United States District Court has ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The Plaintiffs are seven same sex couples married in Massachusetts and three survivors of same sex spouses, also married in Massachusetts. The Defendents included United States Attorney General Eric Holder.
In last two sentences immediately preceding the Conclusion of the ruling, wherein the Defendent’s (Justice Department’s) Motion to Dismiss was Denied and the Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgement was Allowed, the ruling reads as follows:
“And, where, as here, “there is no reason to believe that the disadvantaged class is different in relevant respects from a similarly situated class, this court may conclude that it is only irrational prejudice that motivates the challenged classification. As irrational prejudice never constitutes a legitimate government interest, this court must hold that Section 3 of DOMA as applied to Plaintiffs violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
The Court’s ruling (MEMORANDUM) issued today, July 8, 2010 (PDF file) was uploaded by glad.org
The decision came to my attention both on the “crawl” at the bottom of a screen on a television station and in article at Salon.com by Alex Pareene titled: Section of Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional.
Vivienne Foley of CNN wrote an article titled: Judge rules same sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler is quoted as saying of the ruling: “We are reviewing the decision.”
In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan had stated that as Soliciter General she supported the government’s (Defendent’s) side of the case which defended DOMA (the Defense Of Marriage Act). She could have declined to answer because it is a matter which may make its way to the Supreme Court, but she chose to answer. How does one interpret that?