The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (Pub.L. 104-199, 110_Stat._2419, enacted September_21, 1996, 1 U.S.C.___7 and 28 U.S.C.___1738C) is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Under the law, no U.S. state or political subdivision is required to recognize a same-sex marriage treated as a marriage in another state. Section 3 of DOMA codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriage for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, and the filing of joint tax returns.
Contributions by Robert A West, NatGertler, and EqualRights.