A federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage as between one man and one woman — is unconstitutional because it denies benefits to same-sex couples that heterosexual couples receive.
The justices stayed the ruling pending an anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on this case or a similar case. The ruling applies to four New England states and Puerto Rico, which are covered by the circuit court’s jurisdiction, Bloomberg reported.
According to the Huffington Post: "The court didn't rule on the law's more politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry."
The Wall Street Journal noted that the judge who authored the unanimous decision was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. The other two judges on the panel were appointed by former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
Speak out: What do you think about the federal appeals court ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional?