United States
1 min

US Federal Court rules DOMA unconstitutional

BY ROB SALERNO – The march to full marriage equality in the US took another big step yesterday, when a federal judge ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

DOMA is the law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states. Because of DOMA, the gay marriages performed in the seven states that now permit them aren’t fully equal to heterosexual marriage.

The judge found that the US government must allow an employee of the federal ninth circuit court to enroll her wife in the court’s insurance program. 

Lambda Legal has a copy of the ruling here.

The ruling, which is likely to be appealed, is the latest nail in the coffin for marriage discrimination in the US. 

The usual boilerplate on US marriage equality stories:

In June, Washington will join New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut,
Massachussetts, Iowa and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage. The
status of gay marriage in California is currently the subject of appeals to the
unconstitutionality of the state’s anti-gay-marriage referendum, Prop 8, which
will likely end with a decision by the Supreme Court. Maine voters will decide
whether to allow gay marriage in a referendum in November, and lawmakers are
also debating the issue in Illinois and Maryland.

Ten countries already allow full marriage equality nationwide: Argentina,
Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and
Sweden. Brazil allows same-sex marriages in theory, through roundabout rulings
of its state and federal Supreme Courts, but they’ve been performed only in some
states. Mexico recognizes same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City only.

Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere only. There are ongoing
debates about allowing same-sex marriage in the UK, Australia, Finland and
Uruguay, and Denmark is planning to pass same-sex marriage by June. France’s
Socialist Party is expected to campaign on the issue in national elections this
year.

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