defense of marriage act

What DOMA means for Missouri

Jun 26, 2013

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA Wedensday. It’s  a provision of a federal law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples.

For the states that have legalized gay marriage (12 of them, and the District of Columbia), it’s clear what the impact of this decision will be for same-sex couples in those states.  Their spouses will now be entitled to the same federal benefits as straight couples, which was not the case in the past. But the result is murkier in the other 38 states where gay marriage is not legally protected (like in Missouri).

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?