Appeals Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act

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In Boston Thursday, an appeals court ruled that the law that denies a host of federal benefits to gay married couples is unconstitutional.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, discriminates against gay couples.

The law was passed in 1996 at a time when it appeared Hawaii would legalize gay marriage. Since then, many states have instituted their own bans on gay marriage, while eight states have approved it, led by Massachusetts in 2004.


  • Fred Thys, WBUR reporter

This segment aired on May 31, 2012.


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