Justice Department Appeals DOMA Ruling

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The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an appeal in support of the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, the federal law that bans gay marriage.

The administration has appealed U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro's July ruling that would have prevented the government from banning same-sex marriages. In addition, it would have also given the same federal spousal benefits and protections to gay couples that heterosexual couples currently receive.

"DOMA is an unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional law that discriminates against Massachusetts married couples and their families," Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Tauro said DOMA forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens to be eligible for federal funding in federal-state partnerships.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004.

Gay marriage supporters hope the rulings could inspire other states to file their own challenges to DOMA, which would start a movement to have the law repealed.

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