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GOP leader Ken Mehlman comes out to mixed reactions

The coming out of former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman — who led the GOP at a time when the party was backing the Federal Marriage Amendment and marriage amendments in states throughout the country — is inspiring mixed reactions among LGBT advocates as some criticize him for his past actions and others welcome his new public support.

Mehlman’s announcement about his sexual orientation officially became public in an interview published Aug. 25 by the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder. According to the article, Mehlman told family and associates he’s gay and came to this conclusion fairly recently.

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Federal judge rules portion of DOMA unconstitutional

A federal judge in Boston ruled July 8 — in two separate lawsuits — that a critical part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

In one lawsuit, Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services, Judge Joseph Tauro, of the U.S. District Court in Boston, ruled that DOMA violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by taking from the states powers that the Constitution gave to them. In the other lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he ruled that DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment in an effort to “disadvantage a group of which it disapproves.”