[PAST EVENT] Debate on the Defense of Marriage Act

September 27, 2012
1pm - 2pm
Law School, Room 119
613 S Henry St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Open to the public.

The debate will be between Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund and Professor Jim Dwyer of William & Mary School of Law. Mr. Lorence will argue that DOMA is constitutional and Prof. Dwyer will argue it is not.

We note that the subject is one that touches on issues that are the very core of people's identity, including sexual identity and religious ideals. We ask that if you attend that you are respectful of both participants and refrain from any unsolicited comments.

The Defense of Marriage Act is a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman." The effect of the law is to prohibit spouse of a gay or lesbian federal employee, even those married in states that recognize same-sex marriage, from receiving employment benefits. The law also allows states that do not recognize same-sex marriage to avoid recognizing same-sex marriages from other states. (So a gay couple from Virginia cannot travel to New York to be married and then receive state benefits in Virginia.) DOMA is one of the most highly visible laws regarding gay marriage and the Supreme Court is likely to confront the issues it poses within the next two to three years.