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DOMA faces new legal challenges

Two separate legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act were filed today. The first, brought forward by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), was filed today in Connecticut representing plaintiffs from Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire.

The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of DOMA’s Section 3, which prohibits federal acknowledgment of same-sex marriages performed where such marriages are legal. The lawsuit specifically addresses couples married in Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, according to GLAD.

Same-sex marriages are legal in those states.

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Federal judge rules portion of DOMA unconstitutional

A federal judge in Boston ruled July 8 — in two separate lawsuits — that a critical part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

In one lawsuit, Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services, Judge Joseph Tauro, of the U.S. District Court in Boston, ruled that DOMA violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by taking from the states powers that the Constitution gave to them. In the other lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he ruled that DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment in an effort to “disadvantage a group of which it disapproves.”