Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2013 / 08:39 am
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the federal government must recognize "gay marriages" accepted by individual states.
The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act – known as DOMA – "violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority.
In a June 26 ruling, the Court said that section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes, violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection guarantees.
"The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States," the court declared.