Minding Your Health - Federal Judge Finds DOMA Unconstitutional
June 21, 2012
Another federal district judge ruled in early June that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones made the ruling in the case filed in the Southern District of New York. In essence, DOMA supports a classist system of marriage, in which heterosexual marriage gets significantly better benefits, including insurance benefits and federal tax breaks. President Obama’s administration announced last year that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA, which was passed in 1996. Several recent rulings have found it to be problematic in terms of denying federal benefits to same-sex couples. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court will have to decide the case before same-sex couples might at least have federal benefits similar to other couples’ benefits.
Members of the Rabbinical Assembly committee that sets policy for Conservative Judaism recognize bigotry when they see it.
They recently set guidelines for Conservative rabbis to perform
same-sex wedding ceremonies, a move that sanctions same-sex marriage. Check out the story here: www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?R=R1&ID=272365
June was Pride Month, and here are some interesting bits of trivia about Gay Pride:
Green Lantern, the comic book superhero, just came out of the closet, thanks to a bold move by DC Comics (it’s about time).
Check out the story at www.nypost.com/p/news/national/dc_comics_green_lantern_to_be_revealed_Yt2uNktuzmrrWSbkIRIDbO
Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, better known as reparative
or conversion therapy, have been deemed ineffective and
therefore unethical by nearly every major medical and mental
health organization for many years now. Finally, the California
Senate has passed a bill that would ban conversion therapy
for those under age 18. Learn more at www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/conversion-therapy-california_n_1560251.html
And if you think conversion therapy is only targeted toward those who choose to do so, think again. An Oregon man tells his story about a psychiatrist who tried to convert him to be straight
during their therapy sessions. Here’s the story:
The Boy Scouts of America are reconsidering their ban on
allowing LGBT individuals from being a part of their program:
Healthy People 2020 released a transgender health webinar training that is available online: www.healthypeople.gov/2020/connect/webinarsArchive.aspx
The Child Welfare League of America, along with other experts,
has released a new report to promote the proper care of LGBTQ
children in the child welfare system. The report, “Recommended
Practices to Safety and Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth and Youth
at Risk of or Living with HIV in Child Welfare Settings,” is
available at www.lambdalegal.org/publications/recommended-practices-youth
Jeff Lubsen is the organizer of the LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City, a grass-roots organization of licensed psychologists, social workers and professional counselors, who offer support and resources for sexual minorities. He also works with individuals and their families who are dealing with relationship, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, sexual identity and gender identity issues.