The Defense of Marriage Act is already losing in the court of public opinion as a case challenging its constitutionality is about to be heard by the US Supreme Court.
A new poll found that 59 percent of Americans are against DOMA after being informed that the law prohibits the federal government from offering benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married.
The percentage of those against DOMA is actually higher than the 52 percent of people in the poll who said they are in favor of gay marriage in general. Also, 62 percent of respondents - including some of those who are against gay marriage - agree that 'it is discrimination for the federal government to deny marriage protections and benefits to legally married same-sex couples.'
'The findings of this poll should provide significant headwinds to LGBT advocates and allies and demonstrate to the Court that the thinking behind DOMA is outdated and indefensible,' said Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders which commissioned the poll.
The results of the poll are based on a live interviewer telephone survey conducted January 23 – 27 among 802 registered voters in the US.
Federal appeals courts in New York and Boston ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional - rulings appealed to the Supreme Court by the Republicans.
The justices have agreed to hear the New York case which was filed by Edith Windsor who sued because she was required to pay a $350,000 federal estate tax bill. The government does not recognize her marriage to her late wife Thea Spyer.