Fed Appeals Court rules against DOMA

Romance? It’s all about economics, dahling

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has unanimously ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman — is unconstitutional. The judges ruled that the 1996 law deprives homosexual couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.

Lending credence to those who have long claimed that the same-sex marriage issue revolves around financial considerations, the ruling addressed the matter of federal benefits to same sex “married” couples including the ability to file joint tax returns. The judges referred to the “burden and restrictions” of DOMA saying it penalized homosexuals by limiting tax and social security survivor’s benefits to opposite-sex couples. “If one party is in federal service, the other cannot take advantage of medical care and other benefits available to opposite-sex partners. Survivor’s social security, spouse-based medical care and tax benefits are major detriments on any reckoning; provision for retirement and medical care are, in practice, the main components of the social safety net for vast numbers of Americans,” they wrote.

Two of the three judges who decided the case were Republican appointees. Michael Boudin (President George H.W. Bush) and Judge Juan Terrell (President Ronald Reagan). Chief Judge Sandra Lynch was appointed by Bill Clinton.

Read the decision here.

The court’s ruling did not address the law’s provision, which declared states without same-sex “marriages” cannot be forced to recognize such unions performed in states where it’s legal. It also wasn’t asked to address whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The Appeals Court said its ruling wouldn’t be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, meaning that same-sex couples will not currently be eligible to receive the economic benefits not recognized by DOMA. That’s because the ruling only applies to states within the circuit, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico. Only the Supreme Court has the final say in deciding whether a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional.

Although media sources claim there is growing acceptance of the practice, thirty states have constitutionally banned same-sex unions. Marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman in at least 42 states. Currently, 31 states have added amendments banning same-sex unions to their constitutions.

5 Responses to Fed Appeals Court rules against DOMA

  1. Doc says:

    Ya’ knooowww…there’s just somethin’ WRONG with this whole lifetime appointment thing. When a Judge gets away from his own…uuummm…compass, values, vision, etc., maybe it’s time to go. But these guys’ll NEVER go till’ they’re either incapacitated due to “too many birthdays”, or deceased. Like politicians that’ve been in office too long…they get power-mad…

    …case in point…

    • Stanford says:

      Lifetime appointments only apply to the federal judiciary. The Founders reasoned that such appointments would ensure impartial decisions since this system places the court beyond the reach of the executive and legislative branches to influence or even coerce judicial opinions. Over our nation‘s history, courts have handed down many rulings with which one or both other branches disagreed. If the courts knew their jobs and salaries were constantly in jeopardy, they would be under constant pressure to rule the way the other branches desired, doing away with the judicial independence that is so necessary. We might not always agree with their decisions, but making friends wasn’t the point. There are plenty of decisions I wish had gone the other way, and I’m certain that liberals feel that way about the ones of which I approve.

      Many Presidents made appointments to the Supreme Court and other federal courts that they regretted after the jurists began their terms. Sandra O’Connor is a case in point. Reagan thought he was appointing a conservative and she leaned further and further left with the passage of time.

      • Doc says:

        Stanford-THANK YOU for the judicial education…now I understand & I appreciate your info ! And what you say makes Good Sense.

  2. Ajo Joe says:

    Excellent point made here. This same sex issue has always been about benefits. As Tina Turner so famously asked, “What’s love got to do with it?”

  3. Luke says:

    Marriage is uniquely one man and one woman. This goes back to the beginning of time and has been enshrined in the texts of all major religions. Two men or two women are not able to procreate. If we relied on them for the future, there would be no future. They can, however, bring impressionable young boys and girls into their “lifestyle.”

    In the Bible, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of such perverted acts. Now with the left controlling the media, homosexuality is mainstreamed and politically correctness reigns supreme.