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Listen: DOJ Likely To Appeal DOMA Ruling, Says Legal Writer02:05

This article is more than 10 years old.

A U.S. Department of Justice official says the department is reviewing the decision by a U.S. district court judge in Massachusetts to rule the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The U.S. government has 60 days to appeal the ruling.

For now, that ruling gives same-sex couples in Massachusetts the rights to the same federal benefits and programs as heterosexual couples.

David Frank, a senior news reporter with Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, told WBUR he thinks the ruling's impact is limited.

"This is a decision from a trial judge in the federal court. Unless and until the First Circuit decides to weigh in — and/or the Supreme Court of the United States, it doesn't have any binding precedent on other states," Frank said.

But Frank added challenges in other states to the federal law could raise similar arguments to those in this case.

This program aired on July 9, 2010.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.


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