Setting the stage for a U.S. Supreme Court battle, a federal appellate court Thursday held that the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married under state laws.

In Gill v. Office of Personnel Management , a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston held that the rationales offered to support Section 3 of DOMA were inadequate.

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