A federal judge in Hartford ruled on Tuesday that a portion of the U.S. government’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies certain benefits to same-sex couples.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant issued a lengthy decision saying the federal law violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection, because of a provision that “obligates the federal government to single out a category of marriage as excluded from federal recognition, thereby resulting in an inconsistent distribution of federal marital benefits."
The case, which was carried out in the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, involved six married gay couples, and a widower, who were denied federal benefits such as recogition under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Social Security death benefits, the federal tax code and others.
As the AP reported, the couples had worked for the government, and at least one of the plaintiffs was a Navy veteran.
The ruling comes just a few months after a panel of judges in the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston issued a similar ruling, according to Fox News.
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