Monday, April 2, 2012

Federal Court to Hear First Appellate Arguments Challenging DOMA Wednesday

Attorney Mary L. Bonauto talks with reporters following District Court arguments in
GLAD's case Gill v. OPM in May 2010. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled
Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in July 2010.

For the first time this Wednesday, a Federal Appeals Court will hear arguments about the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Seven married same-sex couples and three widowers, plaintiffs in GLAD’s case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to hear appellate arguments in their challenge to the law, which prevents them from accessing federal spousal protections as other married couples can.

GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto will be arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs before a three-member Court of Appeals panel comprised of Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, Judge Michael Boudin and Judge Juan Torruella.

In a July 2010 ruling in Gill - the first strategic, multi-plaintiff challenge to DOMA - District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled Section 3 of the federal law unconstitutional. Republican leadership in Congress intervened to appeal that ruling, after President Obama declared he would no longer defend DOMA.

We will be posting updates on the hearing throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook, and will provide a complete wrap up – including a link to audio from the argument provided by the court – here and at after the hearing concludes.

For more information about the case and the plaintiffs, visit

Associated Press: Battle over federal Defense of Marriage Act heads to appeals court in Mass.

Metro Weekly: Stage Is Set for April 4th Arguments in First Circuit DOMA Challenge Appeal

Hearing Details
Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
10:00 a.m. EST
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Boston

The Gill legal team is led by Bonauto and GLAD Legal Director Gary Buseck, with staff attorneys Vickie Henry and Janson Wu. Co-operating counsel on the case include Foley Hoag LLP (Boston), Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston), Jenner & Block LLP (Washington, DC) and Kator, Parks & Weiser, PLLC (Washington, DC).

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