The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled the defence of Marriage Act violates gay couples’ right to equal protection.The Second Circuit breaks down why the Clinton-era law – which defined marriage as between a man and a woman – doesn’t serve a “government interest,” which would be necessary for it to be constitutional.
DOMA’s defenders said the law served the government goals of preserving the “traditional understanding” of marriage and enouraging “responsible procreation.”
The Second Circuit shot down both those arguments.
While the court agreed the government has an interest in responsible baby-making, it just didn’t see how barring the recognition of same-sex marriages encouraged the straights to procreate.
The court also said it’s not the government’s job to maintain traditional values, noting that the Supreme Court rejected similar “appeals to tradition” when it struck down Texas’ sodomy law.
While the court conceded the point that same-sex marriage is a relatively new and unfamiliar phenonemon, it hinted that it’s not its business to weigh in on religious objections to gay couples.
Neither federal or state law is “concerned with holy matrimony,” the Second Circuit found. “Government deals with marriage as a civil status – however fundamental – and New York has extended that status to same-sex couples.”
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