NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court in New York is set to hear arguments later this month over the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan will hear from lawyers who will say it is right for the government to speak of marriage only in heterosexual terms and those who say doing so discriminates against same-sex unions.
A lower court judge in Manhattan said in June that the 1996 law is unconstitutional. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, among others, has defended the law in written submissions to the appeals court. Others have opposed it, including the U.S. Justice Department, which says the law was "motivated in substantial part by disapproval of gay and lesbian people."
Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 27.