  • Wounded Warrior Designated Caregiver;
  • Thrift Savings Plan beneficiary;
  • Survivor Benefit for retirees;
  • Casualty Notification;
  • Escorts for Dependents of Deceased or Missing;
  • Designation of Persons Having Interest in Status of a Missing Member;
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance beneficiary;
  • Person Eligible to Receive Effects of Deceased Persons; and
  • Travel and Transportation Allowance: attendance at Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events.

See also: 2. Courts & Tribunals [R2.37] below.


On 28 July 2011, the SLDN released a legal guide to help gay military members, veterans and their families tackle living in a post-DADT world and emphasised that coming out won't be safe until the full repeal, which is 60-days after President Barack Obama's repeal certification. DADT was fully repealed 20 September 2011 [D1.29], [R1.28].


On 22 July 2011, President Obama formally certified that the American military was ready for the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Enactment of the repeal came into effect, on 20 September 2011, " … when service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve …" [R1.27].

Advocates of DADT repeal ultimately bargained away the requirement that the Pentagon implement a new nondiscrimination policy after lifting the ban against open-service. The provision – which would specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – was part of Murphy's initial amendment but was later removed to improve the chances of passage. See [D1.29] for guidance in the event of discrimination or harassment.

Previously:

On 23 December 2010, President Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 [R1.26] however Don't Ask, Don't Tell still remained in force until the provisions in the Act are completed, which was expected to take some time.

On 18 December 2010, the Senate passed the Bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell in a 65–31 vote. The legislation says the president and his top military advisers must certify that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' fighting ability. After that, there's a 60–day waiting period for the military [R1.25].


US Code. Title 10 – Armed Forces. Subtitle A – General Military Law
Section 925, Article 125. Sodomy [L1.24].

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

See also: 2. Courts & Tribunals below.


ATTENTION SERVICE MEMBERS: Under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, you have the right to remain silent and to consult with a defense attorney if you are investigated. Say nothing. Sign nothing. Get legal help.

Service members may contact Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) directly for confidential, free legal counseling by calling (202) 328-FAIR (3247) or by email, to: legal@sldn.org.


On 30 September 2011, the Pentagon announced that US military chaplains will be allowed to officiate at same-sex weddings at any private ceremony on or off a military installation as long as the ceremony is not barred by state and local laws and does not go against the chaplain's religious tenets [R1.23].

On 10 May 2011, Rear Admiral M L Tidd, the chief Navy chaplain, abruptly suspended a memorandum he issued last month that would have eventually opened the door to same sex weddings or civil unions on Navy bases in states where it is legal [R1.22].

On 13 April 2011, the Office of Navy Chaplains reportedly became more accepting of same-sex "marriage." Citing "additional legal review," the Navy says it "has concluded that … if the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, then the base facilities may be used to celebrate the marriage … This is a change to previous training that stated same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property" [R1.21], [R1.20].

On 15 December 2010, the House voted (250–175 on HR 2965 Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010) to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, shifting the debate to the Senate [R1.19].

On 11 December 2010, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced a bipartisan stand alone bill (S. 4022) co-sponsored by Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Udall (D-CO), to end the ban on gay and lesbian troops serving openly in the military [R1.18]. It was read twice and referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee [R1.17].

On 09 December 2010, the Senate voted 57 – 40 in the procedural vote to block the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. 60 votes were needed to move forward. However, some senators have said they will introduce a separate Bill to repeal DADT. It is expected to be co-sponsored by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) [R1.16].

On 28 November 2010, the 10-month Pentagon Study concluded that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military's ability to fight [R1.15].

On 21 September 2010, the Senate voted 56–43 to prevent debate of the National Defense Authorization Act, to which the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal measure was attached [R1.14].

On 10 September 2010, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said that the Department of Justice was reviewing the decision by a federal judge ruling "don't ask, don't tell" unconstitutional (see 2. Courts & Tribunals below), but he added that President Barack Obama continues to be focused on completing legislative repeal of the policy the fall [R1.13].

On 10 September 2010, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) reissued a national DO NOT COME OUT warning to active duty, guard, and reserve service members after a federal court ruled DADT unconstitutional [R1.12].

On 08 July 2010, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network warned gays in the military not to answer a Pentagon survey seeking opinions on repeal of the policy that bans homosexuals from serving openly as they could be accidentally exposed by answering the survey and that the Defense Department had not agreed to grant immunity should that happen [R1.11].

On 27 May 2010, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House approved measures to repeal the 1993 law that allows gay people to serve in the armed services only if they hide their sexual orientation [R1.10].

On 25 March 2010, US defence secretary Robert Gates announced that effective immediately anonymous complaints about soldiers' sexuality will no longer be regarded and discharges of those outed by third parties will be curbed, easing the law on firing gay soldiers [R1.9].

In January 2010, a new study estimated 66,000 gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members were currently serving in the U.S. military [R1.8].

In October 2009, the final 2009 issue of Joint Forces Quarterly contains an in-depth article by Colonel Om Prakash entitled "The Efficacy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It lays out a devastating assessment of DADT. Beginning with the origins of and early arguments for the policy in the Clinton administration, Prakash goes on to demonstrate that the empirical evidence in support of DADT has never surfaced [R1.7].

In May 2009, the Pentagon said there were no plans to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the directive that bans gays from serving openly in the military [R1.6].

In July 2008, a study sponsored by the Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, concluded that Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win [R1.5].

In November 2007, twenty-eight former US military chiefs have collectively called for a repeal of the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy [R1.4] .

In May 2003, an article published in the summer issue of "Parameters," a publication of the U.S. Army, concluded that the military's gay ban is "based on prejudice, not on military necessity" [R1.3].

In May 2001, the Cox Commision charged with reviewing the UCMJ recommended that the Article be repealed and replaced with a statute governing sexual abuse similar to laws adopted by many states and in Title 18 of the United States Code [R1.2] .

The commission's recommendations have been forwarded to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has ordered a comprehensive review of Pentagon personnel policies.

The report will also be shared with the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services and to the Code Committee on Military Justice.

In October 1999, President Clinton signed an executive order amending the US military criminal code to add stiffer penalties for hate crimes [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 December 2016, the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records determined that the military records of 91-year old Hubert Edward Squires be corrected and effective immediately be corrected to show that on 17 March 1948, he was furnished an ''Honorable'' discharge [C2.66], [R2.65].

On 18 November 2016, 91-year-old veteran Hubert Edward Spires discharged from the Air Force in 1948 for being gay filed a federal lawsuit to upgrade his discharge status from ''undesirable'' to honorable [C2.64], [R2.63].

