The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional Thursday by a U.S. federal appeals court in New York, marking the second time the law has been struck down by a federal appeals court this year.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2-1 ruling just weeks after a lower court similarly ruled the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman as unconstitutional. The Manhattan court joins a Boston appeals court that ruled found the law unconstitutional earlier this year.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he hopes the ruling will convince congressional Republicans to “drop their defense of DOMA.”
“This is just the latest in a string of federal cases where DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional,” he said in a statement. “Despite that fact, Republicans have racked up $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded legal bills defending this discriminatory law.”
The issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court.