Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates May 2013 No. 5 Vol. 16
Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act on Trial

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In 1993, the Supreme Court of Hawaii issued a decision in the case of Baehr v. Miike that led many to believe that the court was on the verge ordering the State to allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses.

Concerned that such a development would force other States to recognize marriages performed in Hawaii, large majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Act allowed States to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages sanctioned in other States (Section 2) and prohibited Federal marriage benefits from being conferred on same…

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