On 24 February 2016, Chief United States District Judge Thomas O Rice in the US District Court, Eastern District of Washington, dismissed the claim of Mark C Wilhelm that challenged his court-martial conviction for having consensual gay sex after being unsuccessfully blackmailed by ''Russian intelligence officers'' as, inter alia it was barred by the statute of limitations. However, the Court allowed him 30 days to amend his second cause of action seeking to expunge his conviction under the Administrative Procedures Act [C2.62], [R2.61].

On 09 July 2015, US Magistrate Ron Bush concluded that seventy-four-year-old Navy veteran Madelynn Lee Taylor has the right to be buried with her wife at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery when she dies saying she “is entitled to have the assurance that there is a court order in place requiring that what she has a right to have happen if she were to pass away today, will happen when she does pass away.” [R2.60].

On 01 April 2015, the US Equal Opportunity Commission ruled that 49-year-old disabled veteran Tamara Lusardi, currently employed by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research as a software quality assurance specialist, was subjected to a “hostile working environment” by the Army in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, awarding her an undisclosed monetary sum for unlawful workplace discrimination [C2.59], [R2.58].

On 04 March 2015, the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals ordered that 'future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun' [C2.57], [R2.56].

On 25 February 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces unanimously ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that any of Techincal Sergeant David Gutierrez's acts were likely to transmit HIV to his partners, overturning a 25-year precedent that had allowed military personnel to be convicted of aggravated assault solely on the basis of a positive HIV test [C2.55], [R2.54].

On 25 February 2014, the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (upon remand) affirmed the finding that upheld the 18 January 2011 conviction of Technical Sergeant David Gutierrez on seven counts of aggravated assault [C2.53].

On 02 October 2013, Judge Richard Stearns of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts entered judgment in favor of the same-gender married couples who challenged the laws that discriminated against them in the military, allowing them to seek DoD and DVA benefits as of the date they sought to register the spouses with DoD in late 2011 [R2.52].

On 29 August 2013, US district judge Consuelo Marshall ruled in Cooper-Harris et al v. United States of America that Title 38, a section of US law preventing same-sex couples from receiving the same veterans' benefits as straight couples, is unconstitutional [C2.51], [R2.50].

On 07 August 2013, military judge, Cmdr. Charles Stimson, dismissed a charge against Chief Petty Officer Sabrina Russell that accused the 31-year-old sailor of an inappropriate relationship with another servicewoman at Naval Station Great Lakes. Her civil union partner Petty Officer 1st Class Jodi Geibel opted to avoid court-martial proceedings by accepting nonjudicial punishment - a $2,000 fine and loss of her job specialty as a recruit division commander [R2.49].

On 21 March 2013, the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Technical Sergeant David Gutierrez, found guilty 18 January 2011 of seven counts of aggravated assault, violating his commander's orders (to notify his partners that he is HIV-positive), and for failing to notify partners about his HIV status and to use condoms [C2.48], [R2.47].

On 01 April 2013, it was reported that Chief Petty Officer Sabrina Russell would face a trial by court-martial for "fraternization" after for entering into a relationship, and a civil union, with Jodi Geidel, a female petty officer first class she met while she was on duty in Afghanistan [R2.46].

On 07 January 2013, under a settlement in Collins v. United States, military personnel who saw their separation pay cut in half because they were discharged for being gay will be compensated with the remainder [R2.45].

In September 2012, the Personnel Review Board recommended that Midshipman Andrew Koch, a FabScout model known as Patrick Hunter, be discharged from the US Navy ROTC program for doing gay pornography that, whilst legal, was determined to be “inconsistent with good order and discipline”, and “inconsistent with what the Navy deems morally acceptable” [R2.44].

On 12 April 2012, US District Judge Richard Stearns denied the request from plaintiffs in the case of Major Shannon L McLaughlin & Others v. Leon E Panetta & Others for an April 20 deadline for attorneys representing the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to intervene [R2.43].

On 01 February 2012, Tracey Cooper-Harris and Maggie Cooper Harris filed a complaint in the US District Court Central District of California, challenging the USC Title 38 - Veterans' Benefit definition of the term “spouse” as meaning a person of the opposite sex who is a wife or husband [C2.42], [R2.41].

On 21 November 2011, the Service Members Defence Network filed a motion for summary judgment in the case McLaughlin v. U.S., the legal challenge on behalf of current and former service members seeking equal recognition, benefits and family support for equal sacrifice and service in the US Armed Forces [R2.40].

On 09 November 2011, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a sought for re-hearing, ending the legal challenge against an earlier ruling vacating District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' finding that the DADT law, barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, was unconstitutional [R2.39].

On 27 October 2011, the Service Members Defense Network filed suit in the federal court in Boston challenging the Defense of Marriage Act as well as provisions in federal code that define "spouse" to the exclusion of married gay couples [C2.38], [R2.37].

On 29 September 2011, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal vacated District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling that the DADT law was unconstitutional. Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, preclusive, or binding effect and there remains no law or ruling prohibiting future discrimination of this sort in the armed forces [C2.36], [R2.35].

On 01 September 2011, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena heard oral arguments in the Log Cabin Republicans' challenge to the constitutionality of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" [R2.34].

On 15 July 2011, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled to temporarily reinstate “don't ask, don't tell,” though it continued, for now, to block the government from “investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the … policy” [C2.33], [R2.32].

On 11 July 2011, a 9th US Circuit Court clerk ordered the Justice Department to instruct the court on whether it intends to defend the policy's constitutionality "within such time as to … enable Congress to take action to intervene in timely fashion in this proceeding" and respond to the order within 10 days [C2.31], [R2.30].

On 06 July 2011, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals blocked further enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by the U.S. military, more than six months after Congress repealed the policy [C2.29], [R2.28].

On 28 January 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected the government's request to suspend a lawsuit challenging the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers and issued an order requiring the Department of Justice to file papers by Feb. 25 arguing why the court should overturn a Southern California trial judge who declared the "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional [R2.27].

On 29 December 2010, in a filing to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit, the Justice Department sought to suspend its appeal in the Log Cabin Republicans' longstanding federal lawsuit against the policy. The Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper called the motion a stall tactic that would delay the government's opening brief in the appeal due January 24 [R2.26].

On 22 December 2010, the Log Cabin Republicans confirmed that the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America and Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense case would not be withdrawn until the certifications from the military chiefs that the policy will no longer be enforced are given [R2.25].

On 23 November 2010, the Department of Justice filed an appeal US District Judge Ronald Leighton's 24 September ruling that Air Force major Margaret Witt, who was discharged in 2006 under "don't ask, don't tell" must be reinstated [R2.24].

On 12 November 2010, the Supreme Court Court denied the application of the Log Cabin Republicans to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on 01 November 2010 [R2..23].

On 05 November 2010, the Log Cabin Republicans applied to the US Supreme Court to vacate the 2–1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals keeping "don't ask, don't tell" in place until it considers the government's appeal of the judge's decision declaring the policy unconstitutional and allow the trial judge's order barring enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military to go back into effect [C2..22], [R2..22].

