Thoughts? One way or the other.
(Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in a major victory for the gay rights movement.
The ruling, on a 5-4 vote, means that legally married gay men and women are entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples.
The court was due to decide within minutes a second case concerning a California law that bans same-sex marriage in the state.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Will Dunham)
WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court gave a major boost to gay and lesbian rights on Wednesday, striking down a key section of a federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
The justices declared unconstitutional part of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act, a law that has denied federal benefits to married gays and lesbians in a dozen states, from Maine to Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The decision gives the high court’s blessing, at least in part, to a gay-marriage movement that has gained momentum in the past decade and now stands on the threshold of full equality. The ruling represents a major step forward for marriage equality and a setback for defenders of traditional marriage between only men and women. But 36 states still ban same-sex marriage, and the high court’s ruling doesn’t affect them.