For the first time, a serious challenge has been leveled against the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through a lawsuit filed in the federal court in Boston, MA. The plaintiffs consist of a group of same-sex married couples who are now demanding equal rights under the federal law. The essence of their argument is that the federal government’s ability to ignore some and recognize other marriage certificates violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution as discriminatory. The plaintiffs may have a strong case, since the federal government has never before discriminated against certain types of marriages under the domain of the states, deferring to the conflict of laws and states’ rights.
If DOMA is found unconstitutional, this would mean that a foreign national could now secure legal permanent residency based on marriage to someone of the same gender so long as the marriage was valid where it occurred. This would be no small revolution in US immigration law and would finally bring about fairness, compassion and rationality to same-sex couples.