Judge says ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional
A U.S. judge in Boston has ruled that the federal ban on marriage equality [Defense of Marriage Act] is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage. The law was enacted by Congress in 1996 – when it appeared Hawaii would legalize marriage equality and opponents worried that other states would be forced to recognize such marriages. The lawsuit challenges only the portion of the law that prevents the federal government from affording pension and other benefits to same-sex couples. Since then, five states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage.