U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies same-sex married couples federal rights, unconstitutional for violating the Constitution’s guarantee of equality:
Politico’s Josh Gerstein:
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White, who sits in San Francisco and was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, issued the ruling Wednesday afternoon in a case involving federal judicial law clerk Karen Golinski’s request for benefits for her female spouse. White said the stated goals of DOMA, passed in 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton, could not pass muster under a so-called “heightened scrutiny” test or even a lower “rational basis” threshhold.
“The imposition of subjective moral beliefs of a majority upon a minority cannot provide a justification for the legislation. The obligation of the Court is ‘to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code,'” White wrote. “Tradition alone, however, cannot form an adequate justification for a law….The ‘ancient lineage” of a classification does not render it legitimate….Instead, the government must have an interest separate and apart from the fact of tradition itself.”
Reuters’ Dan Levine adds:
“White, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican, issued a permanent injunction preventing the government from further interfering with Golinski’s ability to enroll her wife in the insurance program.”