Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Koppelman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451008

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451039.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 April 2019

Dumb and Doma

Dumb and Doma

Why the Defense of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

(p.127) Chapter Six Dumb and Doma
The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law
University of Chicago Press

The widely publicized Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which passed both houses of Congress by huge margins and was signed by President Clinton, has two provisions. One of these defines marriage, for federal purposes, as exclusively heterosexual. When same-sex marriages are eventually recognized, this provision's impact on same-sex couples is likely to be harsh, since at a stroke it deprives them of all the federal benefits to which other married couples are entitled. Its constitutionality however seems difficult to challenge. The other provision authorizes individual states to ignore same-sex marriages when they are performed in other states. This chapter argues that this second provision injures the targeted class of persons so broadly and indiscriminately that it gives rise to an inference of unconstitutional intent. This inference contaminates the first section as well, and so it invalidates the entire act.

Keywords:   Defense of Marriage Act, heterosexual marriage, same-sex marriage, same-sex couples, federal benefits, constitutionality

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.