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U.S. Appeals Court Delivers Victory for Married Gay Couples

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –  The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has struck down a key section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

It ruled section 3 is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory. It defined for federal purposes that a marriage was the union between a man and a woman.

This effectively denied gay married couples federal benefits include filing taxes as married and spousal social security benefits.

“This decision says that that’s unlawful, that the federal government has to treat all married couples the same, whether or not they are two women, two men, a man and a woman,” said Jennifer Levi, Professor of Law at Western New England University.

The appeals court however did not set a date for their decision to take effect.

They indicated the matter will likely be taken up by the supreme court in the near future.

This decision did not address section two of the Defense of Marriage Act.

It says a state doesn’t have to recognize same-sex unions performed in other states.