Local events coincide with DOMA hearing


The US Supreme Court will hear a legal challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act beginning on March 27. In anticipation, a local collaborative group that includes representatives of the LGBT, religious, and labor communities will hold a couple of events next week.

Under DOMA, marriage is limited to one man and one woman in the eyes of the federal government. DOMA affects everything from veterans benefits and Social Security survivor benefits to the estate tax.

Light the Way to Justice — Rochester will host a panel discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 25, at the Gay Alliance Community Center, 875 East Main Street. The title of the discussion is "The DOMA Decisions — Equality on the Line." According to a press release, legal experts and LGBT advocates will offer background on DOMA and Prop 8 (California's law that says only marriage between a man and a woman is valid. The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to Prop 8 beginning on March 26) and "explore potential impacts of the decisions on taxation, health and aging, veteran spousal benefits, immigration equality, and other areas."

The second event is a candlelight vigil from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, outside the Federal Office Building, 100 State Street. According to the press release, "speakers will explore the theme of Remembering Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall."