A federal appeals court in New York ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.
“Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public,” Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote for the 2-1 majority.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is now the second federal appeals court to reject part of the law. The decision upheld a lower court ruling that had found a central part of the law unconstitutional.
Appeals in several cases are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could choose to take up the issue in its current term.
“Next stop, Supreme Court,” said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign. “Politicians and judges have no business telling anyone who they can love and who they can marry.”