Since 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law, same-sex couples have been unable to take advantage of federal couples’ benefits, and they have been unable to file their federal taxes jointly. Even if they live in states where civil unions and marriages are allowed for same-sex couples, the federal filing status and benefits just aren’t there.
But that could change if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear arguments against DOMA, and then strikes the law down as unconstitutional. Those hoping to see DOMA struck down are fighting the law based on a couple of grounds: equal protection (Amendment 14), and the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section 1).
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