On 01 November 2010, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the military to continue to enforce "don't ask, don't tell" while the government appeals a recent federal court decision striking down the policy as unconstitutional, ruling "the lack of an orderly transition in policy" could produce "immediate harm" and "precipitous injury" [R2.21].

On 20 October 2010, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, issued a one-page order late in the day allowing the Pentagon to continue enforcing the "don't ask, don't tell" [R2.20].

On 20 October 2010, the Department of Justice filed and Emergency Motion seeking an administrative stay of the District Court's order pending resolution of the government's appeal [R2.19].

On 19 October 2010, U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips denied a request by the Justice Department to stay her ruling against any further enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy [R2.18].

On 18 October 2010, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips tentatively refused to let the Pentagon reinstate its ban on openly gay men and women in the US military while the government appeals her decision declaring the "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional [R2.17].

On 14 October 2010, the Department of Justice requested a stay of a federal judge's order barring further enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell" and also appealed US district judge Virginia A. Phillips's decision striking down DADT as unconstitutional to a federal appeals court [R2.16].

On 12 October 2010, United States District Judge Virginia A Phillips issued a worldwide injunction stopping enforcement of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. The US Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal [C2.15], [R2.15].

On 24 September 2010, US District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that flight nurse Major Margaret Witt discharged from the Air Force for being gay should be given her job back as soon as possible [R2.14]. See also: [R2.6] and R2.5] below

On 09 September 2010, U.S. District Judge Virginia A Phillips declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional, saying the "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates the 1st Amendment and due process rights of lesbians and gay men. The judge said she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy. However, the Justice Department (DOJ) will have an opportunity to appeal that decision [R2.13]. On 23 September 2010, the DOJ argued that a permanent injunction against enforcing the 17-year-old law would be untenable [R2.12].

In September 2010, a woman who was discharged from the US Air Force for being gay will be the subject of a federal trial in which the burden will be on her former employers to prove that her sexuality was in any way harmful to morale among her unit (the "Witt standard" – See: [R2.6] and [R2.5] below) [R2.11].

On 24 August 2010, military judge Navy Captain Moira Modzelewski sentenced Staff Sgt. James McCoy to a year in confinement, gave him a reduction in rank, and ordered a bad conduct discharge. McCoy pleaded guilty to abusing 17 male subordinates by touching them sexually, making sexually offensive comments, and accusing them of being gay [R2.10].

In June 2009, at the request of the White House, the US Supreme Court declined to review the case of former Army captain James Pietrangelo concerning the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian service members [R2.9].

In April 2009, District Judge James Robinson awarded $491,190 (£330,653 to a former Army Special Forces commander who was rejected from a job because she was undergoing gender reassigment has won her case for sexual discrimination [R2.8].

In June 2008, a federal appeals court in Boston on Monday threw out the lawsuit Cook v. Gates, which challenged the constitutionality of "don't ask, don't tell," the military policy that prohibits lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the military and legal experts say the discrepancy of the two rulings will likely land the issue in the U.S. Supreme Court [R2.7].

In May 2008, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled (in the case of Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt) that the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy violates the U.S. Constitution. The 9th Circuit's three-judge panel did not actually declare "Don't ask, don't tell" unconstitutional in its own right. Rather, the panel ruled that the policy would have to be applied on an individual basis. In other words, the military would need to demonstrate not merely that the presence of gay or lesbian people in the ranks was damaging to military morale, but that the presence of a particular gay or lesbian person was damaging to morale [R2.6].

The ruling Witt case stands in states covered by the 9th Circuit – Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington and in theory requires the military to demonstrate that the firing promotes cohesion or discipline in the unit – a much higher standard. The ruling is largely overlooked by the military but may force the military to pay punitive damages if challenged in the Federal Court [R2.5].

In August 2004, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the guilty plea of a soldier who engaged in consensual oral sodomy, citing the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws United States v. Bullock [R2.4].

In August 2004, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces declined to strike down the armed forces' ban on private, consensual sodomy, known as Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice [R2.3].

In October 2003, in the wake of the US Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning state sodomy laws, Counsel for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has argued in the case of United States v. Marcum that the decision also invalidates the military's criminalization of private, consensual sodomy, known as Article 125 United States v. Marcum [R2.2].

In July 2003, Lt. Col. Steve Loomis, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran filed suit with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims challenging the constitutionality of the military's antigay "don't ask, don't tell" policy, citing the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Texas sodomy case [R2.1].

3.

State

In March 2008, under a bill then being considered by the Massachusetts state senate military veterans discharged under the Pentagon's ban on openly gay and lesbian service members would receive benefits through the state [R3.1].

