Opinion on Defense of Marriage Act…by a Bankrutpcy

In a somewhat unusual move, a United States Bankruptcy Court determined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and 20 sitting Judges signed the opinion!  The legal issue was presented when a gay couple, married in California when it was legal to do so, filed a joint Chapter 13 consumer reorganization.  Thus, the Court held that the motion to dismiss the case was denied, as this couple was legally a married couple and thus allowed to proceed under Chapter 13.

“The court has no doubt about its conclusion: the Debtors have made their case persuasively that DOMA deprives them of the equal protection of the law to which they are entitled. The court is of the opinion that the Debtors have met their high burden of overcoming the presumption of the constitutionality of DOMA….The Debtors have demonstrated that DOMA violates their equal protection rights afforded under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, either under heightened scrutiny or under rational basis review. Debtors also have demonstrated that there is no valid governmental basis for DOMA. In the end, the court finds that DOMA violates the equal protection rights of the Debtors as recognized under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.”

Here is a link to the whole opinion: http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/57794777-DOMA-Memorandum-of-Decision.pdf

 

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