What is DOMA?
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (Pub., 110 Stat. 2419, enacted September 21, 1996, 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C) is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and inter-state recognition purposes in the United States. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by PresidentBill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Under the law, no U.S. state or political subdivision is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.
It is impossible to believe that any legitimate federal interest is rationally served by depriving a widow like [Edie] Windsor of the marital deduction that allows married couples to pass property to the surviving spouse without penalty, thus maximizing the survivor’s financial well-being.
Brick by brick, the wall of marriage discrimination is coming down. Yet certain members of Congress are doing whatever they can to buttress it. In defending the indefensible DOMA, they play with people’s lives, squander taxpayer dollars, and belittle our country’s deeply held values of freedom and fairness. It is heartening to see the many House members who have instead chosen to support fairness and families over divisiveness and discrimination by signing onto this amicus brief.