Today, the State of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government stating that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.”

The lawsuit alleges that by passing legislation which excludes same sex couples from the federal rights and responsibilities of marriage in the United States, the federal government has overstepped its bounds and infringed upon the States’ rights to define marriage on their own terms.

All of the same sex couples who have wed in Massachusetts, as well as in the other states that recognize same sex marriages, are denied access to the benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including federal income tax credits, employment benefits, retirement benefits, health insurance coverage and Social Security payments. According to the lawsuit, DOMA requires the state of Massachusetts to treat same sex and heterosexual married couples differently, and is therefore unconstitutional.

The Random House Dictionary defines a patriot as one who regards oneself as a defender of individual rights, especially against presumed interference by the federal government. Thanks to all of the hardworking champions of marriage equality in Massachusetts, many of whom are Unitarian Universalists, for challenging the Defense of Marriage Act in court. You are all truly patriotic.

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Orelia Busch

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