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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Queerty-com

Queerty prematurely announces ‘disappointing’ U.S. Supreme Court ruling on DOMA

Monday, June 10, 2013
In an overzealous attempt to break the news before anyone else, popular LGBT blog Queerty.com jumped the gun early Monday morning by publishing an article announcing that the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
Obama-Africa-trip

U.S. gay rights cases could trail Obama in upcoming trip to Africa

Friday, May 31, 2013
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's trip to Africa next month may result in a stark juxtaposition between the growing power of the gay rights movement in the U.S. and the criminalization of homosexuality throughout the African continent. [ Read more → ]
A crowd gathers at the State Capitol in St. Paul, on May 14 where Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed gay marriage into law.Photo: Jim Mone, AP

Will Supreme Court justices take note of new marriage equality laws?

Monday, May 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Three U.S. states and three countries have approved same-sex unions just in the two months since the Supreme Court heard arguments over gay marriage, raising questions about how the developments might affect the justices' consideration of the issue. [ Read more → ]
Jason and David

Missing husband: Spending our 6th anniversary apart, separated by 6,000 miles and DOMA

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
On May 12, 2007, I sat in a restaurant in West Hollywood swearing off men forever after a string of bad relationships. That was until my future husband walked in. ... For two hours we ate, drank and laughed. In one meal, I had gone from having lost all interest in dating to hitting it off with a guy who I may as well have designed myself. [ Read more → ]
FEC-Federal-Election-Commission

FEC rules against joint political donations from married, gay couples

Friday, April 26, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission said Thursday that married, same-sex couples cannot pool their money to donate to political campaigns as married, opposite-sex couples are able to do so. [ Read more → ]
Amanda Campbell (left) and Alison "Tex" Clark.

Federal judge rules same-sex spouse should get health benefits

Friday, April 26, 2013
SALEM, Ore. -- A federal appellate judge ruled this week the judiciary must grant health care benefits to the same-sex spouse of a federal public defender in Portland, and ruled that Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, enacted by voters in 2004, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act are both unconstitutional. [ Read more → ]
Immigration

Federal judge rules lesbian immigrant can challenge DOMA

Sunday, April 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES — A lesbian couple facing immigration troubles has the standing to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act because it violates the constitutional rights of immigrants in same-sex marriages, a federal judge has ruled. [ Read more → ]
Ingersoll-Freed-300

Washington couple files suit against florist for anti-gay discrimination

Thursday, April 18, 2013
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The ACLU on Thursday filed a lawsuit on behalf of a gay couple in Kennewick, Wash,, against a florist that discriminated against them because of their sexual orientation. [ Read more → ]
Jason-Kirchick-and-Christian-Pinillos-410x280

Binational couples among those awaiting Supreme Court ruling on DOMA

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Jason Kirchick and Christian Pinillos of Stowe, Vt., are worried not only about their future working at a struggling ski lodge but also about their marriage. Now that the lodge has fallen on hard times, the men's jobs are in jeopardy and with his job, so is Pinillos' immigration status. [ Read more → ]
ok-flag-licensed

Okla. state House approves resolution opposing same-sex marriage

Monday, April 8, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Weighing in on the recently energized debate around gay marriage, the Oklahoma House approved a resolution without opposition Monday to reaffirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman and support the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
Letterman

Letterman: Opposing gay marriage in the name of religion is ‘absolute stupidity’

Thursday, April 4, 2013
NEW YORK -- David Letterman, playing host to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on "The Late Show" on CBS Wednesday night, had a few remarks directed at opponents of same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Mark Sanford

Former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford: No gays on the Appalachian Trail

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Mark Sanford perfectly encapsulates the particular sanctimony the Right reserves for homosexuality. Republican politicians perfected this selective intolerance back when gay people were a convenient political punching bag – an unfamiliar other with whom the majority could not immediately identify. Since then, gay people have come out of the closet in droves and most Americans have come to embrace gay rights. But the GOP is sticking with its reflex condemnation of gay people. Does it trouble Mark Sanford or give him any pause at all as he goes from being the ambassador of international love back to his embrace of a position that is now laughingly hypocritical? [ Read more → ]
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey: ‘I can no longer in good conscience’ oppose gay marriage