Federal
R1.77 GayStarNews: Obama pardons US Army captain who spent year in prison for being gay 19 JAN 17
R1.76 WashingtonBlade: VA nixes plan to cover gender reassignment surgery 14 NOV 16
R1.75 LGBTQnation: Pentagon to same-sex domestic partners: Get married by New Yearís Eve, or else 07 NOV 16
R1.74 MilitaryTimes: Pentagon to cover sex-reassignment surgery for transgender active-duty troops 19 SEP 16
D1.73 Fact Sheet: Transgender Service Member Policy Implementation Fact Sheet PDF 39.44kb, 30 JUN 16
R1.72 Department of Defense: Transgender Service Members Can Now Serve Openly, Carter Announces 30 JUN 16
R1.71 HumanRightsCampaign: Transgender Military Ban To Be Lifted July 1st 24 JUN 16
R1.70 American Military Partners Association: Defense Department Adds South Korea To List of Duty Stations Approved for Same-Sex Military Spouses 14 APR 16
R1.69 LGBTQnation: A gay veteran, kicked out of Army, receives honorable discharge 29 JAN 16
R1.68 NewCivilRightsMovement: Widower Of Vietnam Era Army Vet Awarded Spousal Survivor Benefits 05 NOV 15
D1.67 Department of Veterans Affairs: Administration of Same-Sex Spousal Benefits PDF 81.16kb 16 OCT 15
R1.66 TheWashingtonPost: Court says same-sex spouses are equal … but Congress won't 18 SEP 15
R1.65 USAtoday: Military transgender ban set to end next May 25 AUG 15
R1.64 SDGLN: Navy grants transgender veteran first official name-change approval in military record 29 JAN 15
D1.63 Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Provides Guidance to Same-Sex Married Couples Seeking Benefits PDF 199.35kb, 20 JUN 14
R1.62 Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Provides Guidance to Same-Sex Married Couples Seeking Benefits 20 JUN 14
R1.61 TheAdvocate: Gay, Lesbian Vets Can Rest in Peace With Partners 06 JUN 14
R1.60 PinkNews: Lesbian widow announces she is granted survivor benefit 19 MAY 14
R1.59 GayStarNews: US Navy transgender sailor discharged for transitioning at work 28 APR 14
D1.58 Department of Defense: Identification (ID) Cards for Members of the Uniformed Services, Their Dependents, and Other Eligible Individuals Doc No: 2013-30620, 06 JAN 14
R1.57 Courthouse News Service: Same-Sex Spouses Get Military ID Cards 07 JAN 14
R1.56 Hagel: Full National Guard To Recognize Gay Couples 13 DEC 13
D1.55 Guidance: Equal Opportunity (EO) and Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy Statements 29 OCT 13
R1.54 WashingtonBlade: Coast Guard enacts pro-gay non-discrimination policy 31 OCT 13
R1.53 The Washington Times: Pentagon: Ethics rules now apply to married gays 05 OCT 13
D1.52 Department of Justice: Attorney General Holder Announces Move to Extend Veterans Benefits to Same-Sex Married Couples 13-991, 04 SEP 13
R1.51 DailyQueerNews: Veterans Benefits Extended to Same-Sex Married Couples 06 SEP 13
D1.50 The Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Letter to Senator Jeanne Shaheen PDF 63.02kb,14 AUG 13
R1.49 The Advocate: No Spousal Benefits for Gay Veterans, Yet 27 AUG 13
R1.48 Out: Pentagon Backs Gay Nups, Gives Full Benefits 14 aug 13
R1.47 EdgeOnTheNet: Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Gay Service Spouses 26 JUN 13
R1.46 The Washington Times: Military benefits for same-sex couples to begin Sept. 1 07 JUN 13
R1.45 MailOnline: Pentagon recognizes transgender service members for first time in 'symbolic' move for LGBT community 16 MAY 13
R1.44 MarineCorpsTimes: VA grants burial rights for same-sex couple 14 FEB 13
R1.43 The Advocate: Sec. Panetta Announces Benefits For Same-Sex Military Spouses and Partners 11 FEB 13
R1.42 Examiner.com: Pentagon lifts women's combat ban but transgender community still unfit to serve 23 JAN 13
R1.41 GayStarNews: Pentagon still banning personnel from accessing LGBT websites 05 JAN 12
R1.40 PinkNews: Obama signs military funeral protest ban bill 07 AUG 12
R1.39 Queerty: House Approves Ban On Same-Sex Unions On Military Bases 22 JUL 12
D1.38 Memorandum: Request for Guidance Regarding the San Diego Pride Parade PDF 19 JUL 12
R1.37 GayStarNews: US military allowed to wear uniforms at gay pride 20 JUL 12
R1.36 The Advocate: Policy Clarified for Vets Changing Gender Markers 05 MAR 12
National Center for Transgender Equality: Veterans Administration Makes Important Clarification on Records Policy (undated)
D1.35 Department of Justice: Re: McLaughlin v. Panetta, No. 11-11905 (D. Mass) PDF 1.47MB, 17 FEB 12
R1.34 Huffington Post: Justice Department Will No Longer Defend Law Blocking Military Benefits For Same-Sex Couples 17 FEB 12
R1.33 CNS News: Senate Passes $662 Billion Defense Authorization Bill 15 DEC 11
R1.32 The Advocate: Congress Drops Antigay Provisions in Defense Bill 12 DEC 11
R1.31 ArmyTimes: Senate lets chaplains opt out of gay weddings 30 NOV 11
R1.30 US Department of Defense: Department Reminds Troops of Member-designated Benefits 28 OCT 11
D1.29 SLDN: Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Military Service PDF 1.48MB, 28 JUL 11
R1.28 365Gay.com: New guide covers living as an out gay man in a post-DADT world 29 JUL 11
R1.27 The New York Times: Obama Ends 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy 22 JUL 11
R1.26 The Advocate: DADT Lawsuit Not Dead Yet 22 DEC 10
R1.25 365Gay.com: Senate votes to REPEAL Don't Ask, Don't Tell 18 DEC 10
L1.24 US Code: Article 125 – Sodomy
R1.23 Reuters: US military chaplains can officiate at gay weddings 30 SEP 11
R1.22 Reuters: Same-sex weddings on Navy bases under review 11 MAY 11
R2.21 Media Research Center: Revision of Chaplain Corps Tier 1 Training PDF 371.22kb, 13 APR 11
R1.20 Spero News: Navy Jumps Ship on DOMA 04 MAY 11
R1.19 abs News13: House votes to repeal ban on open gays in military 15 DEC 10
R1.18 The Advocate: New DADT Repeal Bill Introduced 11 DEC 10
R1.17 Govtrack.us: S. 4022: A bill to provide for the repeal of the Department of Defense policy concerning homosexuality in … (Accessed 14 DEC 10
R1.16 UK Gay News: Senate blocks repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' 09 DEC 10
R1.15 365Gay.com: Pentagon study: Gays could serve with no harm 30 NOV 10
StarDepartment of Defense: Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" PDF 8.64MB, 28 NOV 10
R1.14 The Advocate: DADT Repeal Fails in Senate 21 SEP 10
R1.13 The Advocate: White House Aims to Complete Repeal This Fall 10 SEP 10
R1.12 365Gay.com: SLDN to active duty military: DO NOT COME OUT 10 SEP 10
R1.11 Google: Legal group: Gays shouldn't answer Pentagon survey 08 JUL 10
R1.10 365gay.com: House votes to end ban on gays in military 28 MAY 10
R1.9 PinkNews.co.uk: US defence secretary makes it harder for military to kick gays out 25 MAR 10
R1.8 The Advocate: 66,000 LGBs Serving in U.S. Military 26 JAN 10
R1.7 RealJock.com: Article in Military Journal Critiques DADT; Does It Signal Change? 01 OCT 09
Joint Forces Quarterly: The Efficacy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell PDF 344kb Issue 55, 4th Quarter 09
R1.6 PinkNews.co.uk: Pentagon: 'No plans to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 20 MAY 09
R1.5 The Advocate: Study: Gay Troops Unlikely to Hurt a Unit's Ability to Fight 08 JUL 08
R1.4 The Sunday Age: Gay Policy Attacked 02 DEC 07
R1.3 SLDN: New Study in Army Journal Condemns "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" 05 JUN 03
