Same Sex Marriage Prohibition in Five Additional States Is Struck Down As Unconstitutional

June 2, 2014 at 10:25 am | Posted in Same Sex Marriage | Leave a comment
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In recent weeks, courts in Arkansas, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have struck down same sex marriage prohibitions as unconstitutional. The lower court’s conclusions in Arkansas and Idaho have been appealed and are not yet final since there is chance of reversal by an appellate court. The most recent reversals, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and D.C. are now “final” and binding since the state governments did not seek an appeal to reverse the findings of unconstitutionality. There are reports that there are currently over 70 same sex marriage cases being litigated nationwide and 5 matters before federal appeals courts.

Federal Appeals Court Declares Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional, Same Sex Marriage Approved in Three States

November 8, 2012 at 10:18 am | Posted in Federal Appeals Court | Leave a comment
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Defense of Marriage Act

The Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals recently found that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional. Specifically, the Court on a 2-1 split, held that Section 3 of DOMA violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution since it defined marriage as only being between one man and one woman. By recognizing gay and lesbian couples as a “special class”, the law warranted “heightened scrutiny” upon review which ultimately led the Court to find the federal government’s definition of marriage was not related to a substantial federal interest. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals joined the first Circuit Court of Appeals which reached an identical conclusion last year. Legal scholars expect that the matter will likely reach the United Supreme Court for a final ruling on DOMA’s constitutionality in the next two years.

Even though two federal courts of appeal have now found DOMA unconstitutional, DOMA is still the law of the land until the Supreme Court finds that it is unconstitutional or Congress amends the legislation.

Maryland, Maine, and Washington

On November 6th, Maryland (52% -48%); Maine (53%-47%) and Washington (52% -48%) all approved ballot measures that legalized gay marriage in their states.


The state of Minnesota, which currently has a statute prohibiting same sex marriage, defeated a ballot initiative that would have elevated the statutory prohibition to a state constitutional amendment that precluded same sex marriage.

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