On Thursday evening, a federal judge in California held that the Defense of Marriage Act and a provision of tax law unconstitutionally limit same-sex couples and domestic partners from participating in the long-term care plan offered by the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS.
The May 24 decision in the class-action lawsuit came from U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken, a Clinton appointee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California whose chambers are located in Oakland, and is the first federal court decision relating to the 1996 marriage-defining law since President Obama announced on May 9 that he believes that same-sex couples should be able to marry.
Wilken joins a growing group of federal judges to find DOMA unconstitutional. Judge Joseph Tauro reached a similar conclusion in 2010 in a case out of Massachusetts that is on appeal, and Judge Jeffrey S. White in California reached the same conclusion earlier this year in a case slated for appeals arguments in September.
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