Appellate Court Rules that DOMA Is Unconstitutional
Author: Alena Shautsova
Marriage is a union of a man and a woman according to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law. However, the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has just ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional.
States have been divided on gay marriages for some time now with some states passing laws that allow gay marriage and others banning gay marriages. Along with seven other states, New York passed its own law that recognizes gay marriage.
Recently, a federal court failed to uphold the traditional definition of marriage. The potentially precedent-setting aspect of this recent ruling is that it found that the DOMA marriage definition discriminates against gay couples. The reasoning behind the court's ruling, according to a report by MSNBC, is that DOMA interferes with states' rights to define marriage and denies married gay couples the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples receive, such as filing joint tax returns.
The case now goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for final ruling, which means that the First Circuit Court awaits the higher court's decision before knowing whether its ruling is enforceable.
President Obama was the first president to voice his support of gay marriage, but other politicians, courts, and judges remain divided on this issue. It appears that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say.
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