Has Christianity (and other religions) been banned in America?

Leave a comment

They call it the federal Equality Act.  Just in its words you know it’s got to be about anything but equality.  That’s how it is in America.  You must actually read between the headlines to find the reality.

The federal Equality Act, otherwise known as H.R.5, seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which is a huge deal.  It includes protections for an individual’s perceived sex, “sexual orientation,” or “gender identity.”  This is the same kind of law that was created by Congress in 1964 to ensure constitutional rights for African Americans.  This is the same kind of legislation that guarantees women equal rights to those of men.

Keep on reading!

MARRIAGE ACT STUDIED BY U.S. SUPREMES

Leave a comment

Last week, the United States Supreme Court scheduled a closed-door conference to review several cases that seek to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.  The reason for the meeting is quite simple.  The Court must decide which, if any, should be placed on the court’s schedule for arguments next year.

The outcome is crucial.  It carries important social and economic consequences for gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples who are unable to file joint income taxes, access Social Security survivor benefits, inherit a deceased spouse’s pension, or obtain family health insurance.

The federal trial courts that heard the cases ruled the act violates the civil rights of legally married gay men and lesbians.  Two appellate courts agreed, making it highly likely the high court will agree to hear at least an appeal.

There have probably never been so many gay rights cases knocking on the Supremes door at one time.  The Supreme Court was also scheduled to discuss whether it should take two more long-simmering cases dealing with relationship recognition for same-gender couples.

The first is an appeal of two lower court rulings that struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.  The second is a challenge to an Arizona law that made state employees in same-gender relationships ineligible for domestic partner benefits.

SAME-GENDER COHABITATION NOW ON PAR WITH THAT OF OPPOSITE-SEX

Leave a comment

Over the last half century, California law has evolved tremendously when it comes to same-gender cohabitation and spousal support.  It has gone from penalizing same-gender cohabitation by the termination of spousal support and the requirement of restitution from the date of cohabitation to extending the same rights, obligations, and privileges of marriage to same-gender cohabitating partners.

Same-gender couples should now be prepared to assume the benefits of cohabitation as well as the burdens that have always been placed on cohabitating couples of the opposite-sex.  They should recognize that the sharing of household expenses reduces the need for spousal support regardless of the genders involved.  The reality is that the presumption of decreased need for support upon cohabitation is a gender-neutral issue.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT PRESUMPTION DIFFERENT FOR ‘SAME-GENDER’ COHABITANTS

Leave a comment

It is interesting to note that in California when same-gender couples part their ways, Family Code § 4323(a)(1) imposes a presumption that affects the “burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex.”  What this means is that when a spouse who receives support cohabits with an opposite-sex partner in a relationship, a burden is placed upon that spouse to demonstrate a continued need for spousal support at the same level to which he or she was entitled before cohabiting.

A key understanding here is that section 4223(a)(1) addresses opposite gender spouses only.  There is no such presumption where a supported spouse is cohabiting with a same-sex partner.  The California legislature still seems to be lagging when it comes to addressing the financial realities of same-gender relationships.