Bankruptcy Judge Rules DOMA Violates 5th Amendment

By Roxanne Palmer (June 13, 2011, 11:18 PM EDT) -- A California bankruptcy court allowed a same-sex couple to file a joint bankruptcy petition on Monday, ruling that denying their petition under the federal Defense of Marriage Act would violate the couple's equal protection rights under the Fifth Amendment.

The debtors, Gene D. Balas and Carlos A. Morales, filed a Chapter 13 petition for bankruptcy in February, but the U.S. Trustee moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the couple was ineligible to file a joint petition under DOMA, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

But Bankruptcy Judge Thomas B. Donovan said Balas and Morales were legally...

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