Friday, October 19, 2012

DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT---UPDATE

On May 31, 2012, the First Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.  Same-sex couples are applauding the unanimous decision of the three-judge panel.  In a 43 page opinion delivered by Judge Michael Boudin, the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that DOMA unfairly denied same-sex couples of their rightful benefits.  The decision, the court said, was based on the fact that the denial of benefits to same-sex couples didn't further a legitimate governmental purpose.

Most recently, on October 18, 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appellate court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Applying "heightened scrutiny," the Second Circuit concluded that DOMA's classification of same-sex spouses was not substantially related to an important government interest and held that DOMA Section 3 violates equal protection.  For full opinion, see Windsor v. U.S. http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/1afe4f62-fbf9-4e0d-a409-26ab7396971e/1/doc/12-2335_complete_opn.pdf

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