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Anti-gay U.S. Defense of Marriage Act heads to federal appeals court in Massachusetts

BY DENISE LAVOIE, AP LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER

BOSTON -- A legal battle over a law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples is headed to a federal appeals court in Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted by Congress in 1996, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

A federal judge in Massachusetts declared a key section of the law unconstitutional in 2010 after Attorney General Martha Coakley and the legal group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders sued. Judge Joseph Tauro found that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples an array of federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

An appeal by a bipartisan congressional group in both cases will be heard Wednesday by the federal appeals court in Boston.

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Nowadays, marriage between same sexes is normal. I mean, it is now legalized. Ellen from the famous talk show "Ellen" is now married with her long time girlfriend. So, I guess it’s normal.

this is a good moved, everybody should be reminded that an union is only for a man and a woman and nothing follows.

This gay marriage is still on the hot seat in many of the countries around the world. I hope that this issue will be resolved and may love and understanding flow in this beautiful world.

Massachusetts has been the most understanding and adoptive state. In this case, it must prove to all that they are still what other people call them.

Let us forget that these involve are still human beings that possess the certain rights that we are having. We should, at least, learn to understand them because that is what they need more than anything else in this world.

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