May 31st, 2012
For immediate release
TRIKONE APPLAUDS US FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT’S RULING AGAINST DOMA
In a narrow ruling, a Federal Appeals Court in Massachusetts (First Circuit Court) unanimously declared that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples. The case was filed by a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts, who under DOMA were prevented from filing joint federal tax returns. The court however was not asked to rule if same-sex couples enjoyed constitutional right to marriage or if individual states have the right to ban same-sex marriage. The court also stayed its’ ruling for the Supreme Court. The Justice Department under the guidance of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder refused to defend DOMA and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group convened by Speaker John Boehner defended the law during the trial proceedings. Also this year, two Federal Courts in California have found DOMA unconstitutional, violating the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment. A federal appeals court in California also found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
Trikone applauds the First Circuit Court’s 3-0 ruling and hopes that the Supreme Court brings prompt justice to pending DOMA cases. That two of the three Justices presiding in this case were appointed by Republican Presidents makes this ruling a clear cause for upholding civil rights, beyond the partisan rhetoric.