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Federalism

Law and Politics

2010

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Doma And The Happy Family: A Lesson In Irony, Rhonda Wasserman Jan 2010

Doma And The Happy Family: A Lesson In Irony, Rhonda Wasserman

Articles

In enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress chose to protect heterosexual marriage because of its “deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing. Simply put, government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children.” Ironically, DOMA may harm, rather than protect, the interests of some children – i.e., the children of gay and lesbian couples.

Both state and federal law reflect the belief that children are better off being raised by two parents in an intact family. This belief is reflected in the marital presumption of paternity, which presumes that a married woman ...