Assemblyman Says Decision Should Serve as Precedent for Future Court Rulings
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), one of the legislature’s leading advocates for marriage equality, on Thursday applauded the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston for ruling in favor of marriage equality by declaring the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
“I am pleased to hear the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This is a landmark decision that should act as the judicial precedent for future courts.
“In finding that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment mandating equal-protection of rights, the court has given credence to countless gay couples in both New Jersey and the United States who pay taxes, own property, and raise children, yet are not given the legal recognition of their relationship. The Court’s acknowledgment of the discriminatory nature of DOMA is an important finding that will further support the case for marriage equality.
“With this latest ruling, I hope that elected officials will have the courage and leadership to defend the constitutional right of equal-protection under the law and recognize that relegating certain marriages to second-class status undermines the values our country is founded on.
“This is another step in the right direction and I applaud the court’s ruling” said Gusciora.