Second Appeals Court Rules Defense Of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

NEW YORK (AP) – The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2-to-1 ruling Thursday in Manhattan that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, Boston also found DOMA to be unconstitutional.

Section 3 of DOMA states the federal definition of marriage is:

“In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

A panel of three judges says the law violates equal protection.

Instead we conclude that review of Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court uses certain factors to decide whether a new classification qualifies as a quasi-suspect class. They include: A) whether the class has been historically “subjected to discrimination”; B) whether the class has a defining characteristic that “frequently bears [a] relation to ability to perform or contribute to society,” C) whether the class exhibits “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group;” and D) whether the class is “a minority or politically powerless.””

Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs: “Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public.”

The decision was made less than a month  after it was heard in court.  The Surpreme Court is expected to make the final decision next year.

Kimberley A. Johnson is the author of The Virgin Diaries and The Spokeswoman for Rock The Slut Vote, an organization standing up and fighting the war on women. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and “like” the Rock The Slut Vote Facebook page