SCOTUS Strikes Down DOMA In 5-4 Decision, Dismisses Prop 8 Case

From MUSED Magazine Online 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Smauel Alito Jr., Elena Kagan

As this week proved to be a powerful one in politics, the Supreme Court has placed a ruling on Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

In a landmark ruling for gay rights, the Supreme Court  struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages, Wednesday. The decision came down to a 5-4 vote (which seems to be standard for the SCOTUS). Now the federal laws will determine who is covered by more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave. This allows same-sex couples to have the same marriage benefits; however, states still have to recognize the marriage first.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

A few minutes afterwards, the Supreme Court has also allowed prior decisions to stand when it comes to Proposition 8 in California. The SCOTUS has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California’s gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.  Today the SCOTUS has delivered a quick, but narrow decision that will allow California to revisit the ruiling rumored to have immediate statewide effect.


This post originally appeared on MUSED Magazine Online. Republished with permission.


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