A U.S. appeals court in New York on Thursday ruled that a U.S. law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is now the second federal appeals court to reject part of the Defense of Marriage Act. It upheld a lower court ruling that had found a central part of the law unconstitutional.
Appeals in several cases are currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could choose to take up the issue in its current term.
Two members of a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Edith Windsor, an 83-year old woman who argued that the 1996 law discriminates against gay couples in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The case is Windsor v. USA et al, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-2335.
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