The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejected the Defense of Marriage Act this morning, declaring that the anti-gay act is unconstitutional.
"The appeals contest the right of Congress to undercut the choices made by same-sex couples and by individual states in deciding who can be married to whom," according to the ruling that was released today.
There was no adequate justification for treating same sex couples differently from heterosexual couples, according to GLAD lead attorney Mary Bonauto.
DOMA, a US federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, was put into place in 1996 and denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.
The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) commented on this ruling, stating that they're confident that the Supreme Court will overturn the case.
"The Court has followed the same flawed logic as the Margaret Marshall-led Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in throwing out the historical definition that marriage is between a man and a woman, the essential institution for the procreation and nuturing of children. The Court has the audacity to hold the federal government hostage and force all Americans to recognize a radical social experiment from Massachusetts," MFI president Kris Mineau said.
The 3-0 ruling marks the first time that a federal Appeals Court has found DOMA unconstitutional.
"Today's landmark ruling makes clear once again that DOMA is a discriminatory law for which there is no justification. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to create a system of first- and second-class marriages, and it does harm to families in Massachusetts every day," attorney general Martha Coakley said.
Some of the plaintiffs from the initial case that challenged the ruling weighed in on today's decision.
"[Marlon and I] do our very best to live our lives together in truth and authenticity. We're thrilled to hear that the law is on the same page — we're no longer second class citizens," plaintiff Jonathon Knight said.
"We were thrilled to hear the decision today ... how thrilling it is for us, that the court believes in protecting our rights to social security benefits," plaintiff Bette Jo Green said.