Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") defines the term "marriage" for all purpose under federal law including the provision of federal benefits, as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." 1 USC 7. It similarly defines the terms "spouse" as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
The question presented to the Supreme Court is whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State.
The parties were further instructed to brief whether the Executive Branch's agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III standing in this case.