Friday, February 24, 2012

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Image courtesy of Daily Kos

A second federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"), a law which denies hundreds of federal marital benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional. According to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, the law "treats gay men and lesbians differently on the basis of their sexual orientation" and the "imposition of subjective moral beliefs of a majority on a minority cannot provide a justification" for it. Although defenders of the law, appointed by House Republican leaders, claimed that DOMA was justified by "tradition", Judge White noted that the same reasoning was used to defend bans on interracial marriages decades ago. Furthermore, he wrote, excluding same-sex couples from the federal definition of marriage "does nothing to encourage or strengthen opposite-sex marriage." The Republican-dominated House of Representatives announced today that they will appeal the decision.

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