Posted: 4 Apr 2012
Date Written: 2011
Over the past few years, several federal courts have suggested or held that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates constitutional guarantees. The courts have differed, however, both with respect to the appropriate standard of review and with respect to the particular constitutional guarantees that the section allegedly violates. Ironically, the resolution of these debates may ultimately have less import for the constitutionality of the section at issue than for the constitutionality of DOMA’s full faith and credit section and for the constitutionality of state same-sex marriage bans. This article addresses the constitutionality of section three of DOMA, explaining how most of the analyses thus far offered have important implications for the DOMA full faith and credit provision and for state refusals to permit same-sex couples to marry.
Keywords: DOMA, bankruptcy, full faith and credit, federalism, equal protection, major damage, federal interests
JEL Classification: J12, J71, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation