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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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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 ...

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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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Social Security begins processing survivor benefits for same-sex spouses

Monday, December 16, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration (SSA) said Monday it has begun processing, and paying, some survivor’s benefits for married, same-sex couples. ...

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Married, gay students to receive equal treatment in college loan applications

Friday, December 13, 2013
Arne Duncan
WASHINGTON -- Students in same-sex marriages will be treated the same as their straight married classmates when it comes to federal college loan applications, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday in a shift that reflects this year's Supreme Court ruling ...

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Pope Francis named Time magazine’s Person of the Year

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
NEW YORK -- Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church's new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time. ...

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Va. tax department implements ‘hateful’ guidelines for married, same-sex couples

Monday, December 2, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. -- The state of Virginia has released new tax guidelines for legally married same-sex couples, establishing what is being called some of the most complicated and harshest policies by any state tax department against same-sex couples. ...

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New Jersey, neighboring Pennsylvania spotlight same-sex marriage efforts

Saturday, October 19, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize same-sex marriage -- but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but ...

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Utah says married, same-sex couples must file state taxes separately

Friday, October 11, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY -- State officials are notifying gay couples that Utah's policy about joint tax returns is unchanged despite recent federal recognition of same-sex couples. ...

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Idaho lawmaker questions legality of new tax rules for married, same-sex couples

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
BOISE, Idaho -- A state lawmaker contends that Idaho's tax collectors risk violating the U.S. Constitution by requiring same-sex couples who are legally married elsewhere to do extra work when filing their state income taxes. ...

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Louisiana, Jindal administration at odds with federal benefits rules

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Federal regulations are loosening to offer more benefits to same-sex married couples around the nation, but not so in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is complicating how couples can get those federal benefits. ...

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