Federal Courts overturn sections of DOMA

The First U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the provision of the 1996 federal law in May called DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) that denies same sex marriages by defining marriage as "a legal union" between a man and a woman.  Their decision ensures that same sex marriages receive the same benefits from the federal government as heterosexual marriages do. 

Unlike the Catholic church who uses a narrowly defined, biased, Catholic view of marriage; the First Circuit chose to use the law to decide this issue.  While Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of the Catholic Church stated that "DOMA is part of our nation's long-established body of law rooted in the true meaning of marriage," the First Circuit decided otherwise.  The Court said that Supreme Court precedents allowed it to use "intensified scrutiny of purported justifications where minorities are subject to discrepant treatment and have limited the permissible justifications." In other words, the foundation of precedents established by the courts gave it the right to examine this law where a minority group is being singled out by the law.  In the end the Court ruled that the Section 3 of DOMA violates the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution  (By the way, the 5th amendment traces its roots back to the Magna Carta of 1215.  What do you think of that Bishop Cordileone?)

By the way, this isn't the only Federal ruling that decided that federal bans on homosexual marriage are unconstitutional:

Jul 31: U.S. District Court in Connecticut rules that part of a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional.

May 24: Oakland-based U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken rules federal gay marriage ban violates the equal protection rights of several gay employees of the state of California.

Feb. 22: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in the case of a federal worker who was denied health insurance benefits for her wife.

Feb. 7: 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down California's voter-approved Proposition 8, finding its ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional because it deprives gay and lesbian couples of the equal right to wed.

These are good decisions that go to the very basic point of the constitution, that protects against denying privileges to a certain group of people based on personal bias and discrimination, while creating those privileges for the rest is wrong.  The DOMA law and others like it, clearly are meant to deprive homosexual couples the rights that they deserve and I can't wait for the Supreme Court to decide this once and for all and allow homosexuals everywhere the right to be treated the same by the federal government and marry.