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DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted by Mike C Posted on June 28 2013

In a 5 to 4 decision released on 6/26/13, the Supreme Court ruled a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment." Edith Windsor brought a federal suit challenging Section 3 of DOMA, which defines a marriage as being between a man and a woman, after she was barred from claiming the marital deduction on the federal estate tax return of her same-sex spouse. As a result of the ruling, same-sex couples legally married in their state now will receive federal recognition of their marriage. The Court's ruling impacts more than 1,000 federal laws that refer to the definition of spouse provided in Section 3 of DOMA and paves the way for same-sex married couples to receive the advantages of income tax, social security, pension, bankruptcy, and health-related federal benefits extended to spouses. U.S. vs. Windsor , 111 AFTR 2d 2013-839 (Sup.Ct.).