Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional by conservative federal appeals court judge


An important milestone in the fight for marriage equality was achieved today when a federal appeals court in Manhattan declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. The conservative judge who authored the ruling went one step farther by stating any law that discriminates against gays and lesbians should be viewed with skepticism.

This is a really big deal. Jacobs is not simply saying that DOMA imposes unique and unconstitutional burdens on gay couples, he is saying that any attempt by government to discriminate against gay people must have an “exceedingly persuasive” justification. This is the same very skeptical standard afforded to laws that discriminate against women. If Jacobs’ reasoning is adopted by the Supreme Court, it will be a sweeping victory for gay rights, likely causing state discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be virtually eliminated. And the fact that this decision came from such a conservative judge makes it all the more likely that DOMA will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.


Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

2 thoughts on “Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional by conservative federal appeals court judge”

  1. “… with liberty and justice for all.” Good news. I saw a comment about this elsewhere and the commentor was speculating as to what “dirty little secret” someone discovered about the judge to use to blackmail him. Unbelievable. He felt the only explanation for this decision was that the judge was being blackmailed. He just could not bring himself to see it as being based on equality and justice.

    1. That’s absurd! What I found interesting is the single judge who dissented was appointed by Clinton – the president who signed DOMA into law. I wonder if there is a connection there?

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