Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Defense of Marriage Act
Kimberly Carter Kelly
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is the informal name of U.S. Public Law 104-199. Similar to other federal policies such as welfare reform and the Marriage Promotion Act, DOMA privileges and encourages some relationships and families while stigmatizing and constraining others, in this case based on sexual orientation. Although representative of the political attention paid to marriage as well as gay and lesbian rights in the United States, DOMA is at odds with trends in other parts of the world. DOMA mandates that states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and that for the purposes ...