More states challenge US anti-gay marriage law

September 8, 2012 - 9:35 AM

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's attorney general says the state is the latest to ask an appeals court to rule that the federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

Attorney General William Sorrell said Friday that the Defense of Marriage Act deprives same-sex couples of federal benefits and unfairly discriminates against them.

He says Vermont, New York and Connecticut, all states where gay marriage is legal, filed a brief in a case brought by a New York woman who had to pay $350,000 in estate taxes when her partner died. New York had joined the case in 2011.

The federal government said last year it would stop defending DOMA. Several federal judges have ruled the law is unconstitutional, including a ruling this year in a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts.