One Equal World

DOMA ruled unconstitutional

Posted on: March 2, 2012

The defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. Karen Golinski, a staff lawyer for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, brought the case in order to arrange for spousal benefits for her wife Amy Cunninghis.  The two married in 2008 when marriages were briefly legal in California.

One of the interesting things about the case is that the Justice Department has decided not to defend DOMA, per an announcement by President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder last year.  This means that the JD, who would usually be defending the law against Golinkski, actually joined her instead and helped to bring the case.

Instead, defense of DOMA has turned to a lawyer hired by a House of Representatives group going by the name of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White rejected all the arguments that the BLAG put forward in defense of DOMA and ordered the government to allow Golinski to enroll her wife in a family health plan.   According to his ruling, the DOMA is essentially unconstitutional discrimination against same-sex married couples.

In even better news, the Obama administration announced last week that it was extending their decision to stop defending the law to all actively serving military personnel and veterans in same-sex marriages.

Read the full story at


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