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SLDN Asserts Boehner Has No Authority to Intervene in DOMA Case

(WASHINGTON, DC) Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, with co-counsel Chadbourne & Parke, is opposing a motion filed by Speaker of the House John Boehner's so-called Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) seeking to intervene for the purposes of defending DOMA and the definition of spouse in Title 38 in the case, McLaughlin v. U.S., which seeks equal recognition, support, and benefits for gay and lesbian service members and veterans. In documents filed today with the court, SLDN asserts that BLAG does not have standing to intervene in the case.

"The Obama Administration has wisely decided not to defend these unconstitutional and discriminatory laws that hurt military families, and Speaker Boehner is attempting to appoint himself to a role that is expressly reserved to the executive branch of our government. We intend to fight the interference of the Speaker in this matter," said Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.

Last week, SLDN fired back at Boehner for his attempt to intervene in the case.

"Speaker Boehner's request to defend this case in the wake of the ongoing harm done to military families by these discriminatory laws is reprehensible and callous. The Speaker has turned a deaf ear to the urgent pleas of service members who are living with the day-to-day realities of a military that has been forced to create two classes of service members," said Sarvis.

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ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. Since 1993, our in-house legal team has responded to more than 11,000 requests for assistance. 

SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: Call 1-800-538-7418 or 202-328-3244 x100.

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