law, marriage, gay, Defense of Marriage Act


On March 30, 2012, the Fordham Law Review held a daylong conference on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a statute enacted in 1996 with large majorities in both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Clinton. The Symposium could not have come at a better time: there have been extraordinary changes in the political dynamics surrounding relationship rights since DOMA’s enactment in 1996, when same–sex couples could not marry in any U.S. or foreign jurisdiction. Currently, same–sex couples can legally marry in six U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Nine additional states have broad domestic partnership or civil union laws, and another four provide more limited forms of domestic partnership benefits. Moreover, three other states that do not allow same–sex couples to marry will honor out–of–state marriages between gay and lesbian couples. Eleven foreign jurisdictions permit marriage between same–sex couples as well.

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