U.S. District Court of Northern California Judge Jeffrey White—a George W. Bush appointee—has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. White ruled in favor of Karen Golinski, according to The Advocate and Think Progress.


Judge Jeffrey White

Golinski is a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit employee claiming her denial of spousal rights violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski sided with Golinski in 2009.

But the U.S. Office of Personnel Management swiftly announced it wouldn’t comply. That agency claimed DOMA excluded same-sex couples. Therefore, the agency lacked legal authority to extend such benefits—despite Golinski and her wife were in a legally-recognized marriage.

The decision is the latest in a string of federal court rulings against DOMA, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted in states where it is legal. More challenges are moving through other federal courts, and the Supreme Court seems likely to take up the question.


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