Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a United States statute enacted in 1996 that prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriage for all federal purposes and authorized states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. The landmark 2013 Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, invalidated the section of DOMA that established a federal definition of marriage and paved the way for the federal recognition of same-sex marriage. This entry outlines the history of DOMA and the circumstances surrounding its passage. It explains the range of disabilities DOMA imposed on married same-sex couples and concludes with a discussion of the rules governing the recognition of same-sex marriage at the federal level that were in place until the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case ...

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