A new controversy over the civil rights of homosexuals is brewing, as a judge ruled last week that a Federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, prompting protests from social conservatives.
United States District Judge in Boston Joseph Tauro rendered the verdict in a lawsuit that challenged the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), saying it violates a state’s right to define this type of union, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley praised what she called a “landmark decision,” and said it was "an important step toward achieving equality for all married couples in [the state]"
However, Family Research Council has called the ruling “erroneous” and its representative Tom McClusky expressed hope that it will be overruled on appeal.
He also accused “liberals and activist judges” of failing to listen to “the American people [who] have made it unmistakably clear that they want to preserve marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.”
Tauro’s ruling applies only to Massachusetts, but it could have wider implications if it’s upheld by a higher court on appeal, commentators have said.