DOMA ruled unconstitutional by bankruptcy court

A federal bankruptcy court in California on Monday ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled that it is discriminatory to prevent a legally married same-sex couple from filing for joint bankruptcy.

The couple, Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, filed a joint chapter 13 petition. They were married in 2008 in California and remain legally married.

In his ruling, the judge wrote: “This case is about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for two people who filed for protection under Title 11 of the United States Code (Bankruptcy Code).”

It is “undisputed that the Debtors are a lawfully married California couple,” the judge wrote, adding that the couple came to the court to restructure and repay their debt following extended illnesses and long periods of unemployment.

The U.S. trustee for the case filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that two men cannot file jointly for bankruptcy. The judge ruled the trustee did not ask for dismissal based on one of the 11 causes listed in bankruptcy law to dismiss, but simply because the couple are two men.

The judge said the trustee filed no relevant case law supporting his position and said the couple should not be singled out for discriminatory treatment. He cited the Obama administration’s position that DOMA is unconstitutional and ruled that, indeed it is.

—  David Taffet

UPDATED — BREAKING: The stay is over – but, was extended until Aug. 18th

The stay has been lifted. Judge Walker has denied the motion to stay his Prop. 8 decision with this line: Joe.My.God confirms.


But, there’s an important UPDATE:

Here’s the Judge’s decision. The stay was lifted with this line:

Accordingly, proponents’ motion for a stay is DENIED.

So, it’s lifted, BUT,

“That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8.”

Unless the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals intervenes, marriages will begin on August 18, 2010 at 5:00 PM.
Final Stay Order




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—  John Wright