Defense of Marriage act deemed unconstitutional, denies gay couples benefits

Defense of Marriage act deemed unconstitutional, denies gay couples benefits

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 4:04pm

A federal appeals court rules against a central provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.

A three-judge panel of the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled on Thursday that the provision defining marriage as between a man and woman is unconstitutional because it denies married gay couples federal benefits.

The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Since then, eight states have permitted gay marriage.

This is the first time a federal appeals panel considers the benefits section of the law unconstitutional.

  

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