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May 31

Federal Appeals Court Rules DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) Unconstitutional

The U.S. appeals court in Boston became the first such court to strike down as unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act, ruling Thursday that it unfairly denies equal benefits to legally married same-sex couples (this was a unanimous decision of the three-judge panel).

The ruling is a victory for gay-rights advocates and the Obama administration, which had refused to defend that part of the 1996 law.

The decision sets the stage for a ruling next year by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the law that limits federal recognition of marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

The Boston-based judges stressed their decision did not establish a national right to gay marriage. That issue remains a matter for the states, they said.

But despite losing over and over again in court, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are still planning to fight for DOMA all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be – dumping millions of taxpayer dollars into defending discrimination.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley lauded the ruling by the First US Circuit Court of Appeals, which came nine years after the state’s Supreme Judicial Court became the first court in the Western Hemisphere to approve same-sex marriages.

“Today’s landmark ruling makes clear once again that DOMA is a discriminatory law for which there is no justification. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to create a system of first- and second-class marriages, and it does harm to families in Massachusetts every day,” she said.

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About the author

TempeO

Tempeste O’Riley grew up in the deep south and escaped her conservative, oppressive roots as soon as she could. Tempe is an out and proud omnisexual/bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t – defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life but writing has always drawn her back – no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life.

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