Vermont Joins Fight to Overturn Federal Anti-Gay Marriage Law

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Vermont’s Attorney General William Sorrell announced this week that he’s joined forces with New York and Connecticut to petition a federal appeals court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, The Washington Post reports.

The federal law, otherwise known as DOMA, defines marriage as being between man and woman. Sorrell contends that DOMA deprives same-sex couples of benefits and promotes discrimination against them. Vermont, New York and Connecticut, have all legalized gay marriage. Together, the three states filed a brief this week in a case where a New York woman was forced to pay $350,000 in estate taxes after her same-sex partner died. 

MORE: Is Gay Marriage More Dangerous Than Smoking?

The Post reports that the federal government said last year it would stop defending DOMA, and that several federal judges have already ruled that the law is unconstitutional.

This latest development seems to echo a turning tide in the gay marriage debate, one that was reignited after President Obama voiced his personal support for same sex marriage in an interview with ABC earlier this year: 

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

Do you think we're witnessing the death knell of DOMA, or is fervor for heterosexual-only marriage going to become reignited? Let us know what you think in the Comments. 

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A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and medical writer.  In addition to reporting the weekend news on TakePart, she volunteers as a web editor for locally-based nonprofits and works as a freelance feature writer for TimeOutLA.com. Email Andri | @andritweets | TakePart.com

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