U.S. State Challenges Defense Of Marriage Act
Here’s some encouraging news! The state of Massachusetts has launched a lawsuit against the United States government over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The act, which passed in 1996, prevents states from giving gay couples over 1000 benefits that heterosexual couples already enjoy, including everything from spousal health insurance access to having veterans’ spouses share a burial plot. States that do not comply with the act will lose access to millions of dollars in funding for health care, social services, and other benefit causes.
Massachusetts, having finally noticed that DOMA is ridiculous, has launched the lawsuit on the grounds that DOMA infringes upon the state’s right to define marriage for itself, and forces it to discriminate against gay couples.
The text of the filing is very good:
Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states’ efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus toward gay and lesbian people.
The suit adds that over 16,000 same-sex couples have wed in Massachusetts, noting that “the security and stability of families has been strengthened in important ways throughout the state.”
Way to go Massachusetts!
(Huge tip o’ the hat to James over at Gay Persons of Color for the story.)
- Mass. is 1st to fight US marriage law [Boston Globe]