A federal appeals
court has dismissed a Southern California gay couple's
challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. It is exactly the
result same-sex marriage advocates had been hoping for.
Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer of Mission
Viejo filed the suit in 2004, contending that denying
them a marriage license violated the U.S.
Constitution. Last June a federal judge dismissed Smelt and
On Friday the ninth circuit court of appeals,
based in San Francisco, upheld the lower court ruling.
The appeals panel found that the Defense of Marriage
Act denying them federal benefits of marriage had not
actually harmed the two men because they were not legally
married under state law.
Groups supporting same-sex marriage, including
Equality California and Lambda Legal, were not in
favor of Smelt and Hammer's lawsuit. The gay rights
groups fear swift, unfavorable rulings in the federal courts
and are pushing for equal marriage rights in
friendlier state court settings.
Smelt and Hammer have vowed to take their case
to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Sirius OutQ News)