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The Defense of Marriage Act

Any homosexual man or woman needs to understand the The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. The Act, colloquially known as DOMA, explicitly defines marriage in the United States as a legal union between a man and a woman. This simply means that opposite-sex marriages are recognized anywhere in the United States. The DOMA laws provides that states are in no way obliged to recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex -- this simply means that same-sex marriages may not be recognized in certain parts of the United States.

Currently, 37 states in the Union have adopted and enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. These states use strong language to strictly define marriage as an act between one man and one woman. These states have made the DOMA constitutional amendments. In 2008, three more states entered the fold -- Florida, Arizona and California -- and passed constitutional amendments protecting the traditional definition of marriage.

You can now search for and obtain all pertinent same-sex marriage information and related documents they need. The world is changing and more and more gay people are coming out of the closet and are very proud to be whom they are. They want to have the opportunity to settle down with the ones they love. You can find information on which state permits and recognizes civil unions, because there are states that permit same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Some states offer gay couples who enter into a civil union the following rights and responsibilities:

  • State tax benefits
  • The right to leave work in order to care for an ill partner
  • The responsibility for supporting each other and in the same degree and in the same manner prescribed under law for married people
  • An improved access to family health, joint credits and insurance policies
  • Inheritance rights - even if there is no will
  • Co-parenting privileges and responsibilities for any children

The Defense of Marriage Act may not recognize same-sex unions, but each state reserves the right to permit or prohibit the legal union of homosexual couples. Many gay activists believe that any law prohibiting them to legalize the union between two people of the same-sex is against the human rights laws.

Understand This Piece of Legislation


Ignorance of the law is never an excuse. You need to understand that although the Defense of Marriage Act only recognizes the union between couples of the opposite sex, this does not mean that gay couples cannot make their union legal.

Some states in America recognize civil unions to represent same-sex relationships, which is considered as equal to marriage. Other states in the US have domestic partnerships in place in order to grant same-sex couples some of the benefits bestowed on married couples. However, you also need to understand that there are procedural differences that stop anyone from entering into a domestic partnership and these limitations are:

  • You have to be 18 in order to enter into a domestic relationship
  • You are required to live in the same residence as your partner