Judge Rules DOMA Unconstitutional In California Case

A federal judge in California ruled Thursday that same-sex partners must be given equal access to the state’s public employee pension system, striking down a provision within the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  

DOMA, a law passed in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, defines marriage as “a legal union of a one man and one woman as husband and wife,” which would limit the ability of same-sex spouses of state workers to obtain insurance.  U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken declared that unconstitutional, writing that there was no proof that the law “rationally related to a legitimate government interest.”

The Obama administration announced last year that the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA in court.  


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.