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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Justice Department challenges ruling against same-sex marriage ban

By Sandhya Somashekhar

The Obama administration has appealed the decision of a judge who struck down the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages, a move that was widely expected but further complicates the president's relationship with the gay community.

A federal judge in Massachusetts in July invalidated a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, ruling in favor of seven same-sex married couples and three survivors of same-sex spouses who had been denied access to federal benefits. The Justice Department had indicated it would challenge the ruling, as is customary when a federal law is challenged.

Gay groups had pleaded with Obama to let the judge's ruling stand, but on Thursday the Justice Department officially filed its appeal to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Gay groups responded that they were ready to take the case to the next level.

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By Sandhya Somashekhar  | January 14, 2011; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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