DOMA and Prop 8 Struck Down

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act!

Read the text of the decision here. A key quote from towards the end:

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.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.

UPDATE: It seems that the Supreme Court has also decided that, as my friend Charles Allen put it on Facebook, “defenders of proposition eight have no standing to bring suit to the Supreme Court. That means that Proposition 8 remains struck down. Marriage equality returns to California!”

 

 

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  • copyrightman

    The Court punted. This is now going to be a state-by-state issue. I have to think some more about the implications of that for law and federalism. One thing you can count on is that it will remain a culture war issue fought on the ground in each state. Shades of 1857?

  • Tony Springer

    The real man of steel: Anthony Kennedy!

  • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

    This is only Doma 3 that is struck down. Doma 2 (which says that, unlike any other kind of marriage, states don’t have to recognise each other’s gay marriages) has been ruled constitutional in previous cases. Though I’m not sure how, since the full faith clause of the constitution says “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” But, hey, amongst the many things I am not, IANAL. So while it is a huge day for friends of mine who faced serious immigration issues around their marriage, it won’t help couples who move around after their marriage.

    • Michael Wilson

      The problem Ian is that when the constitution was written marriage only meant one thing, and now perspectives differ between states. If states were free to change definitions of married and force all other states to recognize them this would allow for the possibility for considerable havoc. I have no problem with this playing out at a state by state level. I’m confident in time virtually every state will accept gay marriage and opposition to it will take place locally and not spill into national politics in the way that Roe V. Wade created the Moral Majority and its influence on the national GOP.

      • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

        I agree with your conclusion that this shouldn’t be a decision for SCOTUS. That way lies problems as you say.

        I don’t agree on that marriage (or any other statutory provision) has only ever meant one thing. As far as I know some states allow people to marry at an age where others consider them children. Yet states still recognise ‘child marriages’ from other states. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, or comparing such marriages morally to same sex marriages – I’m just making the narrow point of precedence. But, as I said, IANAL!

        Also repealing or striking down DOMA 2 wouldn’t force states to change the definition of marriage, or even their own marriage law. They’d just have to honor the licenses issued by other states, which seems a relatively narrow change. But again, I am even less a constitutional lawyer, I’m simply parrotting the seemingly convincing arguments I’ve read on sites I am predisposed to agree with!

  • Susan

    I was very surprised at my own reaction. When I heard the decision, I felt very liberated. It is as if this is the first day of the new world.

    Dr. McGrath gives a voice to those Christians who know in their heart this bigotry is wrong. I am glad I found this website.

  • CB

    Hey Stupid. Prop 8 was NOT struck down. The decision in the last appeal was vacated and the instructions sent to that court to dismiss the last appeal. How stupid are you?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      The mention of Prop 8 was added after the post was written. Technically, what happened was that Proposition 8 had been previously struck down, and the Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal.

      I am apparently so stupid that I try to give sensible replies to rude anonymous commenters.


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