Two quick updates on last month's landmark rulings by a federal judge in Boston that found Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Section Three prohibits federal recognition of same-sex couples and denies all federal benefits, such as Social Security and health care.
U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro issued an amended judgment in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge filed by Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.
Simultaneously, a 60-day stay was issued pending any appeal by the government to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The Department of Justice now has 60 days to decide whether to appeal and is expected to do so.
GLAD did not oppose DOJ's request for a stay pending appeal because it wants the "certainty of knowing that their Social Security payments, health insurance costs, or tax refunds are not potentially subject to repayment." And the organization ultimately wants "clarity for married same-sex couples around the country," says GLAD's Mary L. Bonauto. "We are more than ready to deal with an appeal. We have confidence in the strength and justice of our case."
Gill was filed in March 2009 and is considered by many to be one of the best—if not the best—surgical challenge to DOMA. GLAD also won the Goodridge case that mandated marriage equality in Massachusetts.