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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Immigration-McCain-Schumer

U.S. Senate passes historic immigration reform bill

Thursday, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed passed historic legislation offering the priceless hope of citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in America's shadows, including 267,000 LGBT immigrants. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

Lawmakers reintroduce DOMA repeal bill on heels of Supreme Court ruling

Thursday, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday reintroduced the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Congress, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). [ Read more → ]
Mathew Sumner, APLarry Pascua carries a rainbow flag at a celebration for the U. S. Supreme Court's rulings on Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act in the Castro District in San Francisco, on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

Get ready for new benefits in wake of Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Two bad laws died on June 26. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state and a federal law that defined marriage as something for heterosexual couples only. For the 130,000 legally-married couples in the U.S., this means an end to second-class status and end to a stigma in the law. ... And while the right to marry is not in the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has, in at least 14 cases since 1888, ruled that marriage is a fundamental right. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

NJ Gov. Chris Christie: Gay marriage ruling an example of ‘judicial supremacy’

Thursday, June 27, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling erasing part of a federal anti-gay marriage law was a "bad decision" and an example of "judicial supremacy." [ Read more → ]
Jose Luis Magana, APPresident Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave prior to boarding Air Force One before departing Wednesday on a week long trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Supreme Court rulings showcase Obama’s evolution on gay marriage

Thursday, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON — For Barack Obama, the Supreme Court's decisions on gay rights punctuate an evolution as president on the subject of same-sex marriage — a personal journey that has taken him from opposition to ambivalence to enthusiastic support. [ Read more → ]
Jason DeCrow, APMembers of the LGBT community and their supporters gather in New York's Greenwich Village on Wednesday to celebrate two decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, one to invalidate parts of the Defense of Marriage Act and another to uphold a lower court ruling that struck down California's controversial Proposition 8.

Edith Windsor, NYC crowd celebrate court’s gay marriage ruling

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
NEW YORK — About a thousand people gathered Wednesday on the block where a 1969 riot sparked the gay rights movement to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
J. Scott Applewhite, APA gay rights activist runs out of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, as rulings were handed down that impact same-sex relationships.

More battles ahead before marriage equality becomes the law of the land

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
NEW YORK — Even as they celebrate a momentous legal victory, supporters of gay marriage already are anticipating a return trip to the Supreme Court in a few years, sensing that no other option but a broader court ruling will legalize same-sex unions in all 50 states. [ Read more → ]
Noah Berger, APJohn Lewis, left, and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California on Wednesday.

ANALYSIS: What happened Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Wow. No doubt about it. Today was a momentous day. The Supreme Court this morning overturned Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had required the federal government to treat legally married same-sex couples as single. The Court also held that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no right to appeal the federal district court ruling that the California initiative is unconstitutional, thereby keeping that court’s injunction in place, so that the freedom to marry will soon return to California. [ Read more → ]
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Immigration benefits for binational, gay couples to change under DOMA ruling

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — The government says it will begin extending immigration benefits to gay married couples in light of the Supreme Court's decision striking down key portions of a federal gay marriage law. [ Read more → ]
Supreme-Court-QA

Q&A: Making sense of the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Two landmark Supreme Court rulings that bolster gay marriage rights don't remove all barriers to same-sex unions by a long shot. Where gay couples live still will have a lot to do with how they're treated. Some questions and answers about Wednesday's court rulings: [ Read more → ]
Rich Pedroncelli, AP
Ellen Pontac (left) and her wife Shelly Bailes, celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage in California Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif.