Monday, April 1, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says he now supports gay marriage, becoming the latest lawmaker to change positions on an issue now before the U.S. Supreme Court. [ Read more → ]
Supreme Court Gay Marrage

Supreme Court inaction would likely return marriage equality to California

Friday, March 29, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Supreme Court seems reluctant to use the legal battle over California's same-sex marriage ban to rule that all gay Americans have a constitutional right to wed, but that doesn't mean gay marriage will not be returning to the state. [ Read more → ]
GET-EQUAL-DOMA

DOMA is doomed

Friday, March 29, 2013
So it's over. Two days that are now part of LGBT history. Two back-to-back arguments at the United States Supreme Court, with most of the country paying attention—hearing about our lives, our relationships, and how discriminatory government policies and voter initiatives mark us as inferior, unequal, and vulnerable. In Wednesday's case, the issue was section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which withholds federal protection and recognition from same-sex spouses. Once again, the Justices were not only engaged, but talked about us in terms we have rarely heard in these hallowed halls... [ Read more → ]
doma-protest

Democrats criticize GOP support of Defense of Marriage Act

Thursday, March 28, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The cost to taxpayers for a House Republican decision to fund the legal team supporting the Defense of Marriage Act has climbed from $500,000 to as much as $3 million, Democrats say in questioning the GOP stance on the gay marriage issue now before the Supreme Court. [ Read more → ]
Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on WednesdayPhoto: Carolyn Kaster, AP

However the Supreme Court rules, gay marriage debate is far from over

Thursday, March 28, 2013
However the Supreme Court rules after its landmark hearings on same-sex marriage, the issue seems certain to divide Americans and states for many years to come. [ Read more → ]
Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: GOP has been ‘irresponsible’ on same-sex marriage issue

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said Wednesday that Republicans who voted to spend millions in taxpayer dollars defending the federal ban on same-sex marriage are "irresponsible," and that she's "very optimistic" the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. [ Read more → ]
This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.Dana Verkouteren, AP

A boost for same-sex marriage: Supreme Court justices question federal law

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON — Concluding two days of intense debate, the Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it could give a boost to same-sex marriage by striking down the federal law that denies legally married gay spouses a wide range of benefits offered to other couples. [ Read more → ]
Arkansas

Arkansas House approves anti-gay marriage resolution

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As the U.S. Supreme Court considers two marriage equality cases, the Arkansas House of Representatives has passed a resolution reaffirming opposition to allowing same-sex couples to marry. [ Read more → ]
Demonstrators stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the court heard arguments on California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Listen: U.S. Supreme Court releases audio of DOMA hearing

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has released the audio and transcript of Wednesday's hearing challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of federal benefits that go to married people. [ Read more → ]
Plaintiff Edith Windsor,of New York, waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)  case.Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP

‘Edie, Edie,’ chants a jubilant crowd as Windsor emerges from Supreme Court

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Edith Windsor emerged from the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to loud cheers from marriage equality supporters gathered outside the high court, on this second day of back-to-back same-sex marriage cases. [ Read more → ]
A woman holds up a sign that reads "REPEAL DOMA," the Defense of Marriage Act, as a group from Alabama prays in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday.Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP

High court skeptical of federal marriage law that denies benefits to gay couples

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court is indicating it could strike down the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of federal benefits for married people. [ Read more → ]
Jesus-2-Dads-BLevesque

Day in pictures: Marriage supporters rally as high court hears DOMA challenge

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
In the second of back-to-back same-sex marriage cases, the U.S. Supreme Court turned Wednesday to a constitutional challenge to the law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples. [ Read more → ]
Thea Spyer (left) and Edith Windsor

Day 2 at the high court: Justices to hear challenge to Defense of Marriage Act

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON — In the second of back-to-back gay marriage cases, the Supreme Court is turning to a constitutional challenge to the law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples. [ Read more → ]
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