Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SCOTUS Dings DOMA

ARRA News Service - Today in Washington, D.C. - June 26, 2013:
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two major decisions affecting marriage and the established traditions of American society. Literally they removed the lid from "pandora's box" and thumbed their noses at the beliefs and values of the majority of Americans. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)  summed up the SCOTUS decisions

The Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and held that the supporters of Proposition 8 in California did not have standing to defend Prop 8 in federal court.

Links to decisions: DOMA ruling and the Prop 8 ruling.

Essentially, the DOMA ruling means that the federal government must provide the same benefits to same-sex spouses as opposite-sex spouses, if the same-sex marriage has been lawfully performed. In other words, if a gay couple is married in a state that recognizes gay marriage, then the federal government will recognize that marriage on the same basis as a traditional marriage.

The Prop 8 ruling is far more complex, but the bottom line is that it likely clears the way for same-sex marriage in California. It does not, however, have any real implications for marriages outside of California.

Critically, neither ruling establishes a federal, constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Those states that have marriage amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and woman are untouched by these rulings. Those states that recognize same-sex marriage are similarly untouched.

The bottom line? The definition of marriage is reaffirmed as a matter primarily of state law, not federal law. The issue goes back to the states, and for the foreseeable future, states will continue to define the parameters of lawful marriage.

Tags: SCOTUS, DOMA, Marriage, same sex marriage, federal, States, Prop 8, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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