So-called “Defense of Marriage Act” found unconstitutional by federal appeals court

The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in a unanimous decision in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States that Section 3 of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is unconstitutional. You can read the opinion here. This marks the first time that a circuit court has ruled the law to be unconstitutional. The court stayed the the decision pending likely appeal.

This marks another major blow against the law which the Task Force has been working to repeal through Congress by advocating for the Respect for Marriage Act. Today there are six states and the District of Columbia where same-sex couples may legally marry. Today’s First Circuit decision is another strike against DOMA, following the Obama Administrations decision to stop defending DOMA last year. Last summer, the Task Force submitted testimony for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill, and Members heard compelling firsthand accounts of how this unconstitutional law affects our families.

Thousands of loving families simply want the protections, rights, and responsibilities already afforded other married couples. The Task Force applauds the plaintiffs in the cases as well as Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) for challenging DOMA in court.