Rep. Maloney Hails Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling That ‘Defense of Marriage’ Act Is Unconstitutional

May 31, 2012
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) hailed the ruling by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston finding that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  

In a statement issued after the Court’s decision was announced today, Congresswoman Maloney, a longtime supporter of marriage equality who voted and spoke out against DOMA when it was introduced in 1996, said:

“Today’s ruling sounds a ringing clarion call for justice and equality for all. This decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has determined the unconstitutionality of an ill-conceived and mean-spirited law denying federal benefits to married couples – and it surely will not be the last.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the right of a consenting adult to marry a loved one is inherent in the ideal of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' upon which our great nation was founded. Anything less than full marriage equality for same-sex couples constitutes separate and unequal treatment, and I am thrilled that a federal court of appeals has affirmed that principle today.

“I continue to oppose the effort by the Republican House majority to waste government funds on the so-called ‘Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group’ that it has charged with defending the indefensible discrimination inherent in the Defense of Marriage Act. It is an example both of a narrow-minded attempt to divide America, and of playing fast and loose with taxpayer dollars in order to score cheap political points on what Republicans still think is a winning wedge issue for them. Like the Defense of Marriage Act, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group should be tossed into the circular file of history.”