Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
In two different cases, a federal judge today ruled that part of DOMA was unconstitutional - specifically, the fact that DOMA creates two different classes of people in states like Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal, and violates the equal protection and the due process clauses. It appears to be pretty cut and dry, and the judge came back with his verdicts fairly quickly:
GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto told Tauro that DOMA constitutes a “classic equal protection” violation, by taking one class of married people in Massachusetts and dividing it into two. One class, she noted, gets federal benefits, the other does not. Just as the federal government cannot take the word “person” and say it means only Caucasians or only women, said Bonauto, it should not be able to take the word “marriage” and say it means only heterosexual couples.
Maura T. Healey, chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, told Judge Tauro that Section 3 of DOMA — the section that limits the definition of marriage for federal benefits to straight couples — violates the state’s right under the federal constitution to sovereign authority to define and regulate the marital status of its residents.
It obviously will be appealed by the bigots, so this is one to watch. But for right now, this is a pretty nice victory for equality folks!
(Link via the Phoenix’s David Bernstein’s facebook status.)
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