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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Senate Committee holds first ever congressional hearing on DOMA repeal

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a legendary civil rights activist, led off Wednesday’s historic hearing to discuss repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, likening it to laws decades ago that requires separate water fountains and restrooms for “whites” and “coloreds.” [ Read more → ]

White House endorses ‘Respect for Marrriage Act,’ bill would repeal DOMA

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
On the eve of the first ever congressional hearing on proposals to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the White House on Tuesday announced President Barack Obama's endorsement of the Respect For Marriage Act -- the bill that would repeal DOMA. [ Read more → ]

Anti-gay industry plans protests at gay couples’ weddings

Monday, July 11, 2011
It's been a relatively quiet week: the anti-gay industry is planning to protest gay couples' weddings, Senator Leahy will hold hearings on DOMA repeal, and Equal Rights Washington is gearing up to fight for marriage at the ballot box. [ Read more → ]
John Kerry

Sen. John Kerry discuss his ‘evolution’ on marriage equality

Monday, July 11, 2011
Sen. John Kerry: "These seven years of marriage equality in Massachusetts might as well have been 30 years: they erased decades of myths." [ Read more → ]

Cambridge, Mass., to reimburse gay employees for unfair federal tax

Monday, July 11, 2011
The city of Cambridge, Mass., said it will reimburse nearly two dozen gay public employees to offset the cost of a federal tax that city officials call unfair. [ Read more → ]
Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum ‘taken aback’ but ‘certainly comfortable’ signing anti-gay pledge

Sunday, July 10, 2011
No surprise here — GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is on board with the anti-gay pledge that requires candidates to be faithful to their spouses, and “vigorously oppose” same-sex unions. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Senate Judiciary Committee will hold first ever hearing on DOMA repeal

Friday, July 8, 2011
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday announced that, in the coming weeks, the Committee will hold the first congressional hearing on proposals to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). [ Read more → ]
Tim Huelskamp

U.S. House adds another anti-gay amendment to Defense appropriations bill

Friday, July 8, 2011
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday morning voted in favor of an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that prohibits the use of funds to implement training on the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law for chaplains. [ Read more → ]

Department of Justice drops appeal of DOMA ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Friday, July 8, 2011
The U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn its appeal of a recent U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. [ Read more → ]
Bob Vander Plaats

Iowa group wants GOP presidential hopefuls to sign anti-gay marriage pledge

Thursday, July 7, 2011
An Iowa-based Christian conservative group, The Family Leader, on Thursday unveiled a pledge asking Republican presidential candidates to be faithful to their spouses, and work tirelessly to oppose same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Virginia Foxx

U.S. House approves anti-gay DOMA amendment to defense appropriations bill

Thursday, July 7, 2011
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted in favor of an anti-gay amendment to the defense appropriations bill that reaffirms the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as component of the Pentagon spending legislation. [ Read more → ]

Impact of New York’s marriage equality law is already spreading

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This week: Rhode Island is getting civil unions, Maine will collect signatures to overturn that state's marriage ban, and seven couples have sued New Jersey to do the same there. The AMA endorsed marriage equality, the NOM won't be allowed to use secret donors in Minnesota, the DOJ sided against DOMA in one case and with DOMA in another. [ Read more → ]
Karen Golinski (right) with wife Mary Cunninghis.

Obama administration files brief calling DOMA ‘hostile’ toward gay couples

Monday, July 4, 2011
The Obama Administration on Friday filed a brief in federal court reiterating its position that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, calling it hostile toward gay and lesbian couples. [ Read more → ]
small mnw logo

Bad week for the anti-gay industry, NY vote comes down to the wire

Monday, June 20, 2011
We're down to the last possible second for marriage in New York, there was a major victory in California, new challenges to the Defense of Marriage act, bad news in France, and good news in Lichtenstein. [ Read more → ]

Senate panel approves defense spending bill without anti-gay amendments

Friday, June 17, 2011
The Senate Armed Services Committee this week unanimously passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with none of the anti-gay amendments that were attached to the House version of the bill. [ Read more → ]
John Boehner

Watchdogs file ethics complaint against Boehner over spending to defend DOMA

Friday, June 17, 2011
A Washington D.C. government watchdog organization this week asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) broke federal law when he hired a law firm to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. [ Read more → ]

Court rules DOMA unconstitutional in bankruptcy case of gay couple

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
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. [ Read more → ]

Obama Administration extends Medicaid protections to same-sex couples

Saturday, June 11, 2011
The Obama Administration on Friday set forth new policy guidelines expanding states’ ability to provide same-sex couples with the same coverage offered to heterosexual couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid. [ Read more → ]
John Boehner

Boehner denies contract to defend DOMA violates House rules

Friday, June 3, 2011
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday denied that a contract executed to hire a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court was in violation of House rules regarding government contracts. [ Read more → ]

U.S. House approves defense spending bill with three anti-gay amendments

Thursday, May 26, 2011
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes three controversial, anti-gay amendments that seek to delay implementation of repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," and reaffirm Congress’ support for the Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]

HRC poll: Majority of Christians support LGBT equality, oppose DOMA

Monday, May 23, 2011
The majority of Christian Americans oppose the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, favor protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and support anti-bullying laws according to new polling released today by the Human Rights Campaign. [ Read more → ]

Rhode Island House committee hears little support for civil unions ‘compromise’

Thursday, May 12, 2011
A proposed compromise to legalize same-sex civil unions in Rhode Island, was met with scorn by gay marriage supporters and opponents at a state House committee hearing on Wednesday evening. [ Read more → ]

House committee approves three anti-gay DADT, DOMA amendments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The full U.S. House Armed Services Committee approved three amendments late Wednesday night that seek to delay implementation of repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and to reiterate Congress’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
Josh Vandiver (left) and Henry Velandia

Federal immigration judge halts deportation case of same-sex spouse

Friday, May 6, 2011
A federal immigration judge on Friday halted the deportation of Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan native who married U.S. citizen Josh Vandiver in Connecticut last year. [ Read more → ]
Josh Vandiver (left) and Henry Velandia

Is DOMA Sinking? AG Holder vacates gay couple’s deportation case

Thursday, May 5, 2011
While Organizations like ALL OUT and GetEQUAL are pushing to stop tomorrow’s deportation of Henry Valendia, thus tearing him apart from his legal marriage with Joshua Vandiver, it seems Attorney General Eric Holder is taking further steps to discredit the ant-gay Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
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