We May Not Have to Overturn Prop 8; Massachusetts to challenge DOMA

During the early years of Massachusetts’ decision to legalize gay marriage, we had a number of spirited debates on this blog with our conservative friends, notably Matt Cunningham and  State Rep. Chuck DeVore.  I’m still waiting for this rash of lawsuits Chuck assured me would happen due to the changes in law.  

Simpsons on Gay Marriage

Simpsons on Gay Marriage

Massachusetts, where I lived for nine years, really marked the first domino to fall in New England (c’mon Rhode Island, we’re waiting for you!). Now, Massachusetts has challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which may be the first step on the path on a trip to the Supreme Court of legalize Gay Marriage in all 50 states.

From  the report:

“In enacting DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states’ efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people,” the state said in a lawsuit filed today in US District Court in Massachusetts.

The lawsuit said that more than 16,000 same-sex couples have married in Massachusetts since the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gay marriage was legal in 2004 “and the security and stability of families has been strengthened in important ways throughout the state.”

[…] The lawsuit argues that DOMA, which was enacted in 1996, precludes same-sex spouses from a wide range of protections, including federal income tax credits, employment and retirement benefits, health insurance coverage, and Social Security payments.

While this move in no way should make those of us in Orange County and in California who believe in equal rights for all lessen our efforts to repeal Prop 8, its good to know other like-minded people are on our side and doing something about it in the court system.