The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The law, which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, was found to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them federal benefits other married couples receive.
The decision all but guarantees that the law will end up before the Supreme Court (and, in anticipation of that, the appeals justices immediately placed a hold on their ruling).
From the decision:
“… the denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married does burden the choice of states like Massachusetts to regulate the rules and incidents of marriage; notably, the Commonwealth stands both to assume new administrative burdens and to lose funding for Medicaid or veterans’ cemeteries solely on account of its same-sex marriage laws. These consequences do not violate the Tenth Amendment or Spending Clause, but Congress’ effort to put a thumb on the scales and influence a state’s decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws does bear on how the justifications are assessed.”
Read the complete ruling: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. US Dept of Health and Human Services»
• What You Need to Know About LGBT Marriage (Lawyers.com)
• When Will Same-Sex Marriage Litigation Reach the Supreme Court? (Donald Scarinci)
• Federal Court Decisions Chip Away at Same-Sex Marriage Ban (Lawyers.com)
Looking for more? You’ll find it here»