Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘House Speaker John Boehner’

24th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a Professor in the sovereign State of Utah has apparently filed a declaration regarding statements pertaining to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the website of Talking Points Memo,

A University of Utah professor who specializes in the study of affectional bonds and same-sex sexuality is accusing House Speaker John Boehner’s legal team of distorting her research. Professor Lisa A. Diamond, whose work was cited by the legal team arguing on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives that the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional, filed a declaration in federal court stating that the legal team “misconstrues and distorts my research findings, which do not support the propositions for which BLAG cites them.” The legal team chosen by Boehner, headed by former Solicitor General Paul Clement, quoted Diamond as writing that there “is currently no scientific or popular consensus on the exact constellation of experiences that definitively ‘qualify’ an individual as lesbian, gay, or bisexual” as support for their claim that sexual orientation isn’t immutable. “That is incorrect,” writes Diamond. “My quoted statement concerns the scientific and popular debates over the defining characteristics of LGBT individuals and it says nothing whatsoever about the immutability of sexual orientation itself…”

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to read this article in detail.

The provisions of DOMA currently result in a situation where same sex bi-national couples are unable to enjoy the same visa benefits as their different sex counterparts most particularly in the form of the K-1 visa, the CR-1 visa, and/or the IR-1 visa. Currently, proposed legislation such as Representative Jerrold Nadler‘s Respect for Marriage Act and Uniting American Families Act would ameliorate this situation, but passage of said legislation remains to be seen.

In news pertaining to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Secretariat of ASEAN is apparently releasing information regarding human trafficking. To provide further insight this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the official website of the Malaysian National News Agency website,

JAKARTA, Aug 24 (Bernama) — The Secretariat of Asean on Wednesday made public the Progress Report on Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in the Asean Region, says Vietnam News Agency (VNA). The report highlighted achievements made by Asean during the past decade in the fight against human trafficking and its forthcoming challenges in the near future. It also underlined the need to perfect the legal system on transnational crimes, promoting regional cooperation, raising efficiency of verifying, prosecuting and convicting human trafficking criminals as well as protecting and helping victims. Addressing the ongoing 11 th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) here, Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said that the report will provide a cooperation model for countries as well as other regions…

This blogger asks readers to click on the relevant links above to read more from this interesting article.

Human trafficking is a problem that many nations tackle with and it is genuinely reassuring to see the jurisdictions which comprise ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) taking the time to analyze this issue as it is certainly a problem deserving of attention.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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9th April 2011

It would appear as though government shutdown has been averted, at least for the time being as an apparent bi-partisan initiative has resulted in continued funding for the United States government. To quote directly from ABC News on

Barely more than an hour before a midnight deadline Friday night, officials announced a deal to avert a government shutdown. “We will cut $78.5 billion below the president’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote in a joint statement.

The agreement would cut $37.67 billion from the 2010 budget and keep intact funding to Planned Parenthood, sources from both parties told ABC News.

“We protected the investments we need to win the future,” President Obama said after the deal was struck. “At the same time, we also made sure at the end of the day this was a debate about spending cuts — not social issues like women’s health and the protection of our air and water. These are important issues that deserve discussion, just not during a debate about our budget.”

Readers of this blog are highly encouraged to visit the above links to gain more insight on this story.

On a related note, credit where credit is due regarding the preparations seemingly undertaken by the officers of the Department of State in trying to front load their efforts as much as humanly possible regarding previously-approved visa issuances as the prospect of Government Shutdown became more acute.

On a less related note, those interested in the struggle for equality for the LGBT community in the context of the United States immigration process should take note of the fact that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) attempted to put a hold on deportations involving same sex bi-national couples before having that hold rescinded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). USCIS, your efforts to help keep bi-national families together has not gone unnoticed.

It would seem as though the ultimate resolution on this issue will come either in the form of a legal opinion from the United States Supreme Court, as in a case such as that from the Massachusetts Federal Court and others in the US Courts currently working their way through the appellate process, or through enactment of legislation which would repeal, hopefully at the very least, the Federal recognition provisions currently embodied in the language of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) similar to the legislation colloquially referred to as the Respect for Marriage Act and/or the Uniting American Families Act.

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8th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that various US Missions abroad are taking substantial steps to deal with what would appear to be an impending shutdown of the United States government. For those who are unaware, the United States government may shutdown due to the fact that various legislators in the nation’s capital are unable to reach an agreement which would result in a resolution to keep the American government funded.

For a somewhat different perspective on this issue, it may be best to quote directly from the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says another round of talks with congressional leaders has helped but there is no deal yet to avert a government shutdown.

Obama said he hoped to be able to announce a deal on Friday but “there’s no certainty yet.” He said he told House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he wants an answer in the morning.

Meanwhile, it would appear as though the United States Department of State is frantically working in an effort to get as much done as possible before the shutdown actually takes effect. For example, the US Embassy in Bangkok, to that Post’s immense credit, has been processing out approved visas as quickly as possible as the possible shutdown approaches. This blogger personally witnessed the expedited remittance of a visaed passport by the US Embassy to an applicant immediately preceding the writing of the posting. Meanwhile, it also came to this blogger’s attention that some Department of State employees situated in the United States were put in a position where they had to work a substantial amount of overtime in an effort to get as much done as possible prior to a government closure.

In this blogger’s opinion, the current efforts of States Department officials are notable for the fact that such endeavors go to show a genuine concern for providing optimal service to the public-at-large. At the time of this writing, it remains to be seen whether the American government will actually shutdown, but for those with pending immigration matters the prospect of a government shutdown opens up the possibility of delay in the overall immigration process. This is especially true in the context of United States Embassies and United States Consulates abroad as such Posts are likely to close for all but emergencies should a shutdown eventually come to pass.

For related information please see: Government Shutdown.

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