New York Federal Appeals Court Declares Defense Of Marriage Act Unconstitutional
This is the second federal court to do so.
The court determined that the federal law violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause. A federal appeals court in Boston made a similar ruling in May, but the moves are considered largely symbolic as the issue is expected to be eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (pictured) issued this statement:
“Today’s decision is a major step forward in the fight for equality. I am pleased that the court recognized that the federal Defense of Marriage Act lacks an adequate justification and violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. As we argued in our brief in this case, the court examined the proposed justifications for the statute with special care, both because the statute burdens gay and lesbian married couples, and because it intrudes on the traditional role of states in defining marriage. The State of New York has long recognized out-of-state, same-sex marriages, and the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act further cements our state’s position on this critical civil rights issue. My office will continue to fight every day to defend the fundamental guarantee of equal protection of the law for all New Yorkers.”