In an enormous victory for marriage equality advocates, a federal judge in Boston ruled on Thursday in two separate cases that a critical portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
In one challenge brought by the state of Massachusetts, U.S. district judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Congress violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it passed DOMA and took from the states decisions concerning which couples can be considered married.
In the other, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he ruled DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The case was brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the group that won the landmark gay marriage decision in 2003 before the Massachusetts Supreme Court. GLAD represents eight married couples and three widowers in the suit.