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Another Nail in the Coffin for DOMA Struck by Bush Appointee

Judge Vanessa L. Bryant from the Second Circuit just ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. As Think Progress notes, Judge Bryant took the proponents of DOMA to task for attempting to argue that gays and lesbians have not been subject to discrimination throughout history:

The fact that the concept of homosexuality as a distinct category or class wasn’t fully recognized until the late nineteenth century is not indicative of an absence of a long history of discrimination in light of the long standing proscriptions on homosexual conduct – conduct that is central if not tantamount in some sense to identity. Moreover, the pervasiveness of the “closet” in which homosexuals purposefully hid their sexualities could very well explain why it was only in the late nineteenth century that conceptions of homosexual identity emerged as gay Americans moved into cities and began tentatively stepping out of the closet. […]

In sum, the evidence in the record detailing the long history of anti-gay discrimination which evolved from conduct-based proscriptions to status or identity-based proscriptions perpetrated by federal, state and local governments as well as private parties amply demonstrates that homosexuals have suffered a long history of invidious discrimination. Moreover this conclusion is consistent with the majority of cases which have meaningfully considered the question and likewise held that homosexuals as a class have experienced a long history of discrimination.

H/T to Think Progress 


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