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Supreme Court strikes down DOMA

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, holding that the law is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Justice Anthony Kennedy writes in the majority opinion that "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

"The Constitution’s guarantee of equality 'must at the very least mean that a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot' justify disparate treatment of that group. In determining whether a law is motived by an improper animus or purpose, '"[d]iscriminations of an unusual character"' especially require careful consideration. DOMA cannot survive under these principles," Kennedy writes.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were in the dissent.

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