A federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage as between one man and one woman — is unconstitutional because it denies benefits to same-sex couples that heterosexual couples receive.
The justices stayed the ruling pending an anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Bloomberg reported.
According to the Huffington Post: "The court didn't rule on the law's more politically combustible provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry."
The judge who wrote the unanimous decision was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, the Wall Street Journal said. Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan appointed the other two.
"I think that it's a sensible and conservative decision," said State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Dist. 18), who is openly gay. "It continues to demonstrate the momentum that is on the side of dignity and recognition for same-gender couples."
Speak Out: Was the court right? Was the court partially right? Was the court completely wrong? Will the ruling have an effect on the same-sex marriage referendum in November? Tell us in the comments.