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Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is a U.S. federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states and which restricted federal marriage benefits. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Section 3 of DOMA had codified the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.

Section 3 of DOMA was found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, “as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” [ Wikipedia → ]

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VIDEO

Marriage Equality USA: Interview with Edith Windsor (Part 2)

| Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Richard Drew, APEdith Windsor at the offices of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in New York. When it comes to things like estate taxes, the federal recognition of same-sex marriage will help legally married gay and lesbian couples. That was the issue in the Supreme Court decision in the case of Windsor, who had to pay estate taxes after her lesbian spouse died.
Just over one year ago, Windsor v. United States became one of the most important court cases for the LGBT community. Since then, every one of more than a dozen court cases striking down same-sex marriage bans has used the Windsor decision at the core of their legal decision. In part two of Marriage Equality USA's three-part interview with plaintiff Edie Windsor, ...

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Ripple effects of DOMA ruling make for an eventful year for marriage equality

| Thursday, June 26, 2014
Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark rulings, one striking down a law that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and the other clearing the way for gay couples to wed legally in California.
One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of landmark rulings, one striking down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and the other clearing the way for gay couples to wed legally in California. In the 12 months since then, the ripple effects of those rulings have transformed the national debate over same-sex marriage...

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VIDEO

Marriage Equality USA: Interview with Edith Windsor (Part 1)

VIA: MARRIAGE EQUALITY USA | Thursday, June 26, 2014
Edith Windsor
One year ago, Windsor v. United States became one of the most important court cases for the LGBT community. Since then, every single one of the 15 court cases striking down same-sex marriage bans has used the Windsor decision at the core of their legal decision. All this began when a now famous Marriage Equality New York (now MEUSA) volunteer ....

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Looking back at the most historic date in LGBT history…

| Thursday, June 26, 2014
Plaintiff Edith Windsor,of New York, waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on March 27, 2013, after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)  case. On June 26, 2013, the court struck down a key provision of DOMA that denied federal recognition to married, same-sex couples.
June 26 is the most historic date on the LGBT civil rights movement’s calendar. It is the day in 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enforce laws prohibiting same-sex adults from having intimate relations. It is the day in 2013 when a Supreme Court procedural ruling enabled same-sex couples to marry in California. And it is the day in 2013 ...

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U.S. appeals court rules Utah same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

| Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Utah
DENVER -- A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Wednesday that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, extending the movement's legal winning streak and bringing the issue a big step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. The three-judge panel in Denver ruled 2-1 that states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right...

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Bill introduced to ensure Social Security equality for same-sex spouses

| Thursday, May 8, 2014
Social-Security
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on Thursday introduced a bill to provide married, same-sex couples with equal treatment under the Social Security Act when applying for Social Security benefits, regardless of where they reside.

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House backs bill to sue president for not enforcing federal laws, such as DOMA

| Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Pablo Martinez Monsivais,  APBarack Obama
WASHINGTON -- Casting Barack Obama as a president run amok, the House voted on Wednesday for a bill that would expedite congressional lawsuits against the chief executive for failure to enforce federal laws.

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Citing DOMA ruling, Holder applies same-sex marriage rights to Justice Dept.

| Saturday, February 8, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON -- In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder is applying a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department, announcing Saturday that same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

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DOMA’s demise creates pathway to overturning state bans on gay marriage

| Thursday, December 26, 2013
Marriage equality supporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013, waiting for decisions in cases involving California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Advocates on both sides of the gay marriage debate predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act would create a pathway for more challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage. They were right.

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Hawaii same-sex marriage pioneer who sparked national debate weds partner

| Wednesday, December 18, 2013
KHON-TVGenora Dancel Kathryn Dennis
HONOLULU -- One of the Hawaii women who sparked the national same-sex marriage battle with a lawsuit more than 20 years ago is now legally married to another woman.

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