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Federal judge in San Francisco upholds ban on gay marriage

[JURIST] In a rare federal case involving gay marriage, a US District Court judge on Thursday ruled that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act [text] passed by Congress does not violate the Constitution. Judge Gary Taylor declined to rule on whether California's ban on same-sex marriage violates the civil rights of a gay couple from Orange County because of a separate legal challenge to the state law currently in the state court system. Taylor upheld the 1996 Act signed by President Clinton by noting the government's valid desire to promote procreation and "stability" in spite of disproportionate effects on homosexuals. Read the full text of Taylor's opinion [PDF]. A lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund hailed the decision [ADF press release] for allowing voters to express their view that marriage "was and always will be between a man and a woman" while a lawyer for the Lamda Legal Defense and Education Fund [advocacy website] said the decision was "illogical" for equating denial of marriage to one group with an increase in procreation in another group. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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