Defense of marriage act ruled unconstitutional by federal court

06/02/2012 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNews // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Boston, MA – A federal appeals court has deemed a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the act, which defines the legal union of marriage as one between one man and one woman, was found by the court to deny married gay couples federal benefits unconstitutionally.

The decision between the three-judge panel in the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston was unanimous. As noted in the report, the court did not enter a ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage or the recognition of gay unions in states where gay marriage is not legal.

Judge Michael Boudin is quoted by the AP as writing for the court, “One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage… Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.”

The act was passed in 1996.

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