Historic Supreme Court decisions set the stage for winning the freedom to marry

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
By any standard, the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and clearing the way for the end of Proposition 8 in California are landmarks in the struggle for LGBT equality. Not since the Court’s decision 10 years ago that laws criminalizing same-sex sexual intimacy violate the freedom of LGBT people to control their lives and define their relationships has the nation’s highest court offered such a resounding affirmation that governmental discrimination against LGBT people is incompatible with the guarantees of our Constitution. [ Read more → ]
NOM President Brian Brown

National Organization for Marriage ‘outraged’ by ‘illegitimate’ court rulings

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on Wednesday said it was "outraged" at the U.S. Supreme Court's actions to dismiss Proposition 8 on procedural grounds, and for invalidating a key element of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). [ Read more → ]
Attorney General Eric Holder (left) and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Holder: Marriage ruling ‘enormous triumph’ – Pentagon moves on benefits

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Supreme Court's decision declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is an "enormous triumph" for equal protection under the law for all Americans. [ Read more → ]
Richard Drew, APEdith Windsor, left, kisses her attorney Roberta Kaplan duirng a news conference at the LGBT Center, in New York, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

‘Joyous’ plaintiff Edith Windsor cried at gay marriage ruling

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
NEW YORK -- The plaintiff in the historic gay marriage case that the Supreme Court has ruled on says she cried when she heard the ruling. Edith Windsor said Wednesday's ruling made her feel "joyous, just joyous!" [ Read more → ]
Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mormon church criticizes Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Mormon church criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision opening the door for same sex marriage in California, saying it highlights troubling questions about the country's democratic and judicial systems. [ Read more → ]
Clintons

Clintons welcome Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is welcoming the Supreme Court decision striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed into law in 1996. In a joint statement with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said... [ Read more → ]
Obama

Obama on marriage ruling: Court rights a wrong; country better off

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama hailed the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, declaring the court "has righted a wrong, and our country is better off for it." Obama decided in 2011 to stop... [ Read more → ]
Charles Dharapak, APMichael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, Editor of the Bilerico Project, embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 after the court struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples.

BREAKING: Reaction from around the U.S. on Supreme Court marriage rulings

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and ruled that legally-married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. Following is reaction from around the nation: [ Read more → ]
Charles Dharapak, APAmerican University students Sharon Burk, left, and Molly Wagner, embrace outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, after the court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.

BREAKING: Gay rights supporters erupt in cheers over Supreme Court ruling

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Supporters of same-sex marriage burst into cheers, wept openly and chanted "DOMA is Dead" outside the Supreme Court as word reached them that the justices had struck down a key provision of the federal law defining marriage as a union between a man... [ Read more → ]
decision-day

DOMA IS DEAD: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Updated: 11:50 a.m. EDT. WASHINGTON -- In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.... [ Read more → ]
Cliff Owen, APFrom left: Casey Oakes, 26, of Monroe, N.J., Dan Choyce, 21, of Sicklerville, N.J., Zach Wulderk, 19, of Hammonton, N.J., and his brother Dylan Wulderk, 22, wait for a ruling on same sex marriage at the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

Crowd outside U.S. Supreme Court awaits gay marriage decisions

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — Crowds are gathering outside the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of two gay marriage decisions. [ Read more → ]
Supreme-Court

U.S. Supreme Court to issue rulings in Prop 8, DOMA marriage cases

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is meeting to deliver opinions in two cases that could dramatically alter the rights of gay people across the United States. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court to issue rulings Wednesday in Prop 8, DOMA cases

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court did not issue rulings Tuesday in two closely watched cases -- the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for purposes of federal recognition and benefits. [ Read more → ]
Carolyn Kaster, AP (File)Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on March 27, 2013, as the court hears arguments on same-sex marriage.

Supreme Court has range of options on same-sex marriage, DOMA cases

Sunday, June 23, 2013
The waiting is almost over. On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce the outcomes in cases on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
Gage SkidmoreMathew Staver

Dozens of anti-gay activists vow to resist any pro-equality Supreme Court ruling

Thursday, June 20, 2013
As the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s rulings on two high-profile marriage equality cases, several dozen Religious Right activists have signed on to a “Marriage Solidarity Statement” that was drafted by Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Deacon Keith Fournier, vowing to resist any ruling favor of equality. [ Read more → ]
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