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Another Federal Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

Yet more goods news in the fight for marriage equality:

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara S. Jones of the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that the section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

“There are interests in the choices that heterosexual couples make: whether to get married, and whether and when to have children,” Jones wrote in her ruling. “Yet DOMA has no direct impact on heterosexual couples at all; therefore, its ability to deter those couples from having children outside of marriage, or to incentize couples that are pregnant to get married, is remote, at best.

“It does not follow that the exclusion of one group from federal benefits (same-sex married persons) that another group of people (opposite-sex married couples) will be incentivized to take any action, whether that is marriage or procreation,” Jones wrote.

“At most, then, DOMA has an indirect effect on popular perceptions of what a family ‘is’ and should be, and no effect at all on the types of family structures in which children in this country are raised,” she wrote, adding it was “impossible to credit its justification.”


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