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Court rules DOMA unconstitutional in bankruptcy case of gay couple

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California ruled late Monday that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, granting a legally married gay couple a joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The case involves a bankruptcy filing by Gene Douglas Balas and Carlos A. Morales of Los Angeles, who were married on Aug. 20, 2008. Balas and Morales were among about 18,000 same-gender couples who legally wed until the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008 took away marriage equality in California.

The court concluded:

The Debtors have demonstrated that DOMA violates their equal protection rights afforded under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, either under heightened scrutiny or under rational basis review. Debtors also have demonstrated that there is no valid governmental basis for DOMA. In the end, the court finds that DOMA violates the equal protection rights of the Debtors as recognized under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The case was filed on Feb. 24, one day after Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the Obama administration’s position that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional and that the federal government would no longer defend DOMA cases in court.

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Filed under: California

8 more reader comments:

  1. See, i don’t know why straight people are so afraid of gay marriage. We just want the chance to also be gay bankrupt, gay own a house together, gay have to split it 50/50 when separated, gay joint custody, and of course, gay divorce, just like the breeders. Our marriage isn’t any more special than theirs, and doesn’t come with rainbows and flying unicorns. … Silly conservatives.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 10:08am
  2. lol, flying unicorns. Makes me wish I were gay alas I’m only trans and hetero but thank god DOMA is getting hit hard. I hope it’s repealed soon!

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 10:12am
  3. Maybe YOURS doesn’t come with flying unicorns…

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 10:22am
  4. Ditto Adrian!! The relationship between me and my girl is loaded with rainbows and flying unicorns! :D That’s obviously why we meet so many haters here in Kentucky! :D

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 10:43am
  5. Wow
    That is huge.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 12:41pm
  6. Haha i love how my gf jemma devenish “liked” this post!

    Love you baby!! ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 2:05pm
  7. WHAT???? NO RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS???? Then does that mean that all of those marriages I’ve preformed were the couples promised each other rainbows and unicorns are invalid??? How am I EVER gonna tell all of those poor straight kids?

    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 6:59pm
  8. awesome it was declared unconstitutional. sucks they had to claim bankrupctcy.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 11:23pm