Rights groups filed lawsuits challenging Defense of Marriage Act

On November 9, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Both suits challenged DOMA's deprivation of plaintiffs' rights to tax deductions and other benefits given to heterosexual married couples and denied to homosexual married couples. In July 2010, a federal judge had ruled that DOMA's strict heterosexual definition of "spouse" interferes with states' rights to define marriage. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) ceased to defend the constitutionality of DOMA in February 2011 and President Barack Obama announced his support of repealing the legislation in July 2011.

Learn more about DOMA from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the issue from JURIST Guest Columnist Robert Pfister in Sidebar.


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