781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

The Defense of Marriage Act: Defending the Indefensible

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Since 2004, gays and lesbians have been legally free to marry in Massachusetts. That is now the law in six (6) states and the District of Columbia. Yet, by congressional action, signed into law by President Clinton, legally married couples here are not legally married for any federal purpose, nor is their status respected in most other states.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (declaring a marriage as only between one man and one woman for all federal law purposes and relieving other states of any obligation to recognize a same sex marriage permissibly created in another state) denies same sex spouses more than a thousand benefits, including the right to file joint tax returns, to have tax privileged spousal medical benefits and access to many social security and veterans survivors benefits. In divorce, gays and lesbians may not transfer property without taxation at the time of divorce, cannot claim alimony tax deductions and are prohibited from transferring pension assets without triggering tax consequences, which can be sometimes catastrophic; rights that all hetero-sexual married couples take for granted.

A group of plaintiffs sued in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in the case of Gill v. O.P.M. and 2 companion cases, seeking to have DOMA declared unconstitutional. After defending DOMA and losing in the trial court, the Obama Administration declined to defend it again in the appeal of Judge Joseph Tauro’s judgment wherein he declared DOMA to be unconstitutional. The Department of Justice declared the statute indefensible. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, agreed with Judge Tauro and upheld his judgment.

The next stop for this controversy is the United States Supreme Court, where others will stand in as surrogates for the federal government in seeking to reverse the First Circuit’s decision, doing what the current government refuses to do: defend the indefensible.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

Boston disputes mediators Alimony Reform Act divorce agreement divorced rehabilitative alimony alimony orders fraud divorce lawyers Divorce divorce process med-arb Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act child support LDRC family mediation Massachusetts alimony reform legislation support orders Chouteau Levine family law arbitrators divorce mediator family law arbitration Levine Dispute Resolution family and probate law disputes Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly divorce judgment Uniform Arbitration Act divorce litigation annulment private dispute resolution divorce and family law mediators Baseball Arbitration high-risk methodology family support divorce mediation Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth SJC MLB labor agreement family law arbitrator COLA divorce mediators pre-ARA alimony health coverage alimony statute Massachusetts divorce lawyers special master lawyer-attended mediation lawyers facilitated negotiations IRC §2704 Divorce Agreements Self-adjusting alimony orders alimony law Massachusetts lawyers family law mediation med/arb litigation DOMA separation arbitrator Baseball Players Levine Dispute Resolution Center Massachusetts divorce mediators divorce arbitrator mediator Cohabitation lawyer Defense of Marriage Act Baseball divorce arbitration alimony divorce arbitrators traditional negotiations dispute resolution mediation General term alimony health insurance The Seven Sins of Alimony resolve disputes Levine Dispute Resolutions how baseball arbitration works Obamacare Matrimonial Arbitration Family Law Arbitration mediations divorce and family law Child Support Guidelines Major League Baseball Arbitration arbitrators medical benefits Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC conciliation divorce mediations self-adjusting alimony Massachusetts alimony and child support Same Sex Marriage Massachusetts alimony