Today is a victory for equal rights in Massachusetts, where a federal appeals court just declared that  the federal Defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional on the grounds that it unfairly denies equal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

 

The ruling is also a victory for the Obama administration, which had refused to defend that part of the 1996 law. Although the decision does not establish a national right to gay marriage, hopefully the decision will prove to set a precedent of equality for the upcoming ruling by the Supreme Court on the law that limits federal recognition of marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

Their decision does uphold, however, that in states like Massachusetts, where gays and lesbians can legally marry, the federal government cannot deny these couples the right to file a joint federal tax return or to receive a survivor's benefit under the Social Security Act.

In their opinion, the court wrote that there are more than 100,000 legally married gay and lesbian couples in the half-dozen states that have legalized same-sex marriages and that it is unfair to deny them the rights of other married couples. Amen!

(Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)

Tagged in: politics, law, gay marriage, equality, doma, discrimination, civil rights, Boston, america   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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