U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Lawrence Hurley with Reuters reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has made significant rulings regarding same-sex marriage.

The first case involved the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In that case, Edith Windsor lost out on a $360,000+ federal estate tax deduction because she was married to a woman. Had she been married to a man, she would’ve gotten the deduction, upon her spouse’s death. The Court struck down DOMA. As Hurley reports, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

“The federal statute is invalid … [DOMA imposes] a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.”

The second case involved California’s Proposition 8. Unlike in the DOMA case, the Court didn’t go so far as to strike Prop 8 down – Prop 8 affirmatively bans gay marriage in California – but rather “sent it back” for California (and, by extension, all other states) to decide through local politics and litigation.

Hurley quotes the executive director of the ACLU:

“We take it to the states – state by state, legislature by legislature, governor by governor, and constitutional amendment by constitutional amendment.”

Source: Supreme Court delivers wins for gay marriage movement