Archive | October 2012

Presentation: Standing to File a Civil Protection Order in DC


This presentation is the first of a series on filing a Civil Protection Order (CPO, known in other jurisdictions as a “Restraining Order”) in the District of Columbia.  It covers who is eligible to file a CPO in D.C. Superior Court.
This blog is an advertisement for the Law Office of Philip R. Yabut, PLLC, and the information in this post is not to be construed as legal advice, nor does reading it form an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post confidential information in the comments section.

DOMA Struck Down by Federal Appeals Court


The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the statute that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, suffered another blow when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals declared Section 3 of the act unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision.

In striking down DOMA, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, applied “intermediate scrutiny” in finding that homosexuals are a class historically subject to discrimination and with little political power to defend themselves against the majority, and that DOMA’s “classification of same-sex spouses is not substantially related to an important government interest.”  Further, the court did not consider DOMA’s interest in protecting “traditional (i.e., opposite-sex) marriage” as a civil institution:

Our straightforward legal analysis sidesteps the fair point that same-sex marriage is unknown to history and tradition. But law (federal or state) is not concerned with holy matrimony.  Government deals with marriage as a civil status–however fundamental–and New York has elected to extend that status to same-sex couples.  A state may enforce and dissolve a couple’s marriage, but it cannot sanctify or bless it.  For that, the pair must go next door.

With two federal appeals courts now on record striking down DOMA, it is probably only a matter of time when the Supreme Court gets the final say.

The case is Windsor v. U.S., (2d Cir. Oct. 18, 2012).

See also, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management (1st Cir, May 31, 2012).

This blog is an advertisement for the Law Office of Philip R. Yabut, PLLC, and the information in this post is not to be construed as legal advice, nor does reading it form an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post confidential information in the comments section.

News Update: Marriage Equality Ahead in Three States


“capitol couple” by author

Besides high-profile presidential and congressional elections, three states — Maryland, Maine and Washington state — are voting on whether to legalize same-sex marriage.  In all three states, supporters of marriage equality are leading in varying degrees.   A fourth state, Minnesota, has a constitutional gay marriage ban on its ballot.

In Maryland, the governor signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage, but the measure is up for a referendum next month.  A recent poll showed that the those in favor upholding the law are ahead 52% to 43% of likely voters.

Like Maryland, Washington’s governor signed a law legalizing gay marriage, but the measure is appearing on the ballot as Referendum 74.  A recent poll showed that marriage equality is leading 56.3% to 35.6%, with 6.1% undecided.

In Maine, the measure is up for a vote as a citizen’s initiative,” and a recent poll showed support for marriage equality is leading 55% to 39%, with 4.5% undecided.

Unlike those three states, Minnesota has a ballot initiative for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  This race is extremely tight in a state that is widely depicted as liberal, with 47% in favor of the ban 46% opposed.

Up to this point, every single state ballot measure banning same-sex marriage has passed.  This year promises to be different, and possibly the start of a trend going the other way.

This blog is an advertisement for the Law Office of Philip R. Yabut, PLLC, and the information in this post is not to be construed as legal advice, nor does reading it form an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post confidential information in the comments section.