The Defense of Marriage Act was drafted in 1996 with only the noblest of purposes: to withhold certain legal rights from a small and largely unpopular minority of the country for reasons which cannot be adequately articulated by even its most staunch of supporters. Ever since then it's been inexplicably riddled with political controversy.
Today, brings one of the hardest blows to this paragon of U.S. legislation…
A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In its unanimous decision, the three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman deprives same-sex couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples…
"This is a big deal," said [CBS News legal analyst Andrew] Cohen. "It's the first federal appeals court to strike down the federal law, and it did so unanimously with two Republican appointees ruling that the statute unconstitutionally violates the equal protection rights of same-sex couples."
You gotta admit, all signs point to this being a home run for progressives as it rounds third and heads in toward the Supreme Court.
I can't wait to see how Donald Verrilli screws it up.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: DOMA, Judiciary, LGBT, Marriage Equality