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.  

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