What is the Federal Defense of Marriage Act?

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Defining the DOMA

The Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws, and provides that states need not recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex. 37 states have their own Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMAs), while 2 more states have strong language that defines marriage as one man and one woman. There are 30 states that have constitutional amendments protecting traditional marriage, including the three states (Arizona, California, and Florida) that passed constitutional amendments in November 2008.

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