Parameters: Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Is the Gay Ban Based on Military Necessity? PDF 75.55kb, 08 MAY 03
R1.2 SLDN: Cox Commission Report 30 MAY 01
R1.1 Sydney Star Observer: Clinton's Support for Gay in the Military 14 OCT 99
Courts & Tribunals
C2.66 Record of Proceedings: Hubert E Spires BC-2016-1301 PDF 563.72kb 14 DEC 16
R2.65 WashingtonBlade: Air Force upgrades 91-year-old gay veteranís discharge 09 JAN 17
C2.64 Complaint: Hubert Edward Spires v. Deborah Lee James No. 5:16-cv-01905 PDF 18 NOV 16
R2.63 WashingtonBlade: 91-year-old gay veteran sues to update discharge to 'honorable' 19 NOV 16
C2.62 Order: Mark C Wilhelm v. US Department of the Navy Board for Correction of Naval Records, et al. No. 2:15-CV-0276-TOR PDF 292.95kb 24 FEB 16
R2.61 CourthouseNewsService: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Appeal Was Too Late 29 FEB 16
R2.60 The Spokesman-Review: Judge allows same-sex burial 11 JUL 15
C2.59 Decision: Tamara Lusardi v. John M McHugh No. 0120133395 PDF 1.59MB, 01 APR 15
R2.58 TheAdvocate: EEOC Issues Landmark Ruling: Army Discriminated Against Trans Employee 09 APR 15
C2.57 Order: US v. Bradley E Manning Army 20130739 PDF 222.36kb, 04 MAR 15
R2.56 GayStarNews: US army is ordered to stop referring to Chelsea Manning as a man 06 MAR 15
C2.55 Opinion: US v. David J A Gutierrez, Technical Sergeant No. 13-0522 PDF 41.66kb, 23 FEB 15
R2.54 EdgeMediaNetwork: Lawyer: HIV Assault Ruling Could End All Such Military Cases 26 FEB 15
C2.53 Opinion: USAF Court of Criminal Appeals: US v. Technical Sergeant DAVID J. A. GUTIERREZ ACM 37913 (rem) PDF 206.36kb, 25 FEB 14
R2.52 OutServe/SLDN: Judgment Entered in McLaughlin v. Hagel 02 OCT 13
C2.51 Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment: Cooper-Harris et al v. United States of America No 2:12-00887-CBM (AJWx) PDF 42.06kb, 29 AUG 13
R2.50 The Advocate: Judge: Denial of Equal Veterans' Benefits Unconstitutional 30 AUG 13
R2.49 SheWired: Charges Dismissed Against Lesbian Sailor Court Martialed for Civil Union 08 AUG 13
C2.48 United States v. Technical Sergeant (E-6) David J. A. Gutierrez USAF ACM 37913
R2.47 GayCity News: Unprotected Sex Leads to Aggravated Assault Verdict 10 APR 13
R2.46 SheWired: Lesbian Sailor Faces Court-Martial For Civil Union 01 APR 13
R2.45 The Advocate: Discharged Gay Service Members to Get Full Separation Pay 07 JAN 13
R2.44 SFGN: Florida Man Discharged from Navy for Doing Gay Porn 12 SEP 12
C2.43 SLDN: Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment PDF 39.69MB, 21 NOV 11
C2.42 Complaint: Tracey Cooper-Harris, et al. v. United States of America, et al. CV12-887 CBM (AJWx) PDF 1.70MB, 01 FEB 12
R2.41 SPLC: Tracey Cooper-Harris, et al. v. United States of America, et al. 01 FEB 12
R2.40 SLDN: SLDN Files Motion for Summary Judgment In DOMA Legal Challenge 21 NOV 11
R2.39 SFGate: U.S. court ends legal challenge to 'don't ask' law 10 NOV 11
C2.38 Complaint: Major Shannon L McLaughlin & Others v. Leon E Panetta & Others PDF 209.79kb, 27 OCT 11
R2.37 SLDN: SLDN Files Landmark Litigation on Behalf of Married Gay and Lesbian Service Members, Veterans 27 OCT 11
C2.36 9th Circuit Court of Appeal: Log Cabin Republicans v. United State of America PDF 95.93kb, 29 SEP 11
R2.35 The Advocate: Judges Nullify Earlier DADT Ruling 29 SEP 11
R2.34 FrontiersLA: 9th Circuit Hears Log Cabin's DADT Case 01 SEP 11
C2.33 US Courts of Appeal: Order temporarily staying in part July 6, 2011 order pending disposition of motion for reconsideration PDF 29.41kb, 15 JUL 11
R2.32 The Advocate: Court Continues to Block DADT Discharges 16 JUL
C2.31 Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America & Anor Order Calling for Further Briefing PDF 35.27kb, 11 JUL 11
R2.30 The Advocate: Court Asks What Obama's Next Move Is on DADT 11 JUL 11
C2.29 Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America & Anor Order Lifting Stay PDF 40.51kb, 06 JUL 11
R2.28 Courthouse News Service: No More Court Block to Gay Service in Military 06 JUL 11
R2.27 Frontiers Web: Court won't hold 'Don't ask, don't tell' lawsuit 29 JAN 11
R2.26 The Advocate: Govt. Seeks to Suspend DADT Lawsuit Appeal US (CA) 20 DEC 10
R2.25 The Advocate: DADT Lawsuit Not Dead Yet 22 DEC 10
R2.24 The Advocate: Justice Department Appeals Witt Case 23 NOV 10
R2.23 The Advocate: Supreme Court Denies Log Cabin Request 12 NOV 10
C2.22 Log Cabin Republicans vs United States of America and Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense, in his official capacity: Application to Vacate Order Staying Judgment and Permanent Injunction No. 10A465, 05 NOV 10
Log Cabin Republicans vs United States of America and Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense, in his official capacity: Appendix to Application to Vacate Order Staying Judgment and Permanent Injunction No. 10A465, 25 OCT 10
R2.22 365Gay.com: Supreme Court asked to review gay military ban 05 NOV 10
The Advocate: Log Cabin Petitions Supreme Court 05 NOV 10
R2.21 The Advocate: Court Allows DADT Pending Appeal 01 NOV 10
R2.20 The New York Times: Court Keeps Military Gay Policy for Now 20 OCT 10
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Order, Opposition to Request for Temporary Stay, Motion 20 OCT 10
R2.19 The Advocate: DOJ Appeals for Immediate Stay 20 OCT 10
United States Court of Appeals: Emergency Motion under Circuit Rule 27-3 PDF 209.4kb, 20 OCT 10
R2.18 The Advocate: Judge: No Stay in DADT Ruling 19 OCT 10
R2.17 Reuters UK: US judge tentatively upholds gays-in-military order 18 OCT 10
R2.16 The Advocate: Govt. Appeals DADT Case 14 OCT 10
C2.15 US District Court: Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America and Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense CV 04-08425-VAP, PDF 12 OCT 10
R2.15 365Gay.com: Judge orders 'don't ask, don't tell' injunction 12 OCT 10
R2.14 365Gay.com: Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force 24 SEP 10
R2.13 Los Angeles Times: Federal judge rules 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is unconstitutional 10 SEP 10
R2.12 The Advocate: DOJ to Judge: Keep Enforcing DADT 23 SEP 10
R2.11 PinkNews.co.uk: New legal standard to be applied to 'don't ask, don't tell' 25 AUG 10
R2.10 The Advocate: Marine Sentenced to Year in Jail for Abuse 25 AUG 10
R2.9 The Advocate: High Court Rejects DADT Case 08 JUN 09
R2.8 PinkNews.co.uk: Transgender former Army Special Forces commander wins almost $500,000 in discrimination lawsuit 30 APR 09
R2.7 The Advocate: Boston Court Dismisses Challenge to Military's Gay Ban 11 JUN 08
R2.6 Realjock.com: Military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Anti-Gay Policy Dealt Major Blow 22 MAY 08
R2.5 National Public Radio: (2008) Ruling On Gay Air Force Major Creates Dilemma 06 MAR 10
R2.4 SLDN: Army Appeals Court Overturns Sodomy Conviction 23 AUG 04
R2.3 SLDN: Military's Highest Court Declines to Strike Down Sodomy Statute 23 AUG 04
R2.2 SLDN: Military's Highest Court Hears Oral Arguments in Historic Case Challenging Consensual Sodomy Ban 08 OCT 03
R2.1 The Advocate: Military's Gay Ban Challenged in Wake of Sodomy Ruling 08 JUL 03
R3.1 The Advocate: New Massachusetts Law Would Benefit Gays Discharged Under DADT 25 MAR 08

