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Judge: Anti-Gay Marriage Law is Unconstitutional

Friday May 25, 2012
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A second federal judge in California has struck down a law denying benefits to partners in a gay marriage.

The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/JhpEW8 ) reports U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken also struck down on Thursday another law limiting tax benefits for state employees with domestic partners.

Wilken says the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act violated constitutional standards when it denied federal benefits to same-sex spouses married under California law and barred domestic partners of state workers from long-term health coverage.

Wilken says both laws were based on what she calls "moral condemnation" of same-sex couples.

A San Francisco judge also declared the federal law unconstitutional in February in a separate case. That ruling is under appeal and will go before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September.

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