Post-DOMA Update: Cases and policies begin emerging in the wake of Windsor

Resource Center

By: Matthew T. McClintock, J.D.

The Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor signaled what may become a new era of federal recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed under state law. The key ruling in Windsor held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutionally deprived same-sex married couples of equal protection under the law. The Court specifically did not address Section 2 of DOMA, which provides that states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent notably predicted that Windsor left many questions unanswered absent a federal definition of “marriage,” which Windsor eliminated.

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