Appeals Court Second to Rule DOMA Unconstitutional

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 18 2012 12:10 PM

Appeals Court Becomes Second To Rule DOMA Unconstitutional

96691994
The Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue of DOMA before the end of this term

Photo by Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan today struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, becoming the second such court to do so and making it that much more likely that the issue will be decided by the Supreme Court sooner than later.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional. The three-judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.
Advertisement

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled back in May that the law barring federal recognition of gay and lesbian couples unconstitutionally discriminates against homosexual couples because it denies them federal benefits. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested last month that the high court would likely rule on the constitutionality of the law within the year.

Congress passed DOMA in 1996 when Hawaii seemed close to legalizing gay marriage. The law effectively halted the movement at the time, but eight states have legalized it since and the issue will likewise appear on a handful of state ballots this November.


Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The Only Good Thing That Happened at Today’s Soul-Crushing U.N. Climate Talks

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.