Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breaking News: US Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Rules It Interferes with ‘Dignity’ of Same-Sex Marriages

Reports National Public Radio:

In a highly anticipated ruling today, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

"DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment," SCOTUSblog reports.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors' benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.

Section 3 of the law defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and a spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." That provision had been struck down by eight lower courts before the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

We're still waiting on another major decision on gay marriage which concerns California's ban on gay marriage.

Update: Notes Liz Goodwin of Yahoo! News:

The court also dismissed a case involving California's gay marriage ban, ruling that supporters of the ban did not have the legal standing, or right, to appeal a lower court's decision striking down Proposition 8 as discriminatory. The decision clears the way for gay marriage to again be legal in the nation's most populous state, even though the justices did not address the broader legal argument that gay people have a fundamental right to marriage.

Related Off-site Links:
Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional – Ryan J. Reilly (The Huffington Post, June 26, 2013).
Supreme Court Strikes Federal Marriage Provision – Mark Sherman (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, June 26, 2013).
Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA; Rules It Interferes with States, ‘Dignity’ of Same-Sex Marriages – Liz Goodwin (Yahoo! News, June 26, 2013).
Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA on Historic Day for Gay Rights in America – Dan Roberts and Amanda Holpuch (The Guardian, June 26, 2013).
Supreme Court Delivers Wins for Gay Marriage Movement – Lawrence Hurley (Reuters, June 26, 2013).
A Big Day for Gay: Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA and Prop. 8 – Erin Gloria Ryan (Jezebel, June 26, 2013).

A Home Run But Not a Grand Slam for Gay Marriage Advocates – Amy Howe (, June 26, 2013).
Minutes After Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, Immigration Judge Stops Deportation Of Married Gay Man – Esther Yu-Hsi Lee (, June 26, 2013).
The Larger Stakes in the Supreme Court Marriage Cases – Richard Socarides (The New Yorker, June 26, 2013).
California Moves Fast on Gay Marriages – Lyle Denniston (, June 26, 2013).
Best of the Worst: Right-wing Responses to the Court – Alex Halperin (Salon, June 2013).
On Marriage, the Court Rules and the Catholic Bishops Respond – Rocco Palmo (Whispers in the Loggia, June 26, 2013).
Cardinal Timothy Dolan: "Today is a Tragic Day for Marriage and Our Nation" – Dylan Stableford (Yahoo! News, June 26, 2013).
Catholic Group New Ways Ministry Welcomes Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, June 26, 2013).
Catholic Coalition Celebrates Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage EqualityEqually Blessed (June 26, 2013).
Timeline of Gay Marriage in the United StatesReuters (June 26, 2013).
Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer – A Love So Strong It Could Take Down DOMA – Jean Ann Esselink (The New Civil Rights Movement, June 26, 2013).
The Supreme Court Makes History: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back – Amy Goodman ( via Common Dreams, June 27, 2013).
Justice Kennedy's Marriage Ruling Is About Gay Rights, Not States' Rights – Garrett Epps (The Atlantic, June 26, 2013).
How the Supreme Court Defended Marriage – Amy Davidson (The New Yorker, June 27, 2013).
The Supreme Court Giveth and Taketh Away – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, June 27, 2013).
Suprme Court on Wednesday Provides Cover for the Agenda of Tuesday – Colleen Kochivar-Baker (Enlightened Catholicism, June 27, 2013).
Poll: Views on Gay Marriage Still Divided After Court Ruling – Lawrence Hurley (Reuters, June 28, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature
Marriage Equality Comes to Minnesota
Rediscovering What Has Been Written on Our Hearts from the Very Beginning

Image 1: Benjamin Wheelock/Salon and Brandon Bourdages via Shutterstock.
Image 2: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
Image 3: Photographer unknown.
Image 4: Photographer unknown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good news for many.