Massachusetts challenges DOMA

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley yesterday filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The complaint asks the court for a “declaratory judgment that Section 3 of DOMA, codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7, is unconstitutional as well as injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of Section 3 against Massachusetts.” The relief sought is “limited to the impact of Section 3 of DOMA within the borders of the Commonwealth” and “does not challenge Section 2 of DOMA, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1738C, which provides that states shall not be required to recognize marriages between individuals of the same sex that are validly solemnized in other states.” The Massachusetts action stands in sharp contrast to the Obama administration’s defense of DOMA in its motion to dismiss filed last June in Smelt and Hammer v. U.S., et al., No. 09-00286 (S.D. Cal.).

See the Attorney General’s press release and accompanying materials for more information. For news coverage, see the Boston Globe, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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