See also: US Courts for the 9th Circuit – Log Cabin Republicans v. USA
Michael D Palm Center, The
OutServe
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN)
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Documents/Cases/References
1.

National

On 13 March 2017, The National Law Journal (registration) published an article by Barbara Handschu canvassing the law and issues arising when a non-biological partner, stepparent or grandparent seeks custodial rights with respect to the children of a same-sex relationship after separation [R1.8].

On 28 October 2011, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act that would if it becomes law, eliminate state laws, policies and practices that exclude prospective adoptive and foster parents because of marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity [R1.7].

On 08 September 2011, GLAD released a revised version of the groundbreaking publication Protecting Families: Standards for LGBT Families. The standards are a set of 10 guidelines that aim to remind LGBT parents of the importance of legally protecting the families they create and to caution parents against wielding anti-LGBT laws against their partner should their relationship break up [R1.6], [D1.5].

On 09 January 2011, following an order of the Secretary of State, the move to swap the titles of "mother" and "father" for the more gender-neutral term "parent" on forms to apply for passports and reports of overseas births was changed to "mother or parent 1" and "father or parent 2" [R1.4].

From 03 January 2011, new citizenship forms for children of American parents born outside of the U.S. and passport applications will feature gender neutral areas using the title of "parent" instead of "mother" and "father", making it easier for gay and lesbian parents to obtain passports for their children [R1.3].

On 22 December 2010, the US Department of State announced the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) using the title of "parent" as opposed to "mother" and "father." These improvements were being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child's parents and in recognition of different types of families [R1.2].

In July 2010, US–Russia discussions on adoption policy decided US gay couples would not be allowed to adopt Russian children because Russia does not recognize same-sex relationships [R1.1].

R1.8 TheNationalLawJournal (Registration): Representing the Nonbiological 'Parent' 13 MAR 17
R1.7 The Advocate: Gillibrand Introduces Legislation to End Adoption Discrimination 28 OCT 11
R1.6 GLAD: LGBT Legal Advocates Re-Release Guide for Fair Practices in Parenting and Custody Agreements 08 SEP 11
D1.5 Protecting Families: Standards for Child Custody in Same Sex Relationships PDF 212.90kb, 23 AUG 11
R1.4 The Advocate: Conflict Ensnarls Gender Neutral Forms 09 JAN 11
R1.3 The Advocate: Passport Forms Go Gender Neutral US 05 JAN 11
R1.2 US Department of State: Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate Improvements 22 DEC 10
R1.1 The Advocate: US Gay Couples Banned From Russian Adoption 21 JUL 10
Personal Safety, Privacy, Safety Online Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 26 February 2013, the US State Department launched a new website designed to help LGBT travellers [R1.2].

On 18 January 2013, the Transport Security Administration announced it will remove all body scanners that show nearly nude images from airports. The TSA had already removed 76 of the machines and will now remove the remaining 174 [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 February 2013, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 disallowing a lawsuit challenging the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that permits broad, secret surveillance and interception of international communications involving Americans, on the ground that the complainants did not have standing, being unable to show having been harmed by the law [R2.3].

On 02 February 2011, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled 3–1 that the Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act do not apply to sharing of living units and a roommate-finding site can ask users to disclose their sexual orientation [C2.2].

Previously:

On 10 April 2008, Judge Alex Kozinski ruled that the roommate-finding Roommates.com, cannot ask users to disclose their sexual orientation [R2.1].

R1.2 PinkNews: US State Department launches new online LGBT travel guide 08 MAR 13
US State Department: LGBT Travel Information 26 FEB 13
R1.1 ThinkProgress: Victory For Transgender Privacy: TSA Abandons 'Nude' Body Scanners 18 JAN 13
R2.3 New York Times: Unbridled Secrecy 26 FEB 13
C2.2 Opinion: Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley & Ors v. Roommate.com LLC No. 09-55969 PDF 100.13kb, 02 FEB 11
R2.1 MCV: Don't Ask, Don't Tell 10 APR 08
Taxation Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

Federal

On 17 January 2017, the IRS issued Notice 2017-15 giving same-sex married couples some retroactive relief from the application of the gift, estate and generation-skipping taxes to transfers between the spouses. The Notice provides that if a donor used gift tax exemption on a gift to his or her same-sex spouse, that donor can now file a Federal gift tax return and reclaim that exemption amount, regardless of the domicile of the parties D1.30], [R1.29].

On 02 September 2016, the IRS published final regulations, effective as of 02 September 2016, under the new final regulation section 301.7701-18(c), the terms ''spouse'', ''husband'', and ''wife'' mean an individual who is lawfully married to another individual and a marriage (same-sex or opposite-sex) will be recognized for federal tax purposes if it is recognized by the state in which the individuals are married, regardless of where the couple is domiciled [D1.28], [R1.27].

On 04 February 2016,the National LGBTQ Task Force launched a groundbreaking income tax preparation guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people [D1.26], [R1.25].

On 25 October 2015, George G Jones and Mark A Luscombe writing in accountingTODAY canvassed issues arising from the US Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision concerning retroactivity, estate planning, Civil unions and domestic partnerships, employer benefits and religious freedom [R1.24].

On 23 October 2015, the Department of Treasury issued a notice of proposed rule making in response to the 'Windsor' and 'Obergefell' US Supreme Courts decisions, that redefine the way the Code dictates the marital status of taxpayers for purposes of the income, estate, gift, excise and payroll taxes. Specifically, the regulations add Proposed Regulation Section 301.7701-18, which provides that: For federal tax purposes, the terms spouse, husband, and wife mean an individual lawfully married to another individual. The term husband and wife means two individuals lawfully married to each other. A marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage would be recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States [D1.23], [R1.22].

