3that require the Commonwealth to disregard marriages validly solemnized under Massachusettslaw. DOMA’s sweeping scope exceeds the powers granted to Congress and violates the UnitedStates Constitution.The Commonwealth seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for the narrow but criticalpurpose of enabling it to define marriage within its own boundaries. This action does notaddress the application of DOMA in states that do not recognize marriages between same-sexcouples. It does, however, seek to remedy the fundamental unfairness that DOMA causes toMassachusetts and its residents by denying those residents equal treatment under the law.
NATURE OF THE ACTION
The Commonwealth, by and through its Attorney General Martha Coakley, bringsthis action seeking a declaratory judgment that Section 3 of DOMA, codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7, isunconstitutional as well as injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of Section 3 againstMassachusetts.
Section 3 of DOMA exceeds congressional authority and interferes with theCommonwealth’s sovereign authority to define marriage, in violation of the Tenth Amendmentto the United States Constitution, Congress’s Article I powers, and the Constitution’s principlesof federalism. Due to the extensive scope of federal rights, obligations, and protections linked tomarital status, Section 3 of DOMA creates two separate and unequal categories of marriedcouples in the Commonwealth. Despite the Commonwealth’s recognition of only one category
The Commonwealth’s lawsuit does not challenge Section 2 of DOMA, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1738C, whichprovides that states shall not be required to recognize marriages between individuals of the same sex that are validlysolemnized in other states. This lawsuit is, instead, limited to the impact of Section 3 of DOMA within the bordersof the Commonwealth. Accordingly, the Commonwealth does not assert any claims regarding the decision of otherstates to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.