The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. Its provisions are codified at and . The law has two effects:
- No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
- The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.
At the time of passage, it was expected that at least one state would soon legalize same-sex marriage, whether by legislation or judicial interpretation of either the state or federal constitution. Opponents of such recognition feared (and many proponents hoped) that the other states would then be required to recognize such marriages under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.
Including the results of the 2008 general elections, two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) allow same-sex marriage, five states recognize some alternative form of same-sex union, twelve states ban any recognition of any form of same-sex unions including civil union, twenty-eight states have adopted amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty states have enacted statutory DOMAs.
There are no scheduled protests for this Saturday January 10th in St. Louis because Show Me No Hate feels we can have better impact participating in an already scheduled event. Please join us on March 25th at LGBT Lobby Day in Jefferson City. Let us come together on that date 1000 strong to physically meet our legislators at our Capitol. We hope you can attend this rally and keep checking here for a February training to help better coordinate our goals on Wednesday March 25th, 2009.