Judge Touro of the District of Massachusetts has now ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This provision mandates that the federal government may not recognize gay marriage for any purpose. Touro's ruling seems to mean that a load of federal benefits - including immigration (sponsoring a spouse), social security, federal tax, family medical leave, tax deduction, and housing - must be granted to gay couples married and living in Massachusetts. And that's only a start. (See, e.g., don't ask, don't tell.)
So will Obama's Department of Justice appeal? Perhaps not. Obama could argue that it would be too dangerous...what if the First Circuit affirms? And if the administration does not appeal, that will mean that gay marriages for Massachusetts residents will carry a huge bundle of federal rights. Stay tuned. This is a big legal and political decision that will carry huge consequences for both upcoming elections and Obama's credibility on the left.