On 09 September 2015, Thomson Reuters released a report “Same-Sex Marriage Decisions by the Supreme Court Open Doors for Tax Planning and Benefits” clarifying many of the outstanding legal and tax questions faced by same-sex couples and the tax and estate planning professionals who advise them [D1.21], [R1.20].

On 06 December 2013, the LGBT Practice group of Marcum LLP released its Top 10 Tax Planning Tips for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples. The guide provides a preliminary roadmap for same-sex married couples in the first year they will file taxes since the federal government officially recognized same-sex marriage for tax purposes [R1.19].


On 16 September 2013, the guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 29 August 2013 came into effect clarifying that same-sex couples who are legally married in jurisdictions or countries that recognize their marriages will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes. Plan sponsors are required to comply prospectively with the guidance [R1.18], [R1.17].


On 26 June 2013, with the demise of DOMA same-sex couples gain access to more than 1,000 federal benefits and can file their federal taxes jointly or “married filing separately”, this latter likely incurring additional tax. Conversely, health insurance tax will no longer be payable [R1.16].


On 25 February 2013, same-sex couples married in nine states, the District of Columbia and on two Native American tribal reservations are currently denied federal tax benefits extended to opposite-sex married couples under the Defense of Marriage Act. However, members of a same-sex couple can reportedly claim a $12,650 credit per child for adopting their partner's child, so long as DOMA remains [R1.15].


On 31 October 2012, following the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York decision in Edith S Windsor v. USA, any gay couples who would benefit from joint filing may be well advised to file an amended return as a protective claim for taxation refund, if they are married (no matter where they live) or in a marriage equivalent status, as there is a three-year statute of limitations on tax refund claims that may not be waived by the IRS [R1.14].


On 27 December 2011, according to an analysis conducted for CNNMoney by tax specialists, same-sex spouses are paying as much as $6,000 a year in extra taxes because the federal government doesn't recognize gay marriage [R1.13].


As at 12 December 2011, whilst same-sex married couples are not considered spouses under federal law, they are permitted to use the adoption tax credit – at least until their unions are recognized. If you or your partner receive any notices from the I.R.S. requiring more information during this coming tax season, send your response to the I.R.S. within the time period allotted. Most taxpayers, after pushing back hard, have had the credit allowed [R1.12].


Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income if the partner is not considered a dependent. On top of that, the employees cannot use pretax dollars to pay for their premiums – unlike their opposite-sex married counterparts [R1.11], [R1.10].


On 02 November 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced its intent to formally agree with an historic 2010 decision of the US Tax Court in O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner that overturned IRS policy disallowing tax deductions for medical care related to gender transition [D1.9], [R1.8]

See 2. Courts & Tribunals at [C2.1] [R2.1].


On 02 June 2011, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill that would have health-care benefits for domestic partners treated in the same way as those for a married couple for tax purposes [R1.8]. Some companies "gross up" reimbursements to cover the extra costs that same-sex couples pay [R1.7].

In March 2011, the Cambridge (MA) City Council was hoping to restructure municipal pay so that city employees in same-sex unions will earn the same after-tax salary as their married straight colleagues. However, untangling the knot of tax codes, state and federal laws, and union contracts that would result in lower after-tax pay for married gays and lesbian makes it a practical impossibility. At some point, simply recognizing marriage equality is going to become easier than managing the patchwork of laws that make taxes and benefits such an agonizing ordeal for gay and lesbian couples and their employers [R1.6].

For 2010 tax returns the IRS will recognize jointly owned community property income, the same way it does for different-sex married couples who file separate federal income tax returns for California, Nevada and Washington registered domestic partners and California same-sex spouses [R1.5], [R1.4], [R1.3].

In December 2009, the current Senate health care bill would not end the "gay tax" on domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples whilst a House health care bill provision remedies the double standard, creating a tax exemption for any dependent – same-sex partners included [R1.2].

In April 2003, it was reported that even though the incomes of lesbian and gay couples are combined in their own household, the Internal Revenue Service doesn't recognize two people of the same sex as a legal couple, taxing them individually [R1.1].

In contrast, the tax bill of a husband and wife who earn similar incomes is higher than their combined tax bills would have been had they stayed single.

If one partner supports the other, the supporter can file a tax return as a single person and claim the other as a dependent. The criterion as laid out by the IRS is strict, but if you and your partner meet the stringent guidelines, it's possible [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 February 2010, the U.S. Tax Court in Boston ruled that a Massachusetts woman should be allowed to deduct the costs of her sex-change operation, finding that she " … suffered from severe GID (gender-identity disorder), that GID is a well-recognized and serious mental disorder, and that hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery are considered appropriate and effective treatments for GID by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who are knowledgeable concerning the condition" [C2.1], [R2.1].

D1.30 IRS: Guidance on the application of the decision in United States v. Windsor No. 2017-15 PDF 38.73kb 17 JAN 17
R1.29 Lexology: IRS Grants Same-Sex Married Couples Partial Gift and Estate Tax Relief 15 MAR 17
D1.28 IRS: Internal Revenue Bulletin 2016-38 HTML 19 SEP 16
R1.27 TheNationalLawReview: IRS Defines 'Spouse', 'Husband', 'Wife', and 'Marriage' for Tax Purposes 11 FEB 17
D1.26 Report: Queer Our Taxes Taxpayer Guide PDF 487.23kb 13 JAN 16
R1.25 National LGBTQ TaskForce: Groundbreaking Tax Guide Launched to Help LGBTQ Taxpayers 04 FEB 16
R1.24 accountingTODAY: Tax Strategy 25 OCT 15
D1.23 Federal Register Volume 80, Number 205: Definition of Terms Relating to Marital Status 23 OCT 15
R1.22 Forbes: IRS Redefines 'Husband' And 'Wife' In Response to Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Decisions 22 OCT 15
D1.21 Report: Same-Sex Marriage Decisions by the Supreme Court Open Doors for Tax Planning and Benefits PDF 533.12kb, SEP 15
R1.20 Thomson Reuters: Thomson Reuters Special Report on Tax Planning and Benefits for Same-Sex Marriages Clarifies Implications of Recent Landmark Court Decisions 09 SEP 15
R1.19 Marcum: LGBT Accounting Group Releases Top Tax Planning Tips for Same-Sex Married Couples 06 DEC 13
R1.18 US Department of the Treasury: All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes 29 AUG 13
R1.17 The National Law Review: Guidance on Tax Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages Takes Effect 18 SEP 13
R1.16 CNN Money: Same-sex couples: Beware the marriage penalty 27 JUL 13
R1.15 CNN Money: Adoption tax credit for same-sex couples 25 FEB 13
MSN Money: Same-sex couples get tax consolation prize 25 FEB 13
R1.14 The New York Times: Gay Couples May Want to File a Protective Tax Refund Claim 31 OCT 12
R1.13 CNN Money: Same-sex spouses lose big on taxes 27 DEC 11
R1.12 New York Times: I.R.S. Denied Lesbians Legitimate Adoption Credit 13 DEC 11
R1.11 Holland & Knight LLP: Federal taxation of healthcare benefits for same-sex couples: current status and ongoing developments 04 NOV 11
R1.10 The Wall Street Journal: Bill Would End Taxing Benefits for Domestic Partners 04 JUN 11
D1.9 IRS: Notice of Action PDF 15.42kb, 21 NOV 11
R1.8 Human Rights Campaign: IRS Formally Agrees with Historic Court Ruling for Transgender Taxpayers 03 NOV 11
R1.7 New York Times: A Progress Report on Gay Employee Health Benefits (includes chart) 27 OCT 11
R1.6 The Boston Globe: The incredibly boring case for federally recognized same-sex marriage 15 MAR 11
R1.5 The Wall Street Journal: Same-Sex Couples And The Marriage Penalty 19 FEB 11
Tax Policy Center: The Tax Calculator
R1.4 Windy City Media Group: IRS recognizes same-sex couples in three states 18 FEB 11
R1.3 Lambda Legal: The IRS Applies "Income-Splitting" to California's Registered Domestic Partners and Same-Sex Spouses (and Now RDPs in Washington and Nevada, too!) PDF 96.77kb, 18 FEB 11
R1.2 The Advocate: Gay Tax Unchanged by Sen. Health Care Bill 22 DEC 09
R1.1 Gay Financial Network: That Marriage Penalty That Benefits Gay Couples 10 APR 03
C2.1 O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
R2.1 365gay.com: Tax court allows deduction for woman's sex change 03 FEB 10
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 only applies to employers who employ 15 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace.

