Defense of Marriage Act – Status

The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in September 1996 by President Clinton.   Under DOMA, as the act is known, no U.S. state  must recognize a same-sex marriage from any other state.  In fact section 3 of the law codifies “non-recognition” of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, such as insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, and the filing of joint tax returns.

On May 31, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a unanimous ruling on DOMA and became the first federal appellate court to rule the law unconstitutional.

To read more about the recent events regarding DOMA visit the website for a comprehensive commentary.