Mass. Sues US Over Definition of Marriage

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2009 1:55 PM CDT
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Massachusetts has challenged the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, saying it interferes with a state's right to define and regulate marriage, the Boston Globe reports. “In enacting DOMA,” the lawsuit reads, “Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states' efforts to recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people.”

Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, argues that “the security and stability of families has been strengthened in important ways throughout the state.” It says 16,000 same-sex marriages have occurred since the 2004 decision, but that those couples “are still denied essential rights and protections.” An anti-gay-marriage group says DOMA has already been ruled constitutional, and “the suit will have no credibility in the federal courts.”