On 29 April 2014, the Department of Education issued guidance clarifying that Title IX, the federal law that prohibits (sexual violence and) discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding, prohibits discrimination against transgender students [D1.9], [R1.8].

On 18 April 2014, it was argued that as the federal “Violence Against Women Act” provides that where grants to agencies that deal with victims of sexual assaults are made, recipients may not discriminate in their hiring on the basis of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability”. There is a limited exception for necessary “sex-specific programming” and religious agencies, consistent with the “Religion Freedom Restoration Act” may prefer members of their own faith in hiring but may not discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation [R1.7].

On 19 September 2013, Lambda Legal published a set of instructions for bullied students [R1.6].

LambdaLegal: Infographic: What to Do If You're LGBTQ and Bullied 19 SEP 13

On 07 March 2013, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law [R1.5].

On 28 February 2013, Congress passed 286-138 the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an LGBT-inclusive expanded version of a bill aimed at preventing domestic violence and aiding its victims. The now goes to the President to be signed into law [R1.4].

  • First, the legislation mandates all programs or activities that receive funding under VAWA provide services regardless of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Second, it explicitly includes the LGBT community in the largest VAWA grant program, the "STOP Grant Program", which provides funding to care providers who collaborate with prosecution and law enforcement officials to address domestic violence.
  • Finally, the bill sets up a grant program specifically aimed at providing services and outreach to underserved populations, including programs that provide care specifically for LGBT people.

On 26 April 2012, the Senate passed legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, by a 68–31 vote to strengthen domestic violence programs and extend their coverage to LGBT victims. The Bill has yet to pass the House [R1.3].

On 10 June 2010, the US justice department confirmed that federal laws giving protection against domestic violence also apply to gays and lesbians. A memo posted by the department said prosecutors should enforce criminal provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in cases involving gay and lesbian relationships. These provisions include those related to domestic violence, stalking and protection order violations [R1.2].

In May 2010, Democratic senators Al Franken and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced legislation known as the Student Non-Discrimination Act, aimed at combating anti-LGBT bullying in public schools. The bill currently has 21 additional co-sponsors in the senate [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In March 2011, a federal jury awarded Kerry Woods, a former employee of Boh Bros. Construction Co., L.L.C., $451,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [C2.7], [R2.6].


In February 2010, the US Department of Justice for the first time since 2000, was seeking to intervene in a gay harassment lawsuit against a New York school district that it says raises important civil rights issues, arguing that Title IX of the antidiscrimination law affecting schools that receive federal funding, covers sex discrimination based on gender stereotypes [R2.5].


On 08 April 2003, in a unanimous judgment the US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that schools failing to protect gay students from harassment could be in violation of federal law and warned school administrators that they could be held personally responsible if they ignored pleas of help from students regarding sexual orientation harassment [R2.4].


On 24 September 2002, five judges in the 7-4 majority of the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that unwanted and offensive physical conduct "of a sexual nature" is a ground for any plaintiff, gay or straight, male or female, to sue for damages under Federal civil rights law [C2.3], [R2.2].


On 04 March 1998, same-sex sexual harassment was held in a unanimous decision to be prohibited by Title VII. A worker charging he endured a same-sex hostile work environment must show that he suffered discrimination "because of his sex" and that the harassment was "severe and pervasive" [C2.1].

D1.9 Guidelines: Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence PDF 867.31kb, 29 APR 14
R1.8 LGBTQ Nation: Department of Education: Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students US 29 APR
R1.7 LosAngelesTimes: Law to protect women helps gays too 18 APR 14
R1.6 GayStarNews: US gay legal rights organization publishes guidelines to students who are bullied 21 SEP 13
R1.5 Washington Blade: Obama signs LGBT-inclusive domestic violence bill 07 MAR 13
R1.4 Washington Blade: LGBT-inclusive domestic violence bill passes Congress 28 FEB13
R1.3 Washington Blade: Senate passes LGBT-inclusive domestic violence bill 26 APR 12
R1.2 PinkNews: US domestic violence law covers gay victims, justice dept confirms 11 JUN 10
R1.1 The Advocate: Senators Introduce Anti-bullying Bill for LGBT Students 20 MAY 10
C2.7 EEOC v. Boh Brothers Construction Company, LLC (Civil Action No. 09-6460)
R2.6 EEOC: EEOC Obtains $451,000 Jury Verdict Against Boh Brothers Construction Co. For Male-On-male Sexual Harassment 29 MAR 11
R2.5 365gay.com: Gay NY teen's harassment suit gets federal notice 04 FEB 10
R2.4 PlanetOut: Schools Must Protect Gay Kids, Court Rules 09 APR 03
C2.3 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: Rene v. MGM Grand Hotel Inc No. 98-16924, 24 SEP 02
R2.2 San Francisco Chronicle: Same-sex Harassment Suit Revived 25 SEP 02
C2.1 United State Supreme Court: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. et al 523 US 75 04 MAR 98

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