USA: FEC Rules that DOMA Means Gay/Lesbian Couples Can’t Be Treated As Married for Political Donations

Written by scott on April 27th, 2013

Defense of Marriage ActUnder US election law, straight couples are allowed to donate jointly to campaigns, avoiding the cap on individual contributions. The Federal Election Commission just ruled that this does not apply to gay lesbian couples. Equality on Trial reports:

Yesterday, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued an opinion ruling on an aspect of election law that relies on Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act to determine whether a married couple can contribute to political campaigns jointly. The FEC generally allows married couples to donate jointly to campaigns, so that the amount doesn’t exceed the cap on individual contributions imposed by federal law. But they were asked to determine if same-sex married couples may legally do the same thing, and their decision says that no, same-sex married couples can’t do this until Section 3 of DOMA is repealed or struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (a possibility given that they’re reviewing United States v. Windsor now and a decision is expected by late June.

The issue will likely be reconsidered if the Defense of Marriage Act is struck down by the Supreme Court later this year.


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