The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.
Tauro agreed and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens in order to be eligible for federal funding in federal-state partnerships.
One ruling came after a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts in 2004. Nancy Gill, a postal worker, tried to add her spouse Marcelle Letourneau to her insurance plan and was denied. Gill brought the case to Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
Gay rights groups are calling the rulings a step in the right direction towards marriage equality. Conservative groups like the Family Research Council are calling say the rulings have weak legal defense.