USA: After DOMA

Written by scott on July 11th, 2013

DOMA OverIn the Wake f Section 3 of DOMA being struck down by the US Supreme Court in late May, we have a couple follow-up stories for you.

First off, there are still some DOMA Cases out there that are slowly being wrapped up. Scottie Thompson at Equality on Trial reports:

Now that the Supreme Court has decided United States v. Windsor, the challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), some cases in the lower courts are beginning to wrap up; in situations where the end of Section 3 of DOMA doesn’t resolve all the issues presented – such as other immigration statutes or Section 2 of DOMA, soem cases are beginning their next stages. First, in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the case in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional, the First Circuit has issued its mandate, ending its involvement in the case. Since the judgment of the First Circuit and the Supreme Court are the same, the plaintiffs win. Issuance of the mandate in this case also means that another challenge to Section 3 of DOMA, McLaughlin v. Panetta, may continue. This is a military-related DOMA challenge in the district court, and it was on hold pending the First Circuit’s mandate.

Read the whole article for more cases and details at the link above.

Also, over at Gay City News, Duncan Osborne reports on hurdles implementing the DOMA Decision. Gay City News reports:

Some Social Security benefits and rights under copyright law operate under statutes defining marriage according to the law of the state of domicile — that is, the state that the person seeking the benefit or right lives in. Changing those could require legislation. Currently, 35 states have explicit legal bans on allowing or recognizing same-sex marriages.

Some agencies and laws, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Family and Medical Leave Act, use state of domicile to define marriage, but by regulation, not statute, so changes there could come from issuing new regulations. Some agencies have a mix of regulations and law defining marriage.

Still others, such as the Internal Revenue Service, have a longstanding practice of using state of domicile to define marriage, but no regulations or statutes requiring that so they may have to merely issue a new guidance to employees and perhaps retrain them.

It’s gonna be a rocky road for awhile while this all gets sorted out in the federal government and in the courts.

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1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ronald Gurney says:

    It is my understanding that the Obama administration is taking the broad view of applying DOMA to the residency where the marriage occurred, and not to where the married couple lives. Yes, regulations will need to be changed. But the Office of Personnel Management has already opened up an special enrollment period for federal employees and retirees to add same-sex spouses to health and pension benefits.

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