State of Mass. Sues Federal Government Over Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

President Obama pledged during the campaign to push for overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, but has focused on the economy, healthcare, other issues since taking office.

But more pressure could come from Massachusetts, which today became the first state to sue over the 1996 law, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and which allows states to ignore gay marriages performed in other states.

That unfairly excludes more than 16,000 Massachusetts same-sex couples, who have married since the Bay State in 2004 became the first to legalize gay marriage, from “critically important rights and protections based on marital status,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

The lawsuit (read it here) asserts that DOMA is unconstitutional because it interferes with the commonwealth’s “sovereign authority to define and regulate the marital status of its residents” and also alleges that DOMA exceeds Congress’s authority because Congress does not have a valid reason for requiring Massachusetts to treat married same-sex couples differently from all other married couples…


The lawsuit also argues that the law forces Massachusetts to treat same-sex married couples differently from heterosexual married couples, particularly through determining who qualifies for the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, and whether a same-sex spouse of a veteran can be buried in a veteran cemetery.

I wonder why Massachusetts decided to file the lawsuit by itself. Wouldn’t it be stronger if some of the other states which recognize same-sex marriage also were plaintiffs?

This is why we need an amendment to combat the liberal and relativist plagues.

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