Massachusetts sues over D.O.M.A.

The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, so Massachusetts sued the U.S. government today.

Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a news conference.

Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

fnord

2 Comments

Filed under GLBT Rights

2 responses to “Massachusetts sues over D.O.M.A.

  1. The state motto of Massachusetts:
    By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.

  2. If this makes it through the court system I don’t see how DOMA can stand up as constitutional. Going through the court system could take forever.

    I’ve heard that President Obama wants the law repealed. However, I thought he wanted it repealed by the legislature.

    Here’s an article from The Boston Globe on the suit filed today.