Alert: The Supreme Court Rules DOMA Violates The Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution


Congress passed The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996.   DOMA limited the definition of spouse and marriage to a union between a man and a woman.  In doing so, the law limited all federal rights, entitlements and benefits that are linked to marital status to married couples of the opposite sex. These rights, entitlements and benefits include but are not limited to: 

  • Immigration - spousal treatment to obtain a green card
  • Filing joint Federal Income Tax Returns
  • Federal Estate Tax Exemptions
  • Social Security Spousal Benefits
  • Spousal Benefits – members of the Armed Forces
  • Treatment under Federal Bankruptcy Laws
  • Medical decisions made by spouses

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on June 26, 2013, in United States v.Windsor, enables legally married individuals to avail themselves of the 1,200+ federal benefits, rights and entitlements provided under federal law, regardless of sexual orientation. The Court’s ruling signifies a tipping point towards marriage equality. 

Presently, twelve states and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriages. The Windsor decision provides equal protection under federal law for same sex couples who are legally married. At Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg, we are available to answer your questions regarding your rights, consistent with the Windsor decision.   

For more information, please contact Lisa R. Moore 856.486.6978 or