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DOMA deemed unconstitutional: Carlmont students hopeful for more future rulings in favor of same-sex marriage

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DOMA deemed unconstitutional: Carlmont students hopeful for more future rulings in favor of same-sex marriage

Isabella Paragas, Staff Writer

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[media-credit id=59 align=”aligncenter” width=”300″][/media-credit]On this past Thursday, a federal appeals court deemed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, saying it discriminated same-sex marriage by denying them the same benefits as heterosexual married couples.

DOMA, passed in 1996, was approved by the majority of both houses of Congress and then signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Sept. 21, 1996.

This defines marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman, and stated that states, nor political fractions, had to recognize same-sex marriages, as well as the non-recognition of federal purposes, such as insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, and the filing of joint tax returns.

Along with the federal appeal court, previous cases have come to the same conclusion, including two Massachusetts cases, a California bankruptcy case, and a California class action suit on the part of public employees.

However, this is not the first time DOMA has been in dispute recently.

In 2011, the Obama Administration announced that it had determined that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional and, though the law would still be enforced, the administration would no longer defend it in court.

Although this case dealt strictly with the benefits received by married same-sex couples, and not the legality of same-sex marriage itself, Carlmont students are cautiously hopeful for similar rulings toward same-sex marriage in the future.

“[I]t’s a step, though how big of a step it is will be determined by the actions taken in response to and how well this new development is received, nationwide,” commented Lily Zheng.

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About the Writer
Isabella Paragas, Illustrator and Staff Writer

My name is Isabella Paragas and this is my second year working on the school newspaper staff. I work as a Staff Writer and The Highlander's illustrator. 

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DOMA deemed unconstitutional: Carlmont students hopeful for more future rulings in favor of same-sex marriage