DOJ Files Appeal Defending The Defense Of Marriage Act


The Justice Department today filed an appeal of the federal court decision that ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as heterosexual, unconstitutional.

The notice of appeal says little, other than that the federal government is appealing the ruling.The appeal comes the same day as a federal judge in California ordered the military to halt all discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The DOJ says it is reviewing the injunction and has not said how it will respond.

In July, Judge Joseph Tauro, of U.S. District Court in Boston ruled parts of DOMA unconstitutional in two separate cases challenging the law: Gill v. Office of Personnel Management; and Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services.

“In the wake of DOMA, it is only sexual orientation that differentiates a married couple entitled to federal marriage-based benefits from one not so entitled. And this court can conceive of no way in which such a difference might be relevant to the provision of the benefits at issue,” Tauro wrote in the Gill ruling.

The DOJ is appealing both cases.

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