UPDATE: The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that The Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Ultimately, the ruling narrowly passed by a 5-4 vote.
Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the court’s opinion, stating that ”By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.” He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. During the Obama administration, the Justice Department initially defended DOMA, but changed course in early 2011, declining to defend the law any longer.
As the Supreme Court hears arguments against the constitutionality of DOMA this week, the editorial team at MyBankTracker figured a slideshow should be in order.
DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Essentially it prevents same-sex couples from receiving over 1,000 federal benefits that opposite-sex married couples receive.
If DOMA is overturned, that ruling could significantly impact our economy and the financial lives of same-sex married couples. They would have the right to file federal taxes jointly, receive spousal Social Security benefits, and more.
Read on to see just how much the passing of DOMA would do for the lives of gay couples and our economy.