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Survey: Most Law Profs Say DOMA Is Unconstitutional

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September 10, 2012

Seven out of 10 constitutional law professors believe the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, according to a recent survey.

Dale Carpenter, who teaches law at the University of Minnesota, surveyed 485 constitutional law professors over the summer. Sixty-nine percent said section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. Section 3 prohibits the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed believe the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize marriages of same-sex couples.

Prof. Carpenter writes about his results in the Volokh Conspiracy blog.

Several courts have agreed that section 3 is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide before its term begins in October whether to hear any of four cases challenging DOMA, including Lambda Legal's Golinski case.