A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled DOMA unconstitutional today. The decision was purposely very narrow and only ruled that the law "deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples."
The Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the first federal court in the country to rule against the law. The decision was made by two Republican appointees and one Democrat. Republican judges Judge Michael Boudin (appointed by Bush Sr.) and Judge Juan Torruella (appointed by Reagan) ruled the law unconstitutional but left the Supreme Court many outs (pun intended).
The summary of the ruling today:
"To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest."
The writing is on the wall. Are Republican politicians willing to open their eyes to it?
When gay marriage is looked at without emotion or religion or any of those other tinted lenses; when marriage is reviewed as an issue of legality, the fact is that gay Americans are being discriminated against and are entitled to the same rights as any other married American.
DOMA is a direct violation of the Comity Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It has also been found to violate due process and a section of the federal tax-code.
The Constitution is what the country is based on. American citizens should not allow it to be trampled and used as a political sword ever again.