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First Circuit Litigation

Gill v. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 

A lawsuit filed by GAY & LESBIAN ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS (GLAD) plaintiffs who are citizens of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, are seeking to have a judge redefine marriage for the entire country. GLAD feels these same-sex couples are being denied legal protections and benefits under federal law that are available to heterosexual married couples. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)P.L. 104-199, codified in part as 1 U.S.C. § 7 (“DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7”), which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, unconstitutional.

VoteonMarriage.org, et al. v. DiMasi, et al.

On December 13, 2006, the marriage amendment sponsors, VoteonMarriage.org, filed a federal lawsuit against 109 Massachusetts State legislators who, in a concerted effort to kill the petition, repeatedly delayed to vote on the amendment. On January 2, 2007, under significant legal and political pressure, the Massachusetts State Legislature finally voted. As a result, 62 lawmakers voted in favor of advancing the amendment, while 134 voted against it. This procedural hurdle only required 50 votes in the state's 200-member Legislature to put the measure on the statewide ballot. VoteonMarriage.org voluntary dismissed the lawsuit in light of the favorable vote. Unfortunately, the legislature voted the amendment petition down on June 14, 2007 by a vote of 45 to 151.

Largess v. Supreme Judicial Court, 373 F.3d 219 (1st Cir. 2004)

Mandamus action against the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for redefining marriage without authority. The plaintiffs claimed that the court’s ultra vires action violated the Republican Form of Government guarantee of the U.S. Constitution. The trail court denied relief, and the First Circuit affirmed.


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