GLAD’s Challenge To DOMA Heads To Court

It’s been a while since we heard about GLAD’s challenge to DOMA. Recall that last year the Massachusetts LGBT rights organization challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act by filing a lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. In it, GLAD argues that DOMA’s Section 3 violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause by treating legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts differently from heterosexual married couples.

Now, a court date has been set for the challenge — May 6.

The Washington Post explains the importance of GLAD’s challenge:

The suit is restrained in the sense that it does not ask the federal government to do anything more than respect state decisions about marriage. If successful, it would affect only states that allow same-sex marriages (Massachusetts and Connecticut) or that recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere (New York).

It’s daring because gay rights advocates have, for the most part, studiously avoided federal courts in recent years. While pressing marriage at the state court level, gay rights groups have been leery of bringing a federal claim that could create a bad precedent from a conservative-dominated court.

This is, of course, not the only lawsuit that could end DOMA once and for all. The federal challenge to Prop 8 is still wending its way to the Supreme Court.

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