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Federal Appeals Court, in Massachusetts, Declares DOMA Unconstitutional
photo by Sherri Rase
wedding rings
On May 31, a panel of three United States Circuit Court of Appeals judges, for the First District, in Boston, Massachusetts, unanimously declared the heinous Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans Federal recognition of same-sex marriage, unconstitutional because it treats same-sex couples differently from heterosexual ones.

Judge Michael Boudin wrote the decision and was joined by Chief Judge Sandra Lynch and Judge Juan Torrella. Both Boudin and Torrella are Republicans. The judges’ decision is expected to reach the Supreme Court for appeal fairly quickly.
“What a terrific way to begin Pride Month …!” exclaimed openly lesbian New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, in an email to supporters. “Today, the Federal Appeals Court declared what we’ve always know to be true: that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an unconstitutional assault on our civil liberties,” Quinn continued.

“I’m pleased that we’re one step closer to overturning harmful federal legislation that denies same-sex couples the right to wed, depriving them of the security and benefits of marriage. With each passing day, and with the support of President Obama [who ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending DOMA cases in court], we come that much closer to making marriage equality a reality for everyone across the nation,” Quinn concluded.

“This marks another blow against DOMA, which was created solely to deny equality under the law to LGBT people and their families—refusing them all the benefits of marriage given to married heterosexual couples,” wrote National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey. “We will not accept less than equality, and that’s why the Task Force has been working to repeal DOMA by advocating for the Respect for Marriage Act,” continued Carey.

“DOMA hurts our families,” declared Human Rights Campaign Legislative Director Allison Herwitt. The Federal Appeals Court “decision was clear: the law treats same-sex couples as second-class citizens—and that’s a violation of human rights,” said Herwitt.

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