NY Appeals Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

By Natalie Musumeci on October 18, 2012 1:36pm 

 A New York federal appeals court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional Thursday.
A New York federal appeals court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional Thursday.
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Flickr/s_falkow

NEW YORK CITY — A federal appeals court in Manhattan has ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act, the Associated Press reported, becoming the second court in the country to reject the controversial law that opposes same-sex marriage.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision, by a vote of 2-to-1, Thursday, maintaining that the 1996 law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman goes against the Constitution and was in direct violation of equal protection.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court in Boston also found the law unconstitutional.

"It's fabulous news for same-sex couples in New York and other states," said James Esseks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, the AP reported.

He also called the ruling "a watershed moment in the legal movement for lesbian and gay rights."

The AP said Paul Clement, a lawyer who had argued for the law for Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives, could not be reached for comment.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear the case next year.

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