Feb 22, 2012

California District Court Just Ruled DOMA Unconstitutional... Again!

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. government can't deny health benefits to the wife of court employee Karen Golinski by relying on the 1996 law that bars government recognition of same-sex unions. District Judge Jeffrey White said that because the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex married couples, the government's refusal to furnish health insurance to Karen Golinski's wife is unjustified.

The Court finds that neither Congress’ claimed legislative justifications nor any of the proposed reasons proffered by BLAG constitute bases rationally related to any of the alleged governmental interests. Further, after concluding that neither the law nor the record can sustain any of the interests suggested, the Court, having tried on its own, cannot conceive of any additional interests that DOMA might further.

This is an amazing victory. Here's a quote from Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal:

I would say that between the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, the ruling we obtained yesterday reinstating our New Jersey marriage case, the passage of marriage equality in Washington, the passage of a marriage equality bill through the legislature in New Jersey, and the passage of a marriage equality bill through the Maryland House, this latest victory over DOMA shows that we have passed the tipping point. February 2012 will go down in history as the month marriage equality became unstoppable.

The full text of the ruling can be found here, and this is Judge White's full statement. More on the subject at Joe.My.God, Huff Post, Prop 8 Trial Tracker, Lambda Legal and Politico.

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