The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal appeals court, has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that denies a host of federal benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional.
The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.
The 1st Circuit said its ruling wouldn’t be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, meaning that same-sex married couples will not be eligible to receive the economic benefits denied by DOMA until the high court rules.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Boston-based legal group that brought one of the lawsuits on behalf of gay married couples, said the court agreed with the couples that it is unconstitutional because it takes one group of legally married people and treats them as “a different class” by making them ineligible for benefits given to other married couples.
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About Alley Hector
Alley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.