Not long after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling on February 7 declaring California’s Proposition 8 of 2008, which outlawed same-sex marriage, unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, a Bush appointee, has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton, denies joint tax filing, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration sponsorship and hundreds of other federal marital rights to same-sex spouses. Judge White is the second judge to rule the law unconstitutional. A federal judge in Massachusetts did so in July 2010. That decision is now under review by a federal appeals court in Boston. Judge White’s ruling will likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit court, located in San Francisco. Last year, President Obama abandoned defense of DOMA. “The law ‘treats gay men and lesbians differently on the basis of their sexual orientation’ without any legal basis,’ said Judge White.” DOMA also “[represents] a stark departure from tradition and a blatant disregard of the well-accepted concept of federalism in the area of domestic relations,” White said.
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