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Obama Administration Refuses to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act

same sex marriagesIn 1996, a Federal Statute was passed by Congress that prevented federal recognition of same sex marriages. President Obama has recently directed the Justice Department to stop taking legal action to defend this law in court.

The Obama Administration’s decision was presented to members of Congress by a letter written by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. The letter stated, “the President and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation” should be subjected to tests that have, in the past, had the impact of blocking unfair discrimination. Attorney General Holder specifically stated that “the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.”

The Obama administration’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act has been heavily criticized by conservatives in Congress. While conservatives are very unhappy about the Obama administrations position, gay right activist are overjoyed.

Anthony D. Romero, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, upon hearing of the Obama’s administrations position on the Defense Marriage Act, stated “this is a great step by the Obama administration and a tipping point for the gay rights movement that will have ripple effects in contexts beyond the Defense of Marriage Act.”

He further stated, “it will reach into issues of employment discrimination, family recognition and full equality rights for lesbian and gay people.”

Same Sex Marriage

There are approximately a dozen states in the United States that allow members of the same sex to be married. New York is not one of these states. However, New York State will recognize same sex marriages if those marriages were legal in the state that they took place. New York takes this action under the theory of comity of laws.

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Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

Gay men and women are now fighting to obtain greater rights. In New York State, women received equal rights in 1989. When women received equal rights, fathers also benefitted by the matrimonial and family laws in the State of New York becoming gender neutral. It was thought at that time that fathers’ custody and visitation rights would be greatly enhanced. Although in theory this took place, fathers in the Family Courts are not treated equally in New York State.

Our office represents fathers regarding divorce proceedings, child custody, child visitation matters, child support issues, spousal maintenance and with regard to issues involving allegations of child abuse and child neglect. When fathers are thrown out of their homes due to domestic violence allegations, we represent them in contesting the orders of protection that are taken out against them.

In situations where the parties are amicable, we negotiate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. We also assist fathers with regard to the no-fault divorce law recently passed in the State of New York. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

Prison Gone Wild

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting an investigation into a privately run prison in Idaho. The FBI has received a video showing prison guards watching an inmate being brutally beaten. The guards did not intervene in the beating. The beating stopped when the attacker decided he was finished beating his fellow inmate to a pulp.jail-150x150Hanni Elabed begged the guards for assistance. He was being viciously attacked by another inmate at the Idaho Correctional Facility. The guards didn’t help him. They simply watched him being beaten for a considerable period of time. During the course of the beating, Elabed’s attacker took a break. After the break, he continued beating Elabed.

When the medical staff arrived, Elabed was unconscious . He was bleeding from his brain. He went into a coma for a period of three days. He suffered permanent brain damage. He has now been released from prison because the correctional facility could not meet with his medical needs.
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson, in an Associated Press interview, stated that Federal Investigators are looking into accusations that the Idaho Prison uses prisoner-on-prisoner violence and intimidation to control the facility. Lawsuits brought by prisoners concerning this Idaho Correctional Facility have labeled it “Gladiator School” due to the brutal nature of how the facility is run.

Steven Pevar, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, in an AOL telephone interview, stated “This is the most violent prison I have ever seen”. The ACLU is currently suing the Idaho State Prison officials due to the level of violence at the Idaho Correctional Facility.

Steven Pevar stated, “it’s as if gangs have taken over the prison, where decisions are being made that seem to be consistent with allowing gangs to strong-arm other prisoners.”

Numerous prisoners have reported to staff that they were beaten up when gang members told the prisoners they had to pay rent to live safely in that housing unit. The guards did nothing about it.

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Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are charged with a crime, we can help you. We represent individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies. We litigate criminal charges involving drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, juvenile defense, shoplifting, burglary and driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases. We can assist you in violent and non-violent criminal prosecutions. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Police Abuse In Newark

PoliceAbuse-150x150There is a problem with the police in Newark. They are running amuck. There have been many instances of excessive force, false arrest and other abuses by police officers in Newark. It has been suggested that these abuses be investigated by the federal authorities and that a monitor be appointed by the federal government to supervise the police department. These allegations are contained in a proceeding recently brought by a civil liberties group in Newark.

American Civil Liberties Union Takes Action

The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”), requests that the civil rights division of the justice department take immediate action to supervise the police in Newark. The complaint by the ACLU documents numerous abuses and inappropriate activities by police officers. The suit claims that the police operate in a culture of impunity, with few, if any, police officers ever being punished for their misdeeds. The complaint specifically states that the misconduct “has left citizens dead, permanently injured and otherwise damaged”. The petition also states that “it has left innocent Newark residents distrustful of the police, unsure whether an encounter with them will lead to being protected and served or beaten and arrested”.

The petition by the ACLU is ninety-six pages long. It provides detailed information concerning the courts, the police and other U.S. governmental agencies. The petition goes on to state that the inappropriate actions of certain members of the Newark police department have damaged the careers and harmed the reputation of good, honorable police officers.

The petition indicates that police misconduct has been going for decades. During the past two and one-half years, more than fifty-one separate lawsuits have been brought against police officers and/or the police in Newark. These lawsuits deal with issues involving police misconduct, such as beatings, theft, and illegal searches. The police are committing misdemeanors and felonies. In cases where citizens have reported police misconduct, there have been threats and harassment by the police against these citizens.

The Newark Police Department has recently settled thirty-eight separate and distinct police misconduct cases. These settlements have cost the city of Newark approximately five million dollars.

Help Dealing With Police Misconduct

Should you, a family member or loved one be exposed to what you feel is police misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We may be able to assist you in obtaining monetary damages for the police misconduct and for the violation of your civil rights. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

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