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Patch’s Poll: Should Gay People be Afforded the Same Federal Rights in Marriage?

A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that a portion of the government’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies gay couples access to certain federal benefits.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Hartford ruled that a portion of the U.S. government’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies certain benefits to same-sex couples.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant issued a lengthy decision saying the federal law violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection, because of a provision that “obligates the federal government to single out a category of marriage as excluded from federal recognition, thereby resulting in an inconsistent distribution of federal marital benefits."

The case, which was carried out in the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, involved six married gay couples, and a widower, who were denied federal benefits such as recogition under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Social Security death benefits, the federal tax code and others.

As the AP reported, the couples had worked for the government, and at least one of the plaintiffs was a Navy veteran.

The ruling comes just a few months after a panel of judges in the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston issued a similar ruling, according to Fox News.

What do you think? Should gay people be afforded the same federal rights in marriage as straight people with regard to benefits? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Skip Cashwell August 02, 2012 at 11:40 AM
YES! Wanna' be a card=carrying member of "married" LGBT - then tax laws, divorce rules & precedents, health-care issues/decisions. property rights - all regulations and rights regarding heterosexual marriages - must be afforded. Of course there is the 20+ states that will not recognize LGBT stuff - so that's a problem.
tchjjal August 02, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Homosexuality is a sin. Abortion is a sin. I don't care what governments rule in these cases. God's rules are what counts! Rome is burning!
Susan G August 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Your religious beliefs are your right. To force your religious beliefs on others is not.
tchjjal August 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
To force your beliefs on others is not a right either. Back at you!!!!!!!!
tchjjal August 02, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Actually, that is not true at all. SCOTUS has not ruled that marriage is a fundamental right. It is a privilege!

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