The three-judge panel ruled that DOMA unfairly denies equal benefits to same-sex couples that are legally married. Currently, gay marriage is legal in seven states and the District of Columbia.
This ruling, on the heels of President Obama and others in his administration expressing support for marriage equality, sets the stage for the Supreme Court to take on DOMA next year. In February of last year, Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in court, and earlier this year a conservative federal judge, appointed during George W. Bush's time in office, declared DOMA unconstitutional in the case of a lesbian couple denied spousal health benefits.
A Pasco County high school is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for its handling of antigay bullying, after an incident that occurred last year and led to one of its students attempting suicide.
The department's Office of Civil Rights is investigating a complaint made by the mother of Zachary Gray, a straight student at Zephyrhills High School who tried to take his own life after being harassed by his peers and called names like "Gay Zach, fag, queer." Gray survived the attempt, but is paralyzed, brain-damaged and unable to speak. His mother says her son told a teacher about the bullying, but nothing was done.
Just four months prior to Gray's suicide attempt, another student at the school shot himself after an incident of antigay bullying that involved a simulated rape.