Federal Appeals Court: DOMA Is Unconstitutional

A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.

The Defense of Marriage Act — known as DOMA — defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman. At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. The ruling is a boost for gay rights advocates and the Obama administration, which in a rare move, has refused to defend a federal law in court.

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, a Clinton nominee, and Judge Juan Torruella, a Reagan nominee, joined in the opinion. It is in effect only within states with gay marriage laws covered by the 1st Circuit — Massachusetts and New Hampshire — and has limited enforcement. That means there will be no immediate eligibility for financial benefits currently denied same-sex married couples. No change is likely until the high court decides the matter.

Massachusetts had challenged Section 3 of the law on behalf of a group of seven couples. Similar lawsuits have been filed across the country. A bill known as the Respect for Marriage Act is working its way through Congress and would repeal DOMA. Congressional opponents of DOMA hailed the court’s opinion.

The case was argued in Boston last month. The lawyer for the couples said states have long-standing authority to control and define marriage, and that Congress has no right to intervene through DOMA, clearly designed, said the lawyer, as “disrespect” to lesbians and gays.

Both the California and Massachusetts cases could soon be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The justices would have the discretion to accept one, both, or neither case — perhaps deferring judicial review until a later time, after more lower courts have had time to debate the matter.

Are you for or against DOMA? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment box below!

Source: CNN

Image: The Blaze

Pastor’s Rant Against ‘Queers And Homosexuals’ Goes Viral

In a rant delivered just days after President Barack Obama’s historic public support for same-sex marriage, the pastor, Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., suggested rounding up all “queers and homosexuals” and quarantining them inside an electric fence.

“I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers,” Worley told churchgoers on May 13. “Build a great big large fence—50 or 100 mile long—put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

Worley’s comments—while shocking—are sadly not uncommon for pastors in North Carolina, a state that voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining marriage “as solely between a man and a woman.”

Earlier this month, Ron Baity, founding pastor of Winston-Salem’s Berean Baptist Church and leader of Return America, said gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be prosecuted. Before the state’s vote, Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville instructed parents to use force if their kids start acting gay.

What do you think about Pastor Worley’s viral anti-gay sermon? Feel free to voice out your opinions in the comment box below!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Huff Post Gay Voices