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“Defense of Marriage” Strikes Out Again


By Matt Baume

Prop 8 is heading to the Supreme Court, and another judge finds the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. That brings the total rulings against DOMA to five in just the last few months. More polls show that supporters of the freedom to marry outnumber our opponents. And good news for bi-national couples, with a groundbreaking announcement by the Department of Homeland Security.

AFER’s case against Proposition 8 is heading to the US Supreme Court. Having lost twice, the Prop 8 proponents have now petitioned the Supreme Court for review. They’ll decide whether to take the case later this fall. Visit for more information and to sign up for breaking news alerts on the case.

The Defense of Marriage is unconstitutional — again. This time it was a federal case in Connecticut, Pedersen versus Office of Personnel Management. Judge Vanessa Bryant wrote that “DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster … the Court finds that no conceivable rational basis exists for the provision.”

This is the fifth ruling just this year that DOMA violates the Constitution. The other four rulings are Windsor versus United States in New York on June 6, Gill versus OPM in Boston on May 31, Dragovich vesus Department of Treasury in California on May 24, and Golinski versus OPM in California on February 22nd.

Meanwhile, in the court of public opinion, support continues to grow. A new Pew survey shows that 48% of Americans support marriage equality, compared to 44% who oppose. That’s a big change from 2008, when the same poll showed 39% support and 51% opposed. And in 2004, just 31% supported marriage and 60% were opposed.

Among Democrats, support is currently at 65%, a jump of 15 points since 2008. And Republican support, while just 24%, has increased 5 points in the last 4 years.

There was encouraging news for bi-national couples this week, with the Department of Homeland Security confirming that it will consider marital status of same-sex couples during deportation proceedings. That’s doesn’t guarantee that a marriage will protect foreign spouses from deportation. But it’s a significant advancement, and the first time a federal agency has expressed a policy recognizing gay and lesbian relationships.

And finally, in Maryland a proposed marriage equality law has 54% support, with just 40% opposed. Maryland voters will decide this November whether the law will go into effect. Our lead there has grown slightly since April, when the same survey showed 51% support and 43% opposed.


  • 1. Reformed  |  August 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    With the unending string of court victories, I am inclined to say let them eat chicken. Particularly encouraged with the distribution of courts. It really can no longer be said that is just a 9th circuit or California thing. It would be egregious anti gay bias I'd the supreme court could uphold pornography, WBC funeral protests, and all kinds of things that are accommodated in the preservation of liberty, and then crush this string of lower court rulings just so that people who wish to be married cannot. Surely the court will recognize that after all the things that have led to the state of marriage being what it is, it wasn't until same sex couples wanted to participate that "national" organizations were formed to "protect" it. As with hate crimes . . . no such thing when it is proposed to include anti gay crime. So telling when the opposition holds to a book that promotes "putting to death". How can they go against it. Ok rambling now. Sorry.

  • 2. Mike in Baltimore  |  August 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    9th Circuit, 1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 6th Circuit (in a related case).

    Nope, don't see a pattern that it's spread beyond California.


  • 3. Reformed  |  August 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Can't figure that one out, but it's late, maybe in the morning I will get it.

  • 4. Mike in Baltimore  |  August 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    You said, "It really can no longer be said that is just a 9th circuit or California thing."

    And when I responded with "9th Circuit, 1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 6th Circuit (in a related case)", I was showing that it is not just a 9th circuit or California thing.

  • 5. Reformed  |  August 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Yes, I see, it is good to see that it is no longer a "9th circuit thing". A wide distribution of type of cases as well, including bankruptcy protection, which is a very important part of the modern business landscape.

  • 6. Marriage Equalty: Three N&hellip  |  August 7, 2012 at 1:50 am

    […] February, five different courts have ruled that section three of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. In two […]

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