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Federal District Court in Massachusetts strikes down DOMA provisions


  District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro Defending Marriage Equality
               photo: Karen Horton/Creative Commons license

Judge Joseph Louis Tauro:  I love you. 

Let the record show that I am in receipt of the love letter you sent me today, and your beautiful words are still thrumming in my heart:

Plaintiffs present three arguments as to why this court should apply strict scrutiny in its review of DOMA, namely that:
 • DOMA marks a stark and anomalous departure from the respect and recognition that the federal government has historically afforded to state marital status determinations;

• DOMA burdens Plaintiffs’ fundamental right to maintain the integrity of their existing family relationships, and;
• The law should consider homosexuals, the class of persons targeted by DOMA, to be a suspect class.  

This court need not address these arguments, however, because DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster even under the highly deferential rational basis test....this court is convinced that “there exists no fairly conceivable set of facts that could ground a rational relationship” between DOMA and a legitimate government objective.  DOMA, therefore, violates core constitutional principles of equal protection. 

The emphasis is mine, but the words are all yours.  Thank you for finally exposing the homophobia and unfairness of the Defense of Marriage Act, and for doing so with such clarity and alacrity!  Mwah, mwah, mwah all over your judicial face!!! 

Any interested Nosey Parkers can click here to read the full text of Judge Tauro's love letter, AKA his federal court decision overturning key discriminatory provisions of DOMA.  Analysis of the decision and its likely impact can be found at

Speaking of Prop 8, I'm expecting another love letter from Judge Vaughn Walker any day now.  What's a poor marriage-equality advocate to do?  If only those SCOTUS meanies don't spoil our fun....but maybe by the time they receive these love letters, they'll have changed their minds about us and what these decisions really mean. 

The course of true love never did run smooth, but it keeps on running until it reaches its goal.  Thanks to Judge Tauro, we're that much closer to the home stretch.

Until next time, a sweet and long life to you all.

National Wedding and Marriage Examiner Elizabeth Oakes welcomes your feedback at; please share this story or subscribe by clicking on the Tweet This! button at the top of this column or the "Share This!" button below, or read more of Elizabeth's stories by clicking here. 

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  • ann keeler evans 5 years ago

    At last, a man who loves his constitution! hooray! hooray! hooray! (oh, no, is that a threat to DOMA?) and to you for keeping the faith and keeping us up-to-date!

  • Marjorie Poe 5 years ago

    This is heart-warming news indeed, and thank you for your excellent reporting!

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