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Press Release

ADL Welcomes 1st Circuit Decision Invalidating Defense Of Marriage Act

New York, NY, May 31, 2012 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today's unanimous decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit declaring Section 3 of the 1996 "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) unconstitutional.

In the 3-0 ruling, the Boston-based court upheld the U.S. District Court decision in Gill, et al. v. OPM, marking the first time that a federal appeals court has found DOMA unconstitutional.

"This decision is a clear affirmation that the principle of equal treatment means that same-sex couples are entitled to all of the federal rights, protections and benefits of civil marriage," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director.

"DOMA represents a form of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that has no place in American society. This unanimous decision makes it clear that all legally married couples must be treated equally by the federal government."

ADL filed an amicus brief (PDF) on behalf of 21 organizations challenging the constitutionality of DOMA. Joining the League on the brief was a distinguished group of religious and civil rights organizations representing many different faith traditions and cultures.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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