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Second Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Constitutionality of DOMA

CoupleObviously, we are all aware that the current debate surrounding marriage in the United States is politically and emotionally charged. While this blog is not intended espouse any personal views on the subject, we believe it is important to update our readers on family law-related issues developing in our state and throughout the country.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),the act of Congresswhich defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It should be noted that the First Circuitheard similar arguments earlier this year and declared DOMA to be unconstitutional. The arguments set forth by lawyers for House Republicans are summed up here by Buzzfeed.

Paul Clement, the Republicans’ lawyer, said while citing a case from 1885 regarding polygamy: “there’s no way to preserve the definition of marriage [as one man and one woman] other than by preserving the definition. It becomes somewhat circular.”

The nation will be keeping a close watch on the Circuit Courts’ decisions on this issue until such time that the Supreme Court decides to hear arguments, if at all.