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  • DOMA, the Constitution, and the Promotion of Good Public Policy

    The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has two different provisions. One addresses whether states must recognize marriages validly celebrated in other states and the other addresses which marriages will be recognized for federal purposes. Much of the recent public focus has been on the latter provision—not only have bills been introduced in the Congress to repeal the Act, but some courts have suggested that it offends constitutional guarantees. This article discusses each provision, both with respect to some of the ways that the provision might be constitutionally vulnerable and with respect to the provision’s public policy implications.