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  • A State’s Challenge to DOMA: Federalism and Constitutional Rights

    In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Since that time, thousands of same-sex couples have obtained state marriage licenses and have taken the important step of committing to what is arguably society’s most significant recognition of their relationship under law. As a result, the security and stability of those same-sex couples and their families have been strengthened in important ways. The state’s interests in supporting and promoting marriage—to provide stability and security to families, efficient allocation of household resources, clear definition of legal relationships, and supportive environments for raising children—have only been furthered by extending marriage to more couples willing to assume its obligations, including couples of the same sex.