June 15, 2011
Bankruptcy court rules against gay-marriage ban
"The country’s largest consumer bankruptcy court has sided with a gay couple seeking to file a joint bankruptcy petition, taking the extraordinary step of deciding the federal law prohibiting same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
The Los Angeles-based federal court made the ruling Monday in the case of Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, who wed during the 2008 window when same-sex marriage was briefly legal in California. “It is hurtful to hear my own government say that my marriage is not valid for purposes of federal law,” Balas said in a court filing.
Balas said he was laid off from his $200,000-a-year job in the financial industry in March 2009. The couple said they share all income and expenses.
“All the property that either of us owns is community property, and all of our debts are community debts,” said Morales, who has spent most of the relationship unemployed. “We have no prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement or transmutation agreement.”
The ruling written by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan wasn’t the first blow to the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. That came last year when a federal judge in Boston declared the law an unconstitutional violation of equal protection guarantees. Two other bankruptcy courts have also rejected administration attempts to dismiss joint filings made by same-sex couples, but neither of those rulings addressed the constitutionality of the act."
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