US District Court Judge Joseph Tauro has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The ruling is widely regarded as a victory for gay-rights advocates.
Eight married gay couples brought the suit, alleging that DOMA denied them similar rights that heterosexual couples get, like tax breaks and social security benefits. For one of the couples, the ruling means that one partner can now get health insurance through her partner’s job at the US postal service.
The Court said that DOMA was both discriminatory and violated the states rights. The couples had argued that the federal government traditionally defers to the states view on marriage—making DOMA a violation of states’ rights.