The Justice Department (DoJ) has filed a brief defending its motion to dismiss in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services, Case No. 1:09-cv-11156-JLT (U.S.Dist.Ct., D. Mass.). This lawsuit challenges section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 bars recognition of same-sex marriages for the purposes of federal law. As a result, married same-sex couples lose over 1100 statutory rights, benefits, and protections that they would have qualified for, but for the DOMA. Among other arguments, DoJ argues that same-sex couples do not have a federal right to marry; that they are not a minority warranting heightened constitutional protectition; and that for Section 3 to pass constitutional muster, Congress needs only a rational basis for it - a standard that the law satisfies.
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