- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

A DOMA ripple effect in the states

As detailed in this morning’s Wall Street Journal [1], state courts have begun embracing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down part of a federal law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and even building on that ruling in challenges over state laws concerning same-sex marriage and other issues affecting gays and lesbians.

“It’s a pattern that’s emerging—and it’s striking,” said David Cruz, a law professor at the University of Southern California and an expert on civil-rights law. Rather than finding ways around Windsor, he said, “judges are embracing its principles.

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The effect of Windsor could grow significantly in months to come, say legal experts. More than a dozen challenges to same-sex-marriage laws are pending, nine of which were filed post-Windsor, according to Jon Davidson, the legal director at Lambda Legal, which advocates on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry.

That includes a challenge in North Carolina [2] which began as a lawsuit concerning the state’s adoption laws as applied to gay couples but has since expanded, with the consent of Attorney General Roy Cooper, to include a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.