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Bent USA – No Defence of Marriage Act

A landmark decision has taken place in the USA now that the US Supreme Court has struck down a law that defines marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

Crowds who had gathered outside the Supreme Court cheered their approval as the news was announced that judges had ruled that the Defence of Marriage Act, or DOMA, denied equal protection to same-sex couples.

“Doma writes inequality into the entire United States Code,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Under Doma, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways.”

The decision means that legally married gay men and women can now claim the same federal benefits available to opposite-sex married couples.

It was Democratic President Bill Clinton who, under pressure from the US Congress, signed the DOMA ruling into law but who has since distanced himself from the legislation saying: “The law itself is discriminatory. It should be overturned.”

Meanwhile, in a separate but equally historic decision, the Supreme Court decided to endorse a ruling that “Proposition 8”, which banned same-sex marriage in California, was unconstitutional.