Attorney General Martha Coakley deserves three cheers for taking the initiative to eradicate the loathsomely conceived Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a shameful piece of 1996 legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton that prevents the more than 16,000 legally married Massachusetts gay and lesbian couples from enjoying federal tax, retirement, insurance, Social Security, and other benefits that straight couples take for granted.
Governor Deval Patrick likewise deserves a tip of the hat for approving the suit.
This makes Massachusetts, the first state to offer same-sex couples full marriage rights, the first state to challenge DOMA.
The legal battle will be long and torturous, but it should embolden other states to take similar steps until Congress — along with the overt leadership of President Obama, who has disappointingly retreated from his promises as Candidate Obama to right the wrongs of both "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and DOMA — has the decency to repeal these anti-gay laws.
: The Editorial Page
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