The Defense of Marriage Act took another nail in the coffin recently when a federal district judge in Connecticut ruled that the law violates the right to equal protection of the laws for married gay and lesbian couples.
The ruling immediately impacts married gay and lesbian couples in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont, who are being denied federal marital benefits although they are legally married in those states.
DOMA and same-sex marriage laws have been on a collison course for some time because the federal law–which defines marrage as being between a man and a woman–forbids federal recognition of marriage between members of the same gender.
The court ruled that DOMA doesn’t have a rational basis–the easiest constitutional hurdle to overcome. Rather, the court concluded that DOMA infuses complexity and inconsistency into the conferral of federal marital benefits, where previously all couples validly married under state law were entitled to such benefits.
This anachronistic law’s days